By Ilan Joseph, Broker, ABR®, e-PRO®, AMP® | © All rights reserved
The 6 Biggest Mistakes Sellers Make - Selling your home quickly and for top dollar requires a number of essential ingredients. We are not just selling your home, we are selling your homes’ lifestyle and the possibilities it offers a perspective buyer. It’s up to us to build the “dream” they are seeking when shopping for their “dream home”. To get a buyer turned on to your home requires more than just some iphone photos and an open house. It requires the right type of marketing that starts before your home ever even hits the market. The 6 Home Selling Mistakes often made by Sellers is taken from the experience of selling over 1,650 homes in Toronto, one of the hottest real estate markets in the world.
Failing to organise and declutterI’ve talked about the importance of decluttering many times over the years. With 4 in 10 buyers admitting they’d be less likely to buy a cluttered home, this is one of the most important, yet often ignored things a seller must do to create that “dream home” for a prospective buyer. When you walk into a messy unorganised home, your brain immediately starts to judge its occupants negatively. You certainly don’t get a warm positive feeling when all you see is chaos and mess everywhere and the last thing you want is to imagine yourself living in that mess yourself. Create a clean and simple atmosphere by throwing away things you don’t need, packing up items you don’t require until you move into your new home or consider getting a storage unit for a month or two to open up your home.
Failing to make the right home improvementsSellers often spend thousands of dollars on renovations to their homes expecting to get back $2 for every $1 spent. Instead of spending money in the wrong places, focus on the two most profitable renovation area: the kitchen and bathrooms. Each home is different and this doesn’t always apply, so speak to your Realtor to find out if such renovations are even required in your particular area taking into consideration the market conditions present at the time. Your Realtor may even have great contractors to suggest at discounted prices.
Failing to price your property rightIt’s natural for sellers to think their home is the best home on the block. This emotional attachment often clouds a seller’s vision when setting a price for their home. How much you paid for the home or how many fun times you had on your deck are not ways to price a home for sale. Looking strictly at comparable homes sold recently in your area and during your particular market condition will be the best indicators of what your home is worth today. Pricing above market value will lead buyers to expect more than what you have to offer when they visit your home. It’s common for overpriced homes to sit on the market for longer than usual, which causes them to sell at a lower price after sitting stale for so long. Human psychology says that if a product is not sold quickly, then there must be a problem with it.
Failing to properly market your homeMarketing your home for sale is something many Realtors and Sellers fail to understand. Taking a few pictures on your phone and printing up some brochures barely counts as marketing. You must make a great first impression to lure in as many perspective buyers as possible. With over 90% of buyers first being exposed to their dream home via a photo they saw online, it’s imperative to have professional, high resolution photos taken to help us sell your dream home. We must get buyers horny for your home even before they actually see it. Postcards, online ads and targeted marketing lists all help draw in more buyers than simply listing your property on MLS. Once we get the buyers in the door, it’s up to us to highlight your home with professionally designed premium brochures, a list outlining your homes features and possibly even handing out a DVD with a video tour of your home which they can take away with them to ensure your listing stands out from the crowd.
Failing to take the first offer seriouslyIt’s something I’ve seen countless times before… an offer is received within days of listing a property and the sellers fair to take it seriously because they hope other offers will start pouring in. While this may be true, it often isn’t and that first offer may be your only offer, so take it seriously. Statistics show that buyers who submit an offer within the first two weeks of a listing tend to give a better initial offer than those who submit after that point. Being the first to have a chance to purchase a one-of-a-kind product is very powerful and tends to encourage these buyers to bid higher than they would otherwise, while the opposite is true when a home has been sitting stagnant on the market for an extended period of time.
Failing to choose the right RealtorWith 43,000 real estate agents to choose from in the GTA, your options are endless. That’s roughly 1 Realtor for every 150 residents! You certainly have options, but let’s consider some of these numbers for just a moment:
- 73.3% of all Real estate agents are part timers.
- 19.2% didn’t sell a single property (2011).
- 71.7% sold 6 or fewer properties (2011).
Ilan Joseph is a Real Estate Broker with Sutton Group and is co-founder of a 10-person award-winning Toronto, Thornhill and Vaughan real estate team. You can find him on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. For over 13 years, Ilan has provided more than 1650 buyers and sellers valued advice and service, enabling them to reach their real estate goals. He’s kind of like the Bruce Willis of real estate.