With today's ever-narrowing list of available properties in the market, most people have temporarily taken a break from searching for investment properties. But that break won't last long, as the spring and summer months are fastly approaching, and have been, historically, the city's primetime for property purchases.
That said, if you're a homeowner looking to cash in on an investment you've made in the past, this year should be best for turning that smart steal into solid cash. Moreover, the month of April is probably the best time for you to start scouting for brokers who can help you dispose of your property at the right price tag, and on a timely manner. And even though recent trends show that majority of properties that were available in the past three months closed above seller's asking price, it's still a very volatile market out there, and it's better to be safe than sorry in prepping your property for a purchase. So, if you're thinking of selling your home in today's highly competitive market, you'll need to avoid some of the rookie mistakes most suffer from.
OPEN HOUSE AND PREVIEW Hosting an open house is one of the most popular ways to let people know that you're home is for sale. There are, however, certain instances when they can be a big mistake. Contrary to popular belief, hosting lots and lots of open houses is not good. Very often, open houses are used as an expression that you are doing something, or hosting something special. It's an event. If you have an event that constantly happens, it loses its allure and spectacle. They have to be well planned and there should be a reason for them, like a considerable drop in price or to show off an update, addition, or repair you've made to your place. If they are not well utilized, they can be a waste of your time, and reduce your audience's excitement and expectations. Also, you tend to have a lot of timewasters coming, which can make your home look like a shopworn and unwelcoming. The point: make your open house as special as you can, and consult with your broker what are the best events that coincide with your open house.
This being the case, it's often inconvenient to ensure the property is always available for showings. When it comes to setting appointments, sellers often make the mistake of being inflexible. Compared to any other age group, buyers belonging to the younger 26-34 age bracket are the most likely to purchase a home in the next two years. These are young professionals who work long hours and have limited spare time. Not showing your house in the evening is like sending away a big chunk of your market. Make time to entertain them and respond positively to their preview requests.
Like we said last week, one pitfall to property selling is being too close to heaven which, in this case, is the seller. Don't hang around like a bad smell during the open house and preview; it makes buyers uncomfortable. Buyers need to see themselves living in your home without you lingering. They need to "feel" the house as if they are already living there. Remember that they won't be able to do this with you there, watching their every move, making the leap of imagination all but possible.
THE NEGOTIATION A major mistake sellers make when they put their house up for sale starts with their language. How would you feel about a seller, or real estate broker who says, "the price is firm"? It conveys many things in one breath. It says, that they are unreasonable. It also says that their home is overpriced. Most importantly, it says that they have laid out an "unwelcome mat".
And even though negotiating can be really stressful, especially when it deals with something as important as what your home is worth, having an open mind about deals is important and crucial to both prospective buyers and yourself. A big mistake sellers make is not considering every offer presented, even the low ball ones, and possibly insulting offers. The way people bid has nothing to do with the property itself, so you need to allow for people's differing styles. You should consider every bid, and offer a counter bid. You should never take a bid personally, it isn't meant that way. Granted, there are wise guys out there, but more often than not the bidder will move up, they just want to get the ball in the air as low as they can. Negotiate and don't neglect - that is the golden rule for a considerably lucrative closing.
Many sellers refuse the first offer, which can also be a big mistake. First bids often create a sense of confidence in the seller. They think that if one person has bid, there will surely be more and better bids to follow. Historically, the very first bid you get is often the best one you will get. But the tides have turned, and this no longer applies. HOWEVER, this doesn't mean that you should completely snub the offer, since getting buyers to bid ups the ante for you, and essentially brings in the big buyers with the buzz that your home is making on the market.
HOME INTERIORS We all have it, that leaky faucet, or the doorknob on the back door that needs repair. If you're selling your home, you need to know how much these minor things matter. Always remember that buyers have something you don't have: a fresh pair of eyes. They see things that you don't see anymore. With this, ask your broker to spend a little time in your humble abode to observe these "small things" and make every feasible and possible change you can make. If your concern is not that you don't have the budget for it, then consider it as a pre-payment for your sale since buyers will definitely ask for these repairs to be made before they sign on the the dotted line. Either way, the buyer will want compensation for every little defect and will negotiate your price down, essentially getting you to pay for those repairs yourself anyway, but by their terms. It is better to have everything fixed beforehand when you can control what it is going to cost.
We all take pride in our homes, we like artwork on the walls and we like to be surrounded by photos of people we love. In fact we think these things give the house plenty of appeal to visitors. This is a mistake when it comes to selling. People need to visualize how they can make the space their own. Get rid of your photos and replace the art you have with something more neutral and pleasing to everyone. Do not impose your taste on your prospective buyers: this, in our experience, is something that every seller seem to overlook.
PRECIOUS PETS Pets are a big no-no when it comes to sellers. No matter how precious or cute they look, they have to be taken away, or hidden during property previews. And as much as buyers smile and say, "cute dog", they are gritting their teeth and don't want the dog in the way when they are looking at a new home. Also, take note that even though you're probably immune to it already, animals leave odors in your home. People think a house with animals is less clean, even if that is not the case. If you can hide or ditch the pets, do. Trust us, it will have a more negative impact than you think.
Thinking of listing your property? Contact us now for a risk-free consultation. We'll even valuate your home for FREE! Call us at (617) 505-1781 now!