Has your beautiful home been for sale several months (or longer) and no offers are coming in? You could be committing one of The Seven Deadly Sins Of Home Selling. Even when a home has a great location, is in good shape and is priced correctly for current market conditions, offers may not appear until you do penance for one or more of the Deadly Sins.
There are many sins that would hinder home selling, but I’ve selected these seven that have an easy solution (penance…). Here they are – the Deadly Sins that you must not commit.
1. Don’t Worry About The Clutter Everywhere
Buyers can’t see the great features of a home if those features are buried under mountains of clutter, hidden behind art that covers entire walls, or covered by area rugs that conceal beautiful hardwood flooring. By the way, clutter doesn’t have to be huge. A small rug that hides the brilliance of a fine wood floor in a spot where that wood should be featured can be clutter, too. So can books stacked on an end table or kitchen appliances left on counters. Penance: Less is more, so move out excess furniture and personal items until the positive features shine through. If you have to, rent a storage unit.
2. Don’t Have The Property Inspected and Repaired
Everyone likes a surprise, unless that surprise makes the property uninhabitable, inoperable, or expensive to repair. Penance: Hire professional inspectors (general property, roof, plumbing, electrical, termite, etc.) and correct problems before putting the home on the market.
3. Sell The Home Yourself Or With A Discount Broker
Buyers don’t want to deal with a home owner or a deep discount broker, neither of whom are usually available daily to handle the details and deadlines of real estate paperwork and transaction procedures. Even if you do get offers, expect a lower price. Penance: Hire a qualified, professional broker and let them do their thing.
4. Restrict Viewing Hours
Making property viewing difficult simply reduces the number of potential buyers who see it, therefore decreasing the potential for receiving offers. Penance: Schedule open houses and viewing times that fit the average person’s schedule. Be flexible with special requests.
5. Let Large Pets Roam Freely
To you, it’s a harmless, loving pooch that wouldn’t hurt a flea. But to a potential buyer who finds your 200 pound pachyderm jumping on them and clawing holes into their $2,000 Italian silk suit or getting frisky with their leg, it’s a hound from hell. Many buyers won’t enter a property if animals of any size are not contained. Penance: Build a dog run (DON’T use the garage or one of the rooms a buyer needs to see when they view the property) or arrange for your little buddy to be off-property during viewing hours.
6. Vacation At The South Pole During The Listing Period
The most frustrating experience for a buyer – and your broker – is to have a great offer on the table and no seller available to accept, counter or reject it. Penance: Plan vacations and business travel around selling activities – be available. When trips are a must, get up to speed with the broker’s remote document access and signing systems. Advise your broker ahead of time when you will have unavoidable “communication black-out periods” so that he can advise potential buyers of accurate offer response times.
7. Make Your Sale Contingent On You Finding Another Home
In good neighborhoods, good homes often sell in less than two weeks. An exception in my neighborhood is a very nice and competitively priced home that has been on the market over three months. This home has a seller’s contingency that delays close of escrow until the seller finds a new home and closes escrow on it first. The seller has been looking for three months and can’t get a purchase offer accepted, probably because their offers are contingent on selling their home. Buyers prefer to enter into a purchase contract with a firm closing date unless they know they’re buying the property dirt cheap. Penance: Arrange for temporary living and storage if you must, but remove all seller contingencies.
Ready To Do Your Home Selling Penance?
If you have questions about The Seven Deadly Sins Of Home Selling or need help selling a home or investment property, drop me a line. Contact Us