Christmas is over, you have decided you are going to get your home ready for sale in the spring and you’re now contemplating what steps to take, what needs to be done and what’s it all going to cost to sell your home for the top dollar in the hot spring sellers’ market. You want to eliminate stress from the formula, yet just the thought of all that lies ahead is already creating this sinking feeling of despair deep inside of you as the anxiety is already starting to mount.
Don’t worry, read through this series of articles to identify these common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Don’t consider a real estate agent who is quick to agree on what price you want to sell your home for – That’s what you don’t want, a ‘yes man.’ Remember, you are going to pay this agent a serious commission for their expertise. Would you hire a mechanic and tell them how to do your breaks? Do you hire an accountant and stand over their shoulder, telling them how to complete a tax form? I think not! So why would you hire a real estate agent who is quick to accept your price and not offer their expertise? In the business, we call this “buying the listing.” The agent knows that it won’t sell for this price and that they will be able to come to you at a later point for a price reduction and you’ll find yourself “chasing the market,” which typically results in an ultimate selling price. Find an agent you trust to honestly advise you and not keep any dirty little secrets.
2. Educate yourself on the selling process – No one likes surprises when it comes to real estate. Read articles like this one, both online and in print. Gather as much information as you can on the entire process. Once you think you have an idea of how the process will unfold, discuss the entire process with your trusted REALTOR®. Understanding the process and what to expect from each party will go a long way at reducing your stress levels and allow the sale to proceed smoothly.
3. Preparation is king – There is a lot that goes into getting a home ready for sale. Start with the cleaning, then take care of any needed repairs and update where you can. Before you put the home on the market, declutter and stage your home so that another family can imagine living there with their personal belongings and not yours.
4. Cutting corners – OK, time to invest both time and money into making a few needed repairs. Now is not the time to cover things up and start cutting corners with cheap materials or quick temporary fixes. Duct tape is not your friend. Do the job right and do it with the right products so that the repair will last for years to come.
5. Watch the calendar – Selling a home is a process that has some very important, even critical dates that must be adhered to. When you are tasked with these responsibilities you need to get them done and done on time. Your failure to comply may result in the buyer believing they do not have to comply with their deadlines and may drag things out as well. Or worse, the entire deal could fall out of escrow.
6. Don’t blame your agent – Your contract is just that: yours. Sure, your REALTOR® should go over all of the terms and conditions with you and explain each step of the process along with all relevant dates on the timeline and let you know what to expect. Perhaps they did and you were just overwhelmed or perhaps they did not. Either way, the contract has your signature on it and you are responsible for its execution. So pay attention to what it says and don’t ever tell anyone that you “didn’t know.” Dumb is not a pretty look on anyone.
7. It’s so inconvenient – Seriously, who keeps their home “show ready” day in and day out with the hope that today is the day that the right buyer will show up and make you that great offer? Well it may be, so you need to keep your house ready to show at all hours of the day, every day, on a very short notice. Remember, the quicker the house sells, the more you’ll typically sell it for and the quicker you no longer have to endure this inconvenience. Remember, it’s only temporary and there is a great reward once it’s done.
8. Do you judge a book by its cover? – We all do and so will any potential buyers when considering (or not considering) your home. The judging starts with the photos and videos your agent takes and blasts across the internet. If your home is seen poorly by buyers on the internet, then the odds of a quick sale for top dollar are greatly diminished.
9. Do you have a phantom house? – If your house can’t be found at all on the internet, then your agent has really let you down. It’s a fact that today, over 90 percent of all homebuyers start their search on the internet. If a potential buyer cannot find your home then chances are very good that they may never get to see it, let alone write an offer and buy it.
10. Communication is everything – Just like every other aspect of our lives where we want to find success, selling your home requires a clear channel of communication with your real estate agent. Sure, your agent may have been courting the heck out of you when trying to get the listing but once the sign is in the yard and the lockbox on the door, it may be impossible to get any sort of response about anything at all. If you cannot reasonably communicate with your agent, you may want to look at the terms of your listing agreement and go ahead and fire them. If nothing else, let your concerns be known to their broker (who actually owns the listing – not the agent) and ask for a replacement agent.
Call us today and get the information you need to make the right decision. The info is free, call now! (951) 296-8887.
Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact me, Mike@GoTakeAction.com. Mike Mason, broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).