Ego can play a huge role in the home sales process and is something we coach our sellers to keep in check when they decide to sell their home. Unbridled ego kills more deals and takes money out of the seller’s pocket.
8 Mistakes Home Sellers Make
Let’s take a look at some of the more common mistakes home sellers make that take money out of their pocket or blow up their deal.
#1: Resist Making Basic Repairs
You may have grown accustomed to the water stained ceiling, leaky shower head, or leaking pipes. But, a buyer sees another expense added to an already expensive purchase. Buyers will discount your price to cover their cost and time to correct the deferred maintenance, even if you have already taken that into account when you priced your home. Spending a relatively small amount of money – especially as compared to the amount of money you will receive – to fix the minor deficiencies found in your home will help you get top dollar.
#2: Neglecting the Backyard
Curb appeal sells homes and a neglected backyard can damage that great first impression. Austin residents enjoy outdoor living; it’s an integral part of their lifestyle. For many families, the backyard is another living room and they view it with a critical eye. If you are using it as a storage area or debris dump, clean it up. Prepare your backyard as you would stage the front yard and interior of your home. Grass or appropriately attractive ground cover, plants and flowers, trimmed trees especially around windows are all plusses. Buyers are comparative shoppers. Ask yourself, how does your home measure up to the others on the market?
#3: Disguising or Concealing Defects
Texas law requires a home seller disclose defects and deficiencies. The concept is simple and straight-forward: if you are wondering whether to disclose something or not, disclose it. No if, and or but about it! You must disclose everything you are aware of and those things that you should be aware of. Even those renovations that you did a while back without a building permit. You live there and you know the home better than anyone else. Remember the buyer will have the home professionally inspected and will learn about the problems at some point. A buyer who may have initially loved your home can get very testy upon discovering “all those little things” they didn’t know about and now have to fix. And, of course, there is your risk of legal liability for years to come.
#4: Negotiating Emotionally
Don’t view an offer as a personal insult. It’s a business proposal. Use your head, not your ego. If you don’t like the buyer’s offer, counter it. Instead of telling a buyer what you won’t take, tell them what you will accept. Keep the ball rolling, advance the process and look for common ground. Search for other ways to get you to where you want to go. Often times buyers don’t make their best offer at first, but they will eventually get closer to your price than you might think. With no response, you’ll never know what their max is.
#5: Refusing to De-Clutter
Clutter makes a home look smaller, dirtier, darker and detracts from your home’s visual appeal. De-personalize your house and give a buyer an unfettered look. Let the buyer have an opportunity to mentally place their furnishings and move-in. With little effort you can protect your equity. Prepare for your move by packing and moving most of your stuff out. If you don’t want to get rid of your stuff, move it to a storage space. The few hundred dollars you’ll pay for the storage space will pay for itself over and over.
#6: Overpricing You Home
Homes that are overpriced sit on the market and ultimately sell for less than they would have if they were priced right from the start. How do you know your home is overpriced? In this market, your home is overpriced when it has been on the market for more than 30 days and showings have declined to a trickle.
Real estate markets are hyper-local. It does not matter what homes in other neighborhoods sold for and what homes in different price ranges sold for. To get a true sense of the value of your home you look to the similar homes in your neighborhood and price range that sold within the past 90 days only. Then, realistically compare how your home measures up as a buyer might see it. The bottom line is buyers determine value and sellers set asking prices.
#7: Restricting Accessibility
Another common reason why homes don’t sell in a timely fashion are severe restrictions on showing times. You are shooting yourself in the foot by limiting showings to a very narrow window. For example, relocation buyers have time pressures and may not be as flexible as a homeowner can be. Be as accommodating as reasonably possible with showing requests. More restrictions means fewer buyers will see your home, which ultimately means fewer offers.
#8: Using Amateurish Photography and Videography
In today’s Austin real estate market, a home buyer’s first look at your home is online. They will decide which homes to tour from the photos and videos they see on the web. Think of it as “online curb appeal.” It’s one way a buyer decides whether to go into your home. The biggest non-starter of home selling are amateurish video and photos. Great listing photos and video get the greatest number of buyers in the door. Professional photography and videography is essential, vital, critical…you get my point. This is not a place to compromise. We see unprofessional photos and videos in at least 50% of listings. Make sure yours isn’t one.
Need to Sell Your Austin Home for Top Dollar?
Hire an Austin Realtor who will protect your equity, fight for your price and show you how to get top dollar for your home. Our team has the best home marketing plan in Austin and is guaranteed to get sellers more for their homes. Check out our Austin Home Sellers page to learn more about the best home selling system in Austin. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Seller Survey to get started.
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