Following on from our last blog instalment, we take a look at more of the most common mistakes made by sellers when the time comes to sell their own home…
Hopefully, the vendor loves their home. Memories have been made there; occupants have put love and attention into the house. Pride in one’s space is important, yet it is also important to not be blind to a house’s cosmetic flaws and the fact that what appeals to one will not necessarily appeal to another. A vendor should not allow themselves to be too emotional about the sale; haggling on the part of the seller can lose a sale over what are ultimately insignificant monetary amounts, and emotional involvement can stop vendors seeling the bigger picture.
Failure of Full Disclosure
There are laws governing full disclosure on property. As a vendor, you should have your own inspections carried out prior to listing your property on the market. Building flaws, termite infestations, etc are all significant issues which the vendor must disclose to potential buyers: failure to do so, or an attempt to conceal, can not only result in a failure to sell, but may lead to legal action against the vendor.
Sellers need to make themselves aware of the current market and trends prior to listing their home for sale. A home priced too highly will fail to sell. A home priced too low will sell incredibly fast (unless potential buyers wonder what the catch is) and the vendor can cheat themselves out of a significant amount of money for their home. The true value of a home needs to be evaluated without emotional considerations: while it can be hard to learn that one’s home isn’t worth what one had believed, a property is only worth what one is willing to pay.
Being Inflexible or Adversarial
Any vendor should be willing to enter negotiations with a positive attitude. If someone makes an offer that is low, the vendor should never take this personally – the sale of property is purely a business transaction and should be viewed as such. The seller should be prepared with a counteroffer; most serious buyers will come in with a second offer more in line with what they are truly willing to pay. Additionally, be clear at the outset on what is included in the home. For example, the vendor may wish to take the dishwasher with them when they vacate; if the buyer wants the dishwasher left behind and included in the sale, is it really worth losing the sale for that?
Too Long on the Market
A property stalling on the market for a long time can become stigmatised. Overpricing, poor showing, etc can be reasons for this initially, but after awhile, everyone who might wish to view the property has done so. In this circumstance, it is better to remove the listing for a while and re-list it to give it a fresh opportunity to sell at the new asking price and with any cosmetic amendments made.
Next time we will conclude this series with Part 3 on the most common mistakes vendors make when selling their own homes.
How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Sellers Make – Part 1
There are some common errors in judgement which can be made by a vendor wishing to sell their home, and which can be detrimental to the ultimate sale of the property. While many real estate agents will place “Not Using an Agent” at the top of the list of these potential errors, this need in no way be the case. As long as the vendor goes into the process with the knowledge required and realistic expectations of how the process of selling will unfold, there is no reason why a property can’t be sold for a premium and in a timely fashion without the added expense of agent commissions. So below is a guideline of things for a vendor to avoid when selling their property, in no particular order:
Limiting Accessibility of Buyers
It is said that the most crucial time for a new property listing is the first two to three weeks; a vendor needs to expect to be, during this time and during the marketing process, at the buyer’s mercy. The home needs to be available for viewing at the convenience of the buyer, not the seller – which will have an impact on the current occupants of the home, but “them’s the brakes”. A home too long on the market can become stigmatised and if a vendor wants to sell, they need to be flexible on allowing access of potential buyers to the property.
Unwillingness to Spend a Little
This should be common sense, unless you are marketing your property as a “fixer” and pricing it to suit. Repair anything that is broken, shabby or unsightly. Present the home as you would wish to have it if you were buying.
While not repairing broken fixtures and spiffing the house up to be presentable will lose potential buyers, spending too much on unnecessary improvements will not equate to a relative increase in sale price. While the place may need new carpets, a coat of paint, or a new roof, only undertake other big investments if they are really necessary. Otherwise it may be money leaving your pocket and with no real possibility of recouping it at sale.
Most vendors wish to sell quickly. It’s not a great idea, however, to appear desperate to buyers – they will not only expect they can get the property at “bargain” prices, they may wonder what is wrong with the property that the owner wishes to offload it so quickly. Knowing the market value of the property and having a realistic expectation of the time it will take to sell in the current market are important considerations which should be anticipated before placing the house up for sale.
Next time we will cover part 2 of this article, and the other common mistakes vendors make when selling their own homes.