COMMON SELLER MISTAKES
Over the years we’ve seen a lot of seller mistakes. Some of these mistakes are more costly than others, and some are repeated more often than most. Virtually all of them are unnecessary, and each and every one is a good reason to have an experienced Realtor working for you.
1. Setting The Price Too High
Setting the price too high is a classic seller mistake. This very common mistake happens for a number of reasons. Sometimes the cause is pride of ownership, but more often the seller is setting a price based on what he or she needs out of the sale, as opposed to the market value of the home. If the price is set too high it will discourage offers.
Moreover, in a down market, an inflated price on day one of the listing is even more inflated after a week or two have gone by. Not only is the asking price not tracking the market it’s becoming more out of line as each day goes by. Most sellers though refuse to set their initial asking price at a level which will invite offers and is representative of the market.
A home which stays on the simply because it’s over priced will quickly become “stale” and difficult to sell even if the price is subsequently lowered. The solution is simple. Always get a comparative market analysis before you set the asking price.
This leads us into mistake number two.
2. Refusing To Lower The Asking Price On A Reasonable And Timely Basis
Sellers who have set their asking price above the market value, will also invariably fail to adjust their price appropriately. Instead of pricing to sell, these sellers will only grudgingly reduce their asking price and never by an amount large enough to make their home a worthwhile buy. As a result they find themselves chasing the market and never getting a serious offer. In the end, this seller will loose more money than if they had simply priced their home correctly in the beginning. It may sound trite, but the market really does set the price.
3. Rejecting The First Offer
Too many times a seller will be suspicious of the first offer they receive. We’ve all heard statements like “I must have priced my home too cheaply” or “If I hold out I’ll get more money.” or “I just listed my property, and I don’t want to take the first offer.” These reactions and others similar in nature, generally cause the first offer to be rejected. In down markets this is a clear mistake. Each day that passes the buyer’s alternative choices are increasing and the seller’s bargaining position becomes weaker. In times of rising interest rates the buyer’s purchasing power is decreasing as times passes.
Assuming the home was priced correctly in the first place. The plain fact is the first offer is more often than not the best offer. Think about it this way. A home which has just been listed can more easily be perceived as a desirable “discovery” by a serious buyer than a home that’s been on the market for weeks.
The longer a property sits, the less desirable it appears. In fact, a buyer’s first question usually is, “How much?” and the second question is “How long has it been on the market?” If you get a first offer, at or near your asking price, it’s probably because you’ve priced your home correctly. If you feel the need, recheck the comparable sales, but don’t reject the offer out of hand. Which brings us to the next common seller mistake.
4. Becoming Offended By Low Offers – Refusing To Counter
It’s surprising how many people will become so offended by a low offer they refuse to counter. There are a couple of good reasons why this is a mistake. If a seller has “an offer on the property” they are by definition in a stronger position with other potential buyers. The property is seeing action and there is the potential of getting a “buzz” started. Used properly, even “low ball” offers can instill a sense of urgency.
Moreover, a low starting offer may be the buyer’s way of testing the market and may not say anything about what the buyer is actually willing to pay. A seller is rarely hurt by responding to an offer. Low ball offers are not unusual following a down market, especially a down market that has lasted for any significant length of time.
5. Carelessly Selecting A Buyer
It’s important to pay attention to the buyer’s ability to complete the purchase. The buyer should be pre-qualified by his lender, and should have a reasonable down payment. Between two otherwise equally qualified buyers, the buyer whose offer is contingent upon selling their own property represents more risk than the buyer without contingencies. This is especially true in a down market where the buyer may not be able to sell his home for the price he wants.
6. Not Presenting The Home Effectively
A cluttered home or a home which needs repairs or paint fails to communicate desirability and in some instances can even signal to the buyer to reduce their offer. Fresh paint (neutral colors), clean windows and clean floors and carpets can work wonders. Cut the grass, and pull the weeds. A few flowers inside and out always seem to help.
When it comes to furniture, a little less may be better. Less furniture will cause a room to look and feel larger. That’s a good thing. Some agents dislike using a home stager, but the results can be really good, so long as the stager has some talent and the cost isn’t too great.
If you’re thinking about listing your home for sale and would like to get a free comparative market analysis do not hesitate to give me a call.
OTHER INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE INFORMATION SOURCES
- Full Service Property Management In Orange County California A informative website presented by OC Property Management providing usefull information to both landlords and tenants.
- RISMedia Media Center Video presentations of timely real estate topics.
- Real Estate Today Radio The premier online real estate radio station.
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