The Top 8 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid
The 8 Home Selling Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes
(And How to Avoid Them)
Asheville Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid
While the housing marketing here is Asheville is recovering nicely, there are still problems and challenges, most homeowners must face when trying to get the best possible price for their home.
Failure to Define Why You're Selling
Every home seller should write down ALL the reasons why they want to sell their home. Ask yourself, "Why do I want to sell, and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?" "Why does this house no longer suit me, my family or my lifestyle?"
For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move.
For your goals, write down if you would like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
Failure to Name a Fair Asking Price
Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the start will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers.
You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and the state of the overall market in your area.
I know, it's often very, very difficult to remain unbiased (and unemotional) when putting a price on your home, this is why you should rely on your real estate agent's expertise. A good real estate agent is invaluable at this step.
Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could alos have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars and might be worth the price when it comes to your peace of mind.
Remember: You're always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher by only 3 percent of their market value will take longer to sell.
If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with your property. Often, when this happens, the seller will have to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
Failure to Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Let's be honest, most of us don't keep our homes in "show-room" condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick.
But when it's time sell you must break out of that type of homeowner's mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer.
First impressions are the most important! Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.
A home with too much "personality" is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos, and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.
Make minor repairs and replacements. Any small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen, or a worn doormat, can also wreck a buyer's first impression - they think if you haven't taken the to time or effort to fix the little stuff, what else might have you neglected?
Clutter is also a BIG no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible. Got a lot of stuff? Consider renting a storage unit for your things until your home is sold.
Failure to Get the Word Out
Now that you're ready to sell, a good real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. Of course, there are many ways to get the word out, including: the Internet (Facebook, private blogs), yard signs, open houses, media advertising, direct mail marketing campaigns, flyers, etc.
In addition, your home will be listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing System) which allows every licensed agent in the area to see your home for sale. This sets up a great advantage to selling your home when an agent can enter search criteria, and, if the criteria fits, your home will show up on that list.
Further more, other agents can then schedule showings of your home to their interested clients, and hopefully procure a fast offer for your property. On top of listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home.
Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest, so be prepared!
Failure to Negotiate for What You Want
Most offers to purchase your home will require some back-and-forth negotiating (if not out right haggling) to come to a win-win agreement for both you and the buyer.
Your real estate agent should be well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will work hard to protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will actually net from the sale, and what areas are easiest to negotiate.
Some negotiable items: sale price, financing, closing costs, repairs, appliances and fixtures, landscaping, painting, move-in date, etc. Once both parties (you and the buyer) have agreed on the terms of the sale, the buyer's agent will prepare a contract. A written offer is ALWAYS better than a verbal one.
Failure to Get a Solid Written Offer
Most of the time you will first hear about an offer for your home when you get a phone call from your real estate agent. This usually is just a verbal offer. Understand that no matter what anyone says (on the phone, in a text or email) a written offer is ALWAYS better than a verbal one.
So if you do receive a written offer (contract) from a potential buyer, your real estate agent should first find out whether or not the individual who make the offer is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home.
Only, then can you and your agent review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties in order to execute the transaction.
The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
a legal description of the property,
offer price, down payment,
list of fees and who will pay them,
inspections and possible repair allowances,
method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing,
appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home,
settlement date, and contingencies.
At this point, you have three options: accept the contract (offer) as is, accept it with changes (a counter-offer), or reject it.
Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, worries or just change your mine, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away - before you sign!
Failure to Follow the Contract
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of ALL the things both you and your buyer must do before closing. Make sure you understand every thing that is required of you. Your real estate agent can help you create your To-Do list of tasks.
The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected, or repaired. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some, or none of these items - so have a sufficient source of cash ready. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and help keep you on track plus serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer's agent and service providers.
If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. But remember if you or the buyer decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or proceed to closing - the contract is still legally binding.
Another important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact your attorney that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date.
Also, you should begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move, if you have not yet done so.
Failure to Be Prepared to Close
A "Closing" actually refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred from you to the buyer. Your agent will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned.
By being present during the closing, he or she can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In North Carolina, an attorney is also required.
After the closing, you should make a "to-do" list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a starter checklist to get you started: Cancel water, electricity, gas, lawn care, cable/satellite and other routine utility services.
If the new owner is retaining any of the services, find out how to change the name on the account. Gather all the owner's manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances and heating/cooling equipment to give to the new owner.
Interested in selling a home near Asheville NC?
If you have any questions about selling your home, we invite you to contact our listing specialist, Skye Streppa, at 828-713-5690.
Author: Skye Streppa
January 28th 2016
About Skye: Skye Streppa is an Asheville native who holds a wealth of local knowledge and a depth of character f...