Sarasota Realtors Robert and Valerie Orr
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Are You Making One Of These Big Home Selling Mistakes?

Selling a home isn't an easy task. Consumers sell things all the time, online, in print ads, and by word-of-mouth. Old furniture that's still got a lot of good use in it, a kid's bicycle that's been outgrown but still has pedal power, a collection of baseball cards, even a car, truck, or boat. You've become quite accustomed to selling it yourself and that's why so many homeowners fool themselves into thinking marketing their property is just as simple.

However, homes don't come at the same price as a bicycle, furniture, or pre-owned vehicles. A house is the largest investment most consumers even make and with all that money and their very quality of life on the line, people are quite skeptical, albeit emotional, when it comes to purchasing residential real estate. There's simply too much at stake to stake their fortunes on and that's why it takes a lot of time and effort to sell a home.

Homeowners also have a misconception about the entire selling process. It entails much more than just getting the word out. Let's say that you do accomplish that terrific feat and everyone in a three county radius, along with buyers searching from out-of-state, are informed about your home being for sale. That's great, there's just a few problems left to deal with, like those little improvements you've always wanted to do but now that you're selling, it's just too expensive and too late. Essentially, you're visiting your discontentment on potential buyers who don't want to purchase a truck-load of buyer's remorse.

Understanding the Market and Buyers

This is where the first of a long line of mistakes begin to take shape. You're not selling your home to a buyer, you are selling their home to them. At least, that's how they look at it. Once you've packed-up and gone, they'll make the house into a home, their home. With it, they'll begin to start their new life, complete with little customization changes.
You may think that all you have to do is take one photo of the house, stick a 'For Sale' sign in your yard and buyers will come pouring in the door. Au contraire. 'The only way to guarantee that you’re going to get the highest price for the house is to use all of the marketing options available to you,' says Holly Mellstrom, a realtor in Pelham, NY. 'This means Internet advertising, 30 pictures of your house, public open houses and even postcards.' The more people who see your house, the better your chances are of selling it. In an age when buyers start their searches online, counting on drive-bys and word of mouth isn’t enough anymore. --Forbes

The market is in full-control of your home selling quickly or staying on the market without much, if any, buyer interest, for months and months. All that time wasted is money wasted, not to mention, a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration. Knowing the dynamics of your local market is key to success. The reality is, even sellers that are aware of local market conditions let emotion cloud their good judgment and that's where the trouble really begins to take hold.

Avoid These Home Selling Mistakes

In a recent survey conducted by Active Rain/Truila, 1,000 real estate professionals were asked about the biggest mistakes sellers most make, many of which come in groups of three mistakes per seller. So, with that stated, let's take a look at some home selling mistakes you're likely making but aren't aware of just yet:

  • Overpricing their properties. An astounding 77 percent of sellers price their properties too high over true market value. The results are low-ball offers at best, with no serious interest from potential buyers.

  • Showing availability. When you're selling your home, you're on buyers' schedules, not your own. In fact, that's another mistake, accounting for 34 percent of all seller blunders.

  • Cluttered space. Not surprisingly, we all spend our lives collecting things we rarely or practically never use but don't part with. In the survey, 32 percent of sellers do not make an effort to provide spatial flow throughout their property.

  • Unpleasant odors. Our furry little family members are such a delight and so cute. They give us joy but they also can be an assault on the senses. A full 28 percent of sellers let unpleasant odors linger in their properties and buyers certainly notice.

  • Unwilling to negotiate price. Your house is worth what you think it's worth is a worthless assumption. Okay, so maybe you've made improvements which add real value to the property. That however, does not change the market and that's what dictates the value of your home. The mistake of not being willing to negotiate is something 21 percent of sellers make.

Rounding it all out is not making needed repairs; and, 20 percent of sellers are guilty of this. They want to pass-the-buck, trying to maximize their return on investment but that's a no-win strategy.