09 July 2010

Top 5 Mistakes Sellers Make When Listing Their Home and the Solutions

Here on The unRealtor Blog, we are no strangers to helpful real estate advise for sellers, especially when it involves Charleston home sales. That's why today we are going to talk a little bit about the top 5 mistakes that sellers make when listing their home or trying to sell it themselves.

Mistake #1 Trying to Sell the Home Yourself can Be a Bad Idea
Picture This: If you were going cave exploring for the first time, having no prior experience with caves, the tools you will need, what to expect, etc., would you even consider going without a guide? Probably not-afterall, people die in caves when not properly supervised by an expert. Not seeking the advice of an expert when selling your home for the first time is essentially like grabbing a rope from the garage and jumping into a deep hole. You have no idea how dark it is really going to be down there, not to mention all of the creepy crawly creatures waiting to suck out the blood from your inexperienced body. Lucky for you, there aren't any caves in the Charleston area to fall into, but there are traps for an inexperienced home seller. So don't make this mistake, call someone who has been caving a few times and knows what is in store. Subsequently, trying to sell your home on your own before seeking an expert can lead you into all sorts of unexpected problems later, even after enlisting such help. For example, if you've been trying to sell your home on your own for 4 months and asking the wrong price you could compromise the possibilities of an expert getting what you are asking for it later.
Solution: Enlist the assistance of a Pro from the very beginning and keep your sanity.

Mistake #2 Getting Emotionally Attached or Involved
Are you sitting down? Good. Let me be the first to tell you that your home may have been a wonderful place to hang your hat for as long as you've owned it and your memories may be priceless, but there is absolutely no way to transfer these sentiments to a buyer. If you have made the decision to sell your home, stick to it. Yes, your relationship with your environment is an intimate one, but so will the next place you set up shop. Its best to just liken the situation to a mutual breakup- easy to digest and better to never return because it will never be the same. This is ok and your life will continue. Nevertheless, this is another prime reason for why seeking the assistance of a Pro when selling your home is a good idea. Let them do the talking for you. Trying to take potential buyer (a perfect stranger) down memory lane regarding your former home may feel good for you, but it does nothing for the buyer. This is why getting emotionally involved with the selling of your home is dead end path.
Solution: Let your real estate pro do the talking. Try to become excited about where you are going, not where you are coming from.

Mistake #3 Trying to Stage Your Own Open House
Again, if you are going down this path, you better take a detailed map. To be frank, unless you are or were a real estate top producer in your former life, it is best to just let a Pro handle the open houses. I mean, we don't want to make mistake #2, do we? One of the worst possible things you can do while your house is on the market is just hang around trimming hedges and getting to know buyers. Do you really need to know the person who is moving into your old crib? Probably not-unless of course you happen to be the president of the neighborhood association and just moving down the street into another home. The last thing you need is future opportunities to make mistake #2.
Solution: When your home is on the market and there is a scheduled open house, go to the movies.

Mistake #4 Cooking, Getting a New Pet or Burning Anything While Home is on the Market
Charleston is a great place to live and one of the most exciting things that families like to do is invite everyone over for a big meal. This can spell trouble if you decide to do this sort of thing in your home when its on the market. I'm talking about "Going Away Parties," Moving Dinners or the like. Why? Because your house always smells like "something" after you cook. Chances are a potential buyer may not like the smell of fried chicken or bbq ribs when they visit the home. The same goes for that cute and cuddly puppy that you just had to have, thinking it might possibly make the house seem a bit more cozy. Buyers do not care about how cute your puppy is or how your furniture matches your drapes for that matter. If it smells like anything other than a house, you are most likely driving buyers away. Put away the incense and the potpourri and save it for your new place. A person's sense of smell can have a stronger effect on their decision making than their eyes.
Solution: If your home is on the market and it smells like anything, it smells like trouble.

Mistake #5 "What do you mean, my asking price is too much?"
You guessed it! The fifth worst mistake you can make is actually expecting to get your asking price when selling your home. Keep this in mind- Any smart buyer will negotiate, and chances are if you want to actually close the deal, you'll have to play the game according the the laws of negotiation. Many if not most sellers want to list their homes at a price that will attract motivated buyers, while still leaving some breathing room for these sort of negotiations. This is the first move in the game-it allows the buyer to feel like he or she is getting an overall good value and thus, allowing you to get the amount of money you need from the sale. In the end, whether you wind up with less or more than your asking price,it will most likely depend on whether you're in a seller's market or a buyer's market and ultimately on how well you and your real estate Pro have staged your home. Remember that when there is no housing bubble, overpriced homes do not sell.
Solution: Yes, the value is there, but are you willing to come down a little?

When selling your home, remember that complete strangers will come into your home, prod and poke around in your cabinets and closets. Believe me when i tell you that these same strangers will criticize a place that has most likely come to mean far more to you than just four walls and a roof-and then, to top it all off, they will have the nerve to offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With absolutely zero experience and highly complex, emotional transactions on your hands, it's easy for first-time homesellers to make lots of mistakes, yet with a bit of Pro assistance and some educated know-how, most of these seller-pitfalls can be avoided altogether. There is always one way that you can  begin avoiding these mistake and set out to get the highest possible price for your home within a reasonable time frame - without losing your mind. Call SC Property Pros and ask them what you should do. Selling your Charleston home doesn't have to be a nightmare and with the right help, you can sleep well at night.


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