Monday, October 5, 2009

Mistakes you Must Avoid When Selling Your Home

The real estate market is not what it used to be. While some buyers started house hunting again in recent months, sellers continue to feel frustrated by lower-than-expected home values and the sluggishness of the market.

Individual home sellers can’t control market trends, economic conditions or the whims of local buyers. But it is possible to attract buyers for real estate investments, even during a recession.

Yes, people are purchasing houses. Not just foreclosures, either. There aren’t nearly as many buyers on the market as there were two years ago, but they’re out there. Average people looking for homes at fair, affordable prices.

It’s up to you, the seller, to attract these buyers. You must facilitate the process and compel them to buy your home. How? By making sound decisions about finances, marketing and timing. And by avoiding mistakes that may reduce your chances of closing a sale.

Don’t turn buyers away by making one of these common blunders:

Missing the price point.

“It’s all about price right now,” said T.C. Hyatt, a local real estate agent with eight years of experience in Snohomish County. “People used to say ‘location, location, location.’ Now the number-one focus is on price and value.”

Hyatt continued, “Not all sellers are in despair. Some of them don’t want to wait for the economy to turn around. They just want to sell.” These individuals often have a hard time identifying the right price. They realize that it’s a down market, but they refuse to lose out on their investments.

“Sellers can’t be too greedy,” warned Hyatt. “Overpriced properties won’t sell.”

Savvy home sellers are realistic about the real and perceived values of their properties. They take market trends into consideration. Plus, they research the local competition carefully. “If your neighbor has a different sale price, high or low, figure out why,” said Hyatt. “Are they behind in payments? Do they owe more than the property’s worth? Are they being overly hopeful or optimistic?”

Slacking on presentation.

Lower prices and extended listing times can be hard on home sellers, triggering financial concerns and causing delays in family or career plans. Despite these obstacles, it’s essential for sellers to stay focused on the task at hand. Excellent presentation is the first step in closing a deal.

When preparing your home for sale, remember that buyers respond to the look and feel of a property. Their first impression begins when they arrive at the house and notice the grounds and entryway. They expand on their impression once they step inside the home, drawing on all of their senses to evaluate the environment.

According to Hyatt, “Just because you’ll make 15 percent less on your property than you would have made a year ago doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean the carpets, touch up the paint and mow the lawn.”

Relying on poor advice.

Recently, when the market declined, many agents left the industry. However, some of the more dedicated, experienced professionals remained. Many of these people have been in the business long enough to see the market fluctuate over the years. They understand trends, and they know how to navigate beyond challenges to deliver the best results for their clients.

It is important to choose a seasoned real estate agent, someone who knows how to attract qualified buyers despite harsh market conditions. Before selecting that person, ask about years of experience. Request details about prior transactions. Inquire about specific marketing strategies to expedite the sale process in a slow-moving market.

If you don’t feel confident in your agent, find someone else. Now more than ever, you need reliable advice on marketing, pricing, finances and negotiating the transaction.

Letting emotions get in the way.

One of the most common mistakes made by home sellers involves sentimentality. People tend to infuse their homes with personalities and memories. Feeling “at home” may enrich your daily life, but it can obstruct the real estate sales process.

If you are too emotionally connected to your home and its contents, you could make poor choices that turn away potential buyers. For instance, sentimental sellers might limit access to their properties. They may resist marketing, or avoid making small changes that could significantly improve their chances of closing a sale, such as changing paint color or rearranging furniture.

Home sales are business transactions. If you can, let go of tightly held emotions. While you’re at it, remind yourself that you can’t control the industry, but you can manage your decisions at each phase of the process.

Hyatt concluded, “Be patient. Don’t be discouraged. And once you choose an experienced Realtor, trust his (or her) advice.” By Eve Nicholas Special to The Herald

Posted via web from jaykaiser's posterous

No comments:

Post a Comment