Critical Mistake No. 1
Choosing the wrong realtor, or choosing your realtor for the wrong reasons.
It may be likely that you do not interview people very often. And even if you do, finding the realtor who is right for you is difficult at best. The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the person best qualified.
In most instances, an agent with a history of success will consistently generate more leads for your home. Bringing that experience to bear on your transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, with a minimum amount of inconvenience to you.
The world is populated with realtors who are wrong for you. The sale of your home could well be the most important financial transaction you ever make. It certainly will be the most emotional. The agent you select can make it a satisfying and profitable experience, or an unpleasant one, especially if they are part-time or have not closed on many homes. It’s your home and your money. The choice of your realtor is up to you. It is in your best interest to make that selection carefully. The biggest mistake that a home seller can make is choosing the realtor who quotes them the highest price. An agent needs to be skilled and confident enough to give his or her honest opinion. An agent who gives you an estimated price dramatically higher than other agents is usually doing so in an effort to “buy” your listing.
Critical Mistake No. 2
Signing a listing contract with an individual vs. a team.
An agent may have good intentions about marketing your home, but circumstances can change and they may not deliver what they promise. A change in the agent’s personal life may lead to other commitments with a change in his or her priorities or the agent may not be a full time realtor. If you are unsatisfied, the broker may offer to assign your listing to another agent in the office, an agent whom you did not select personally. You are safeguarded against the possibility of this costly and awkward situation with Al Filippone Associates. With over forty skilled, well-trained and experienced agents, the ultimate in service is just a phone call away.
Critical Mistake No. 3
Believing that a re-fi appraisal is the market value of your home.
An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose. If the lender wants to lend you money, they may estimate a slightly inflated value for your home in order to justify the equity that they have in it. Keep in mind that, very often, the appraiser never sets foot in the houses that he or she compares to yours. The appraiser may ignore foreclosure or distress sales in order to justify a higher value. But a real buyer in the real world will not ignore these properties. They are your competitors when you try to sell.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the value you were told six months ago when you refinanced your home is what a real buyer would pay today. Ask your realtor for all the solds in your area, then decide. There are many opinions but only one set of facts. Insist on the facts!
Critical Mistake No. 4
Most sellers want to realize as much money as possible when they sell their home. But a listing price that is too high often procures less than if you priced your home at or slightly above market value. If your house is not priced competitively, we will know within the first few weeks of its market time. Buyers looking in your price range will opt for houses that are larger, more updated or in more commanding locations at the same price. Also, buyers that should be looking at your home will not see it because it is priced higher than they want to spend. Overpricing usually increases time on the market, and that adds to the carrying costs! Ultimately, many over-priced properties sell below market value. Once you truly comprehend these principles, you will understand how to sell your home for the highest price.
Critical Mistake No. 5
Failing to “Showcase” your home properly.
Buyers look for homes, not houses, and they buy the home in which they would like to live. Owners who fail to make the necessary repairs, who don’t spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping, and keep it clean and neat, chase buyers away as rapidly as agents can bring them.
The most prudent way in which to accomplish the look that will attract the most buyers is through a professional home staging service. The in-house staging service offered at Al Filippone Associates, afainteriors, is the most accomplished service in the area.
If you were selling your car, you would wash it or maybe even detail it to get the highest price. Houses are no different.
Critical Mistake No. 6
Limiting the marketing and exposure of your home.
The two most obvious marketing tools (magazine and newspaper ads) are only moderately effective. Advertising studies show that only 2% of buyers actually purchase their home through print advertising.
The right realtor will employ a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones that they believe will work best for you. At Al Filippone Associates, we utilize the power of the most highly trafficked websites for real estate search and an in-depth venue of social networking.
Critical Mistake No. 7
Making it difficult for realtors to show your home.
The nuances involved in selling a home are more intriguing and complicated than they appear. The one potential buyer that does not get to view your home on any particular day is the one person who often buys another home that very day. It is imperative that the procedure involved in showing your home is as uncomplicated as your competition’s.
If you are in an area or price range where the norm for showing other houses is less complicated than it is for showing yours, your home will lose showings and ultimately sell for less money.
Critical Mistake No. 8
Using the “Hard Sell” during showings.
Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to “try on” a house to see if it is comfortable to them. It is difficult for them to do that when the homeowner is present. It may even have the opposite effect by making them feel that they are intruding on your private space. If it is not possible to leave when your home is being shown, it is in your best interest to resist the temptation to interact with potential buyers. If you make yourself scarce, it will be much more difficult for them to ask you questions and involve you in conversation that may not be to your advantage. The buyer(s)’ agent can always phone me with any questions that they may have about your home.
Critical Mistake No. 9
Attempting to sell your home on your own.
A qualified buyer is one who is ready, willing and able to buy your home. Eighty-five percent of those who look at For Sale by Owners are just beginning to think about moving and have “frozen equity”. They are usually at least 6-9 months away from purchasing. They don’t want to bother an agent yet, so they call the By Owner ads to get a feel for what’s available. They may have a house to sell first, need to save more money, or may have poor credit. Another ten percent cannot afford houses in the price range in which they are shopping. When For Sale by Owner shoppers are actually ready and capable of buying, that’s when they begin to look with an agent. Your home will be more accessible to potential buyers if you list it with a realtor, remember Critical Mistakes 5, 6 & 7. An agent will qualify buyers, determine their available funds for down payment, assess the value of the buyer(s)’ present home and ask many other qualifying questions. A good realtor also has expertise in determining if your home is appropriate for their buyer. But unless a realtor determines these facts first, your valuable time will be consumed by “window shoppers” who plan on moving one day in the distant future. Over the past twelve months, the percentage of homes that successfully closed via the For Sale By Owner route was at an all time low.
Critical Mistake No. 10
Not adjusting your list price when the market resists it.
An appraisal or market analysis is simply an opinion of value. One opinion may have more substance and empirical data to support it than another, nevertheless it is nothing more than a hypothesis – an intelligent estimate based on certain information. The bottom line is that a real estate agent, homeowner or an appraiser has little control over what a home will sell for. The market will determine the price, and if your home has a few showings or many showings that procure no offers, then the market is resisting the price and it needs to be adjusted. My advice is to adjust your price by 5% if showings are frequent (more than 2 per week) and 10% for homes that the realtors are not even showing (less than 2 showings per week).