Top Home Selling Mistakes

Top Home Selling Mistakes

and How to Avoid Them

Even in a seller’s market, there are things you can and should do to accommodate potential buyers. It can be challenging to set your personal beliefs about your home aside in order to see things from a buyer’s point of view, but that’s exactly the kind of thinking it takes to successfully sell your home. Read on for common seller mistakes that can cost you $$$ – and how to avoid these issues during the sale of your property.

The most common mistakes sellers make, according to Real Estate experts:

  1. Overpricing the Home
  2. Lack of Showing Availability
  3. Clutter
  4. Unpleasant Odors
  5. Deferred Maintenance

PRICE IT RIGHT

price

Ultimately, the price your home will be listed at is up to you. When you choose to work with an experienced Realtor, choose someone you can trust – and trust their ability to research an accurate Current Market Analysis (CMA) on your behalf. Even in a strong market, it is possible to overprice a home – making your property less attractive to buyers, causing the sale of your home to take longer, and probably costing you money in the end.

SHOW IT TO SELL IT

No matter what the market is like, every single showing could be the one that got away. Your Realtor’s job is to help you sell your time in a timely fashion, for the highest price possible. The more showings your property has, the faster it will sell. If your home lingers on the market because your big scary dog couldn’t be moved for showing appointments, or you didn’t feel like taking showings on a Saturday, the final price of your sale could take a hit; buyers will wonder why your home lingered in a hot marketplace, and adjust their offer accordingly.

SCALE BACK YOUR STUFF

Clutter

If all buyers see upon entering your home is a parade of collectibles, family portraits going back 25 years or piles-upon-piles of any kind of stuff, they won’t be able to picture themselves in your home. You don’t have to stage your home to sell it (although staging can positively impact the sales price of your home), but you should box up obvious clutter, tone down any taste-specific decor, and remove all but a bare minimum of family portraits. Buyers aren’t looking for your home – they’re looking for their home – and you need to get out of the way so they can picture themselves living there.

UNPLEASANT ODORS 

The sense of smell is one of our most powerful connections to memory, and there is nothing pleasant about stinky litter boxes, wet dog, indoor smoking or even certain strong cooking odors. Yuck! You don’t have to banish Fido or stop using your kitchen, but you should do everything in your power to minimize or eliminate odors. Consider having your carpets and furniture cleaned, hire professional cleaners to freshen the place up, use natural deodorizers like lemon, vinegar and baking soda, and give your house a good airing out on a nice day. Don’t spray gallons of noxious scented air freshener or burn flowery candles in every room; these are dead giveaways of an odor problem. Do buy a few bottles of unscented Febreze and lightly spray in affected areas of your home before work or a few minutes before a scheduled showing, if you are home. Ultimately, flooring and other surfaces affected by pets, etc., are likely to come up in sales negotiation. If you have furry family members and they make messes, you may pay a bit of a premium at the negotiating table. Don’t let your pets (or smoking or cooking) stink out potential buyers, and do be prepared for it to cost you a few bucks when you sell.

PROJECTS LEFT UNDONE

honey-do

Some homeowners keep meticulous files on every major appliance and system in their home, conducting maintenance at regular intervals and noting exactly what happened when, from furnace filter replacement to blowing out the dryer vent. The rest of us… well – not everybody is so on top of it. You may not change your furnace filter quite as often as you should, or fix a leaking faucet the day you spot the drip-drip-drip, but you should take care of minor maintenance issues before listing your home for sale. When buyers come across non-working appliances, broken sprinkler heads, cracked windows, etc. – they wonder what else you haven’t kept up with. Don’t give buyers a reason to cross your home off their list or lower their offer over home maintenance fears. Either tackle the honey-do list yourself, or hire a handyman to do it. Don’t assume the buyer will be happy to overlook minor issues with your home because you have. Would you buy a car with a flat tire or cracked rear view mirror? Probably not – and buyers won’t want the bother of completing chores you’ve been avoiding for months or more, either.

The cool thing about selling your home is – it isn’t rocket science! But it does help you net more for your home to work with an experienced professional who knows the market where you live, knows how to help you prepare for a sale, and can negotiate a deal that benefits both your timeline and your bottom line. It also makes a difference to check items like this off your list before you invite buyers through the door.

Call me or drop a line – I’m happy to give you the information you need to successfully buy, sell or invest in the greater Denver home marketplace.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

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Why your Home Isn’t Selling

Believe it or not, any home will sell in any market – at the right price. Most of the time when showings lapse or a home languishes on the market while other homes sell, price is the answer, and a price adjustment is the fix. The Denver Real Estate market is one of the hottest in the country, and right now Sellers are experiencing some of the lowest days on the market we’ve seen in a few years – and properly priced homes are selling within a percentage or two of list price, typically.

WHY

But what if your house isn’t selling? Let’s take a look at common barriers to getting your house sold when price is not the culprit:

  • The house is all about you – and Buyers can’t envision themselves living there. You should truly live in your home while you own it, and that includes hanging pictures of your family and pets, displaying mementos of travel and favorite memories, and painting your dining room scarlet red and apple green, if that’s what you’re into. Once your house is on the market, part of your job as the seller is to help the Buyer see themselves in your home; that includes removing personal artifacts like family photos, sports memorabilia, religious items, overly taste-specific paint colors and clutter. Sellers who haven’t done this tend to wait longer for a sale and accept a lower price.
  • Location matters. I once had clients buy a beautiful home in Parker with a long view onto green space, fields and trees. A few years down the road, their lovely view turned into Chambers Road in Parker – now a major thoroughfare hosting a significant amount of traffic. The location of their home was still good, but when it came time to sell, Buyers absolutely factored the location near a major road into their offer. This issue couldn’t be controlled, but if you can buy a home in an ideal location, do it. You can make changes and upgrades to a so-so home, but you can’t pick it up and move it to a better location.
  • The Floor Plan feels UNplanned. Consumer taste in floor plans can change over time. Some people love open concept, some people would rather have a separate, formal dining room than one large great room. If your home has a choppy floor plan though, it may take longer to sale and your price should reflect the desirability of your style of home. You don’t have to call in a contractor to fix it – but you do have to be realistic about what Buyers will pay if your floor plan is less than ideal.
  • The house is in obvious need of TLC.  Fix-and-flip shows are fun to watch on HGTV, but not every Buyer is willing (or financially able) to make a variety of repairs or updates to a newly purchased home; some Buyers prefer a move-in-ready property, and if your home needs work or feels rough around the edges, it may take longer to sell, and the final price is likely to reflect the condition of the house. Do what you can to bring your house up to snuff, and if there are issues in need of a little love from the next owner, be prepared to pay for them through a lower sales price.
  • Buyers are turning up their noses – literally. If your home features any sort of unpleasant odor, for any reason, take care of it before you put your home on the market. You don’t have to get rid of the cats, but do perform litter box duty daily, and invest in a plug in air filter for that space. If you have dogs or diapers or musty smells lurking, use unscented Febreze on carpet, furniture and other fabric surfaces daily. Don’t try to cover up smells with perfumed sprays or candles though; litter box + Forest Meadow still smells like litter box, and you’re not fooling anybody. Try this cool trick: pour a splash of vanilla or almond extract (or both) into an oven safe dish and bake at 375 degrees for a few minutes. After turning off the oven, leave the door open to allow the aroma to waft through the space. Your whole house will smell like you’ve been baking for a few hours.
  • Your house is giving Buyers the cold (or hot!) shoulder. For winter showings, crank up the thermostat a couple of degrees beyond where you normally set it. In the summer, run the AC and/or fans throughout the house to welcome Buyers in from the heat. The physical comfort level in your home can either enhance the viewing experience for Buyers, or distract from it. A cold and drafty house is a turnoff for Buyers, and so is a hot and stuffy house. Help them remember your house as “the cozy one” or “the cool one,” depending on the season.

Are you thinking about spiffing up your digs in preparation for a spring Listing? Call the Meyers Group. We’re here to help you sell your Denver area home for top dollar on the timeline that fits your needs.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Who’s in Charge Around Here, Anyway?

price tag

So you’re ready to list your house, and you know, deep down, that your house is worth at least $xxx,xxx. Minimum. And probably more! That’s fantastic – good luck with that! But wait a minute – who really sets the sales price? 

Before you call me out for trying to boss you around (this is YOUR house, after all), hear me out. When push comes to shove, the Seller is ultimately in charge when it comes to settling on a Listing Price. What the Seller will not be able to control, however, is whether the house will actually sell for anywhere near that price.

So who IS in charge around here? The answer is part art, part science and all about the state of the market. There is definitely more to pricing a home than picking an attractive number out of the air.

Determining Comparable Listings is the first step in building a fact-based sales price, and the ability to find and select valid comparable homes, or “comps,” is a skill that is learned initially, but grows with experience. Ideal comps are those that have actually sold, not just the current listing competition.  One four bedroom house might seem equal to another four bedroom house in the same neighborhood, but what if one has a two car garage and one just a single, or one has a finished basement and the other is unfinished. The yard, location and condition of the property can also come into play. The value of a listed comp vs. a sold comp are definitely not equal – the listing price of a home may be far removed from the final sales price, which is why sold properties make for the truest, fairest comparable home when determining price.

Every neighborhood is different, and knowledge of current trends also plays a role in setting a viable Listing Price. Is the neighborhood up and coming? Are there plans for road construction nearby in the near future? Has the neighborhood school recently won a prestigious award? Factors like this can have a subtle but noteworthy effect on home prices in a given neighborhood.

But what if time is on your side? Even if you are in no hurry to sell, you’ll start to tire of the process if your home lingers on the market. And there is definitely an expiration date for the price on your home if it hasn’t sold yet. Consider this – studies show that no matter the state of the market, the first two weeks of your sale are vital. If your property is overpriced, you will quickly lose the interest of buyers currently on the market and have to rely on new buyer traffic, which is a trickle compared to the larger group of buyers in the pool when your home is first listed. Even if you’ve got all the time in the world, be flexible and be willing to price it right.

Are you thinking about selling in this hot market? There are 6,000 fewer properties on the market right now than were for sale this time last year, and buyers are keen to find the right home – maybe yours!

Call me or drop a line – I’m here to help you price your listing right or find your next dream home at the best possible price in this market.

Jack Meyers
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate