7 Costly Mistakes Sellers Often Make

Avoid these 7 mistakes to net the most money on your sale.

Did you know if you are thinking about selling your home you should avoid shortcuts? Avoid these 7 mistakes to net the most money on your sale.
1. Using Cheap and Inferior Finishes
There is nothing worse than a bad remodeling job. If it can’t be done right, don’t do it. Buyers and agents see right through attempts to put frosting on a bad cake — especially when they see the handiwork up close. Cheap laminate or vinyl plank flooring being passed off as “wood,” homegrown paint jobs on grainy oak cabinets, “faux” granite countertops, and partially updated appliances often don’t translate into a top dollar for a seller.
2. Not Replacing Older Systems
A seller might think it is totally acceptable to sell a home with an original roof, home ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system, or a water heater. That is fine if the list price of the home reflects a fixer price and accommodates the old systems that are in the home. But if the list price is comparable to properties that have new systems already in the home, a seller can expect to account for these deficiencies when an offer is made reflective of the items that need to be replaced, or once the home inspection happens and the buyer wants a credit or discount in the sales price to accommodate for these deficiencies. What’s even worse is the potential for the deal to fall apart because the buyers start to get cold feet and feel as if they are buying a money pit — and walk away. Now the seller has to deal with these issues as they are likely to come up again for the next buyer, which might entail them having to replace the items to get the home sold. This has the potential to jinx the momentum of the sales process — and as a result, lower the sales price.
3. Selling a Home with Anticipated Deal-Breakers
Omitting property information that can affect the value and the sale of the home is undermining the sale of the property. Disclose, disclose, disclose. As a seller, you want to disclose everything you know about your home upfront. Whether it is an unpermitted addition, a toilet that over-flowed years ago that caused mold remediation to severe items like a cracked slab or roof leaks. As a seller, disclosing everything you know about your property--both good and bad—will help you realize the highest price possible and not leave you exposed to legal repercussions.
4. Being Reluctant to Negotiate or Turning Down Offers
Sellers who either reject or won’t negotiate an offer often sell for much less later. We call it the $20,000 rule. We’ve seen more transactions fall apart when both parties were literally around $20,000 apart in a negotiation. Neither side was willing to budge. The sellers felt they were giving the house away, and the buyers felt their number was the max they were willing to pay for the house. Who really wins? The buyer wins because he can go out and find another home. The seller has now bought their home back for the difference in the negotiations plus the ongoing carrying costs.
5. Overpricing or Chasing the Market
This tactic can be costly. Overpricing is sure to alienate and discourage buyers from either looking at your home and/or making an offer. Chasing the Market is when a seller goes on the market at what at that moment is the market case scenario. But that is not necessarily what is the compelling price at that point in time on the market. The old-school approach of “they can always make an offer” is outdated thinking and won’t produce the intended result. Buyers and agents will avoid the home and simply won’t show it. By the time the sellers start to believe the reality, six months have passed and they have lost critical timing and are chasing the market. In the meantime, better and increased inventory that is well-priced at that moment in the market becomes available for buyers to choose over your property.
6. DIYing Home Repairs
Some sellers try to do their own repairs and improvements because they want to save money or because they think they can do it better than a licensed professional. That is all fine until it comes time to sell their house. Expect those items to be scrutinized by buyers, their agents, and inspectors. Sellers might not be able to address something on their own simply because they have the knowledge to do so. The very thing they built or fixed might need to be redone by the appropriate professional. Correcting DIY can be costly.

7. Not Having a Move-Out Strategy
There is nothing worse than sellers attempting to handle moving out on their own. Unexpected issues such as packing up more than you anticipated, moving truck problems, leaving your house clean and completely empty, just to name a few, can make the final walk-through a nightmare. This entails calling in miracle workers who can take care of issues on a rush basis, becoming costly to you. Having a Move-Out Check List, including contacts for moving, storage, cleaning, and utility services ensures you are out and ready for the final walk-through. What was the seller really saving? Was it worth it to have created so much stress for everyone involved? Ask your agent to provide you with a Move Out Check List and contacts for moving, storage, cleaning, and facilitation companies to ensure you are out, and the house is ready for its new owner.

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