an agent that promises you the highest price
decide to sell your home, many people start the
process by interviewing several real estate agents.
The most important question is always "what do
you think my home is worth?" In your
exuberance to get the most money out of your home, you
hire the agent that promises you the highest
when you know it is unrealistic. You have just fallen
for a common real estate practice known as "buying
a listing" (more here)
My advice: Check actual comparables and avoid falling into the
trap of listing with an agent who promises to sell
your home for an unrealistic price.
You will be far better off
listing your home for a realistic price than letting
it idle on the market as an over-priced property. If you
do feel an agent is suggesting an unrealistic
see active and sold comps in your neighborhood
that justify the suggested price.
for three recent sold references (sales in the
last six months)
Ask the agent to print out his/her sales, active listings, and expired
listings. Check if there were massive price cuts
or if the home had been on the market for an
unusually long period of time.
pricing or over valuing your home
Many buyers feel that they
already know the value of their home. In some cases,
this is because a home in the neighborhood sold for
"X" last year, or perhaps they feel their home is
has many more desirable features than the other home
that sold recently.
My advice: Get a reality check !
Forget about what your neighbor's home sold for
a year ago. Rely on honest comparables
combined with current market statistics to set the initial price
for your home.
|3. Not preparing the home properly
One of the steps to
selling is to prepare the home properly for showings. Many sellers
believe buyers may be
impressed with their kid's trophies, fishing lure
collection, or family photos. In reality, the cleaner
and less cluttered the home is, the more specious it
will appear and the more buyers will be able to visualize themselves in the home.
My advice: Prepare the home for showing !
is one tip that all the professionals would agree on and I
think is an obvious one. Treasures to you may be junk to
others, so de-clutter and de-personalize. Just get all that
"stuff "out of there!
Once the clutter is gone, it is always a good idea to
have your home professionally cleaned and have the
carpets shampooed. I will be happy to walk the home
with you and help you "stage" it for
showings. I may also suggest several inexpensive
changes you can make to update the home, such as
removing dated wall paper, painting kitchen cabinets,
or changing wall colors. For additional tips, see
my page on home preparation here: 10
4. Making the
home difficult to show
You are interested in
selling, right? Yet some sellers heavily restrict
showing days or times, or they do not check their messages
frequently enough to confirm showing
My advice: Make
your home easy to show !
While most buyers tour
homes over the weekend, there may be some requests for
alternate showing times due to work schedules, etc. Be flexible
and accommodating with showing times. Also, agents
will typically phone you in advance for showing appointments, so
make sure you check your phone messages frequently to
avoid "surprise" showings.
home during showings or giving buyers a "guided
Being home during a
buyer showing is generally considered to be a
"no-no". To make matters worse, some sellers
feel they need to act as a tour guide for the buyers
and point out every wonderful feature, upgrade, or
repair they have done to the home. Both of these
actions should be avoided.
My advice: Step out while the buyers and their agent are in your
This is a good time to
take the dog for a walk! Buyers really do prefer to
view the home alone with their agent and they consider
the presence of the sellers to be intimidating and
Not accepting the first offer
Many sellers are wary
of the first offer that comes in, feeling that either
the price is too low or that the offer came in too
quickly. They often think that better offers are
sure to follow. I have seen sellers smugly turn this
offer away, only to contact this buyer again weeks
later when no new offers have come in.
My advice: Your
first offer may very well be the best one !
In many cases your
first offer may be from a buyer who has been anxiously
looking for a home like yours. It is far better to try
to work with the buyer than to assume better offers
will follow (a "bird in the hand", so to speak).
by an offer
real estate can be an extremely emotional business. I have
had many transactions in which the seller was
"offended" by my buyer's offer, even when
there were no other offers on the
table. In one case, I was told to "not to bother
to even send in another offer form this buyer"
(absurd!). As it happened, this seller called me a few
weeks later to ask, "was our original offer was
advice: Do not drive off a potentially solid buyer
by letting your emotions get the better of you !
your emotions in check! An
offer is an offer -- Treat it as a business transaction,
not as some negative reflection of you or your home. Many
buyers are simply trying to get a good deal (as you would, if
you were buying). Show your sincere appreciation for the offer and your
willingness to compromise by responding with a
reasonable counter offer. The buyer will respect you for it
and chances are they will respond with a much
better second offer.