1) Wrong Price: Price is ALWAYS determined by what the market dictates in comparison to all other properties sold of similar value. Sales representatives complete market evaluations on every home to ensure each house is priced properly. If you disregard that advice and feel adamant about setting the price high, be prepared for the house to sit on the market while all the other similar properties get scoped up. After looking at your ‘over-priced' property, all the other houses will seem like a great bargain that can't be passed up. Your neighbours will thank you.
2) As-Is Condition: Buyers walk through houses with a calculator and immediately begin hitting the subtract button with every flaw they find. Before the house goes to market, spend a few extra dollars to bring up the perceived value of the house. A $500 paint job could yield a $1000 increase to your list price, where an unpainted house will result in at least a $1000 reduction.
3) No Curb Appeal: As in dating or job interviews, first impressions are lasting. Houses are often dismissed before the potential buyer has even stepped onto the property. Have a look at what your neighbours have done to improve the look of your house from the street.
4) Leave the Cleaning for the Buyers: Clean, Clean, Clean! If you don't have the time, hire professional cleaners to come in and give your house a thorough cleaning. This is the easiest thing to do, but most often forgotten. Buying a house is always more about ‘feeling' than it is about the actual house. Create a positive ‘feeling' for the buyer by showing a clean house.
5) Over-Improving: It is important to make improvements, but a paint job is drastically different from renovating a bathroom. Buyers rarely receive 100% return on home improvements. The Law of Diminishing Returns states that improvements will yield greater returns up to a certain point. Beyond that point, no additional value is added which means the improvements are actually creating a loss in value in relation to the money invested. Don't spend too much on your improvements before putting the house on the market. Buyers will think the price is reflective of you trying to recover the costs of those lavish improvements.
6) FSBO (For Sale By Owner): For those who believe they can sell their house on their own, do yourself a favour and at least interview a few sales representatives so you know what services you will be missing out on when you go it alone! Be prepared to receive lower offer prices as well as having your house sit on the market for longer periods of time. Please call me so I can go over the pros and cons of selling on your own.
7) Not Leaving the House for Viewings: It is not necessary to leave your house when potential buyers come to visit, but it is strongly recommended that you do. It is hard for buyers to imagine themselves living in a home when the current owners are still in the house. It is very distracting for the buyers as they will be uncomfortable by your presence. They will often leave such viewings without thoroughly evaluating the house. Something they would have done if you were not there.
8) Restricting Viewing Times: If it is too inconvenient for potential buyers to view your house, people won't bother coming. There are plenty of properties on the market and yours will be skipped if the showing times are too restrictive.
9) Fighting for Every Last Dollar: A real estate transaction should be viewed as a peaceful negotiation, not a 12 round heavyweight fight. Selling and buying real estate is a very emotional process and quickly become a negative experience if not kept in perspective. Sellers tend to start high, buyers offer low and the goal is to come to a happy middle ground. It is important to understand that if your house is priced appropriately, there should only be approximately 5% room for negotiation anyway.
10) Don't Respond Quickly to Buyers Offers: The longer you wait to reply to a buyers offer, the more time you give the buyer to think about it and back out of the deal. Don't lose a transaction due to stalling.
If you have any questions on how to avoid all these potential pitfalls when selling a house, I'd love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss it further.
Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don't hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.