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Three costly mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

There are three major areas where sellers cost themselves significant amounts of money when selling their home. They involve pricing, condition, and marketing.

I will discuss the ways that home sellers hurt themselves in each of these areas, and then tell you how a great Realtor (such as myself and my team mates on The Giles Team) can help you avoid them.

Pricing: Most peoples first and foremost concern is underpricing a home. With something as valuable as a home, no one wants to leave money on the table if it can be avoided.

While you should definitely be concerned about shorting the value of your home, the more common, and to my mind more problematic practice is to OVER price the property. You see, if nothing else will, our own egos will typically keep you from under pricing by very much.

When it does happen, good things can happen. Primarily, a home that is priced slightly below its market value will usually draw quite a bit of interest. When this happens, you get a lot of showings. When you get a lot of showings you will frequently end up getting a lot of offers. When you get a lot of offers together, you can create a bidding situation and end up get much more than you listed for.

On the other hand, here is what you can expect to happen if you over price. People look at the listing. They see that it is priced out of market, and they pass it over. During that critical first 30-45 days of listing (when most quality well priced homes sell in a stable market) you get very few showings. With few showings and an out of market price, you get no offers.

So what do you do. If you are like a lot of sellers, you go with the “we can always come down” approach. You drop the price 10%. This may even be in the range of what your house is currently worth on the open market.

The first problem here is, most potential buyers wont see that. They or their realtor are searching for new listings, because it is assumed that older listings are not quality properties or they would have sold.

So who does that leave? The sharks. You know who I mean, the investors and other bargain hunters. You can trust me when I tell you that they are not as motivated to buy as you are to sell. They will sit and watch for your property to have another price reduction, or even two more.

Then right when you are sure you are at your bottom price, but are at a point you need to sell, (You did have a plan to do something, whether its upgrade, downsize, or relocate) they will make an offer. That offer will be well below what is listed. While you can always negotiate it…or just turn it down, you will not be accomplishing what you set out to do. You know, sell your house in a reasonable timeframe with the maximum potential return.

So how does a strong real estate agent keep this from happening? We use a process called a comparative market analysis. If you would like to know more details about that process or have one done, Please check out my previous article on CMA’s. The short answer on what a CMA is would be we observe your home, compare pricing on other similar homes recently sold in your area, and then view that data through the lens of recent market trends. This method will put your home pricing within 5% of its market price consistently.

For this reason alone you should absolutely work with a good real estate broker in your area when selling a home.

Home Condition: The next thing that makes a home difficult to sell at its true value is its condition. When I say that, I don’t mean major structural problems or even needed repairs. Those things can easily be priced into the home by your agent and will be by the market. That price adjustment is typically made at inspection and is usually negotiated fairly reasonable.

What I mean is its general appearance. There is an expression that agents use, “I can sell anything but dirty”. It is an absolute fact. Even in a sellers market, where quality homes are turning over faster than we can get new ones listed, a dirty home is just tough to sell.

Its not just dirty carpets and trash about either. Its streaked windows, small cobwebs in corners, dust along the baseboards. Buyers really notice these things…and they talk about them. Then they don’t buy.

Its also about the appearance when they drive up. Unkempt yards, a lack of flowers or a singly sickly scraggily bush in the yard will cause a buyer to tell the agent we can drive on and not even stop.

Its all these little things that unfairly affect the size and quantity of offers you get on a home. The reason I say unfairly is because it is not just cost effective to fix them, it is very much profitable.

How does a star powered realtor help with these? Staging.

The right agent will give you lists of things that should be done before you list your home, and then offer you advice on the hows, whens and whys. They will do this because they want your home to sell quickly and at the maximum potential price. (That’s that percentage commission people fight so hard to avoid working for you).

If you would like to know more about the staging process and what you can expect to need to do, check out my previous article titled “Sellers tip: Staging your home for a quick sale”.

The next area (Which is more aggravating because a lot of agents espouse this nonsense too) is that an online listing…even an MLS listing is enough marketing to get a home sold quickly and at its market value.

If I am being honest, I will admit that this is enough occasionally. Even when a home sells quickly at the asking price under these conditions, I would assume that the seller could have netted more with a better marketing campaign.

This is one of the places that a stellar real estate broker (like you will find at YOUR Realty Link) will have a huge impact on your ability to a sell a home.

An average agent, or owner who is choosing to sell on their own just doesn’t have the network, systems, or professional know how to get your homes listing in front of the most qualified buyers quickly and consistently.

A strong agent will use the MLS, and literally thousands of other web portals. We will market directly to other agents who specialize in buyers that fit your home. We will create conversation on social media and through our direct contact networks. We will do all of this and more (a guy has to keep some secrets) to ensure that the market is aware of your home and give that house the best possibility of selling quickly and at its true market value.

So that’s all for the three biggest errors that sellers make and how they can be avoided. I hope this article keeps you from making one of these errors and allows you to get the price that your home deserves.

Have a great day.

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