The year is really getting under way now, so many of you will no doubt be thinking ahead to selling your home in the coming months. Maybe it will be the first time you've ever done this?
I therefore thought it might be useful at this still early stage to go over some of the most common mistakes rookie sellers make during the listing process, in the hope that you can avoid them altogether.
Poor preparation - There are some sellers who completely fail to make any advance preparations. This is a very bad position to start from and you really can never start too early to get your home ready. Preparations should include practical things like making sure the home is thoroughly inspected for faults and correcting these and making sure everything looks and works as it should. While we will always help you to correctly stage the home, the less corrective work that has to be done, the quicker your home can be on the market. Also don't forget that your preparations should include you making a firm decision on the location and type of property you want to move into next.
Personality crisis - No two buyers ever have exactly the same idea as to what the ideal home is. It's therefore never a good idea to sell your home with lots of family memorabilia on display, or any idiosyncratic color choices, etc. Neutral decoration and a lack of personal clutter help buyers to more easily envision the home they could create for themselves.
Automatically accepting the first offer that comes along - Accepting a very early offer is always a judgement call, and one where your agent should be providing you with valuable guidance to make an informed decision. In most sectors of our market, multiple offers are still very common, so the best advice is to stay calm and balanced and talk over each offer in detail with your agent. We'll be with you every step of the way and, of course, have an up to the minute perception of market trends and what constitutes a great offer at any specific moment in time.
Inflexibility with viewing times - Expecting all buyers to fit around your own personal schedule can be a huge and potentially costly mistake. Never forget that some of the most qualified buyers out there work some very long and strange hours. The last thing you want to do is to be inflexible if they simply cannot view your property at a time that doesn't suit your schedule. It's very likely that buyers who are only available at relatively unsocial hours will create their viewing shortlist around those homes that are available for them to look over at these times. Make sure yours is one of them.
DIY selling - Our experience of most sellers who incorrectly think they have what it takes to sell their own home eventually end up having a great appreciation of what an agent actually does to make a sale happen. That's just one reason why you'll so frequently see those "For Sale by Owner" signs eventually replaced by a professional agent's details. DIY sellers soon discover how agents earn their commission, recognizing that they simply don't have the experience, contacts, marketing knowledge, time availability, team structure and online outlets to effectively promote the property. What starts as a cost-cutting exercise eventually ends up in more expense, not least in terms of delayed future plans.
Assuming all real estate agents are the same - Despite the real estate industry's best efforts to educate the public otherwise, there's still a perception among some sellers that all agents perform the same, so they immediately hire someone they are related to or know, without any recourse to that agent's track record. The average agent sells less than a handful of homes a year, so that instantly implies that you need to carry out a thorough interview, establishing the agent's recent and long term track record and asking pertinent questions about the plans to market your home and keep you informed of developments.
Of course most experienced home sellers will have learned by any past mistakes but, even so, I think the above points are an excellent reminder to everyone about some of the basic things to avoid in the process.
Why not contact us today and discuss how we can assist you in avoiding all the pitfalls.