20 Cold Hard Facts in Selling Your Home

Selling your home is not for the faint hearted and can be full of challenges and pitfalls. Even when you are excited and looking forward to where you are going next it can be a long emotionally exhausting process. So, why wouldn’t you want to do your best in getting everything right and making sure that the process is as smooth and as short as possible.

It’s expensive , time consuming and just plain exhausting.

So here are the cold hard facts of selling, telling you like it is, if you want to have any chance of success in selling your home. These points have been summarised after hundreds of home opens and literally thousands of comments from prospective buyers – read ahead if you dare!

1. Know your local real estate market

What’s moving in the market? If you don’t know, make sure your Real Estate agent does. If your Agent doesn’t know, find another one who does. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know what the local trends are for your neighbourhood. Buyers in 2019 are the most educated and informed we have ever seen so its important your home is positioned correctly.

2. A clean, uncluttered home sells

A dirty home knocks thousands of dollars off of your profit.  It’s true, a big chunk of money can be lost for not more than putting in a little elbow grease.  Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and decluttering your home.

3. Homes priced right sell

Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first few weeks of a new home listing shines brightest. A fresh new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market and those Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will break down your front door to take a closer look.

A listing that stagnates on the market for weeks and months on end becomes stale and often stigmatized as to why has the home hasn’t sold.  They’ll either assume something is wrong with the home or that it’s priced too high. If Buyers think that something is wrong, they’ll want a discount and if it’s been on the market due to being priced too high, they’ll think you’re beginning to get desperate because your home hasn’t sold and that you’d likely start to consider taking a discount. Avoid the discounts, price it right, and increase your chances of having multiple interested Buyers.

4. Selling a home is inconvenient

Knowing up front that you’re going to be inconvenienced once you’ve decided to sell your home, will make the home selling process a lot easier to handle. You’re going to have to get your home ready to sell, you’re going to have to do some packing and you’re normal everyday living schedules will likely be interrupted by visiting prospective Buyers.  When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful.  Anticipate to be inconvenienced.

5. Repairs left undone will cost you more money than the repair itself

Repairs that you’ve been meaning to do will be a lot less expensive to complete if you do them BEFORE you sell your home.  Once the needed repair is evident to a Buyer, they’re going to pad the actual cost to repair as they’re adding a layer of emotion to the cost. What do I mean by this? When they see a simple repair that could have been fixed they wonder what else is in need of repair and they’ll wonder did you really maintain the home properly.  They’ll wonder what may be lurking beneath the surface, hidden and not visual to the naked eye.  They get a bit frightened in the unknown and will want a little bit more of a reduction, just in case something else pops up once they were to buy your home.

6. Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbours home

It’s true!  Picture this. Buyers are qualified to buy a certain price range so they’re looking at homes that they can afford; your competition, your neighbours.  If your home is priced too high, they’ll never see it as it will not come up in the home search.  Your home will be coming up in a higher price range; likely homes that are larger with nicer features and more appealing.  This price range of home Buyers will look at your home but will skip over your home because they can buy a larger home with the same features for the same amount of money; why would anyone pay more for less space?

7. Buyers love to re-negotiate the home sales price after the home inspections

In a structural inspection there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blind sided with an unknown major needed repair.  If you have any needed major repairs, this should be known ahead of time and disclosed to any prospective Buyers prior to the presentation of their offer. This way you know the offer reflects the defect.  As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount. Make sure the Agent you hire, is an effective negotiator as they’ll be worth their weight in gold here.

8. Buyers love to grill sellers present at home viewings

When a Buyer has scheduled a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for more reasons than one.  First of all, you want the Buyers to be able to stroll through your home and feel comfortable without you breathing down their necks, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home.

Picturing themselves in your Kitchen around the dinner table, or relaxing in the family room listening to their favourite music or watching TV and also imagining your home to be the perfect spot to entertain friends and family.  And, even more important is that you don’t want them to try and wiggle out any details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home.  A favourite tactic for Buyer’s  is to try and find out valuable details that indicate you “need” to move.

9. Smelly homes sell for less money

Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking.  Sure we love our pets but they can leave behind those not so pleasant smells.  If you’re a smoker, you need to plan well in advance to take your smokes outside to freshen up your home’s interior. Perhaps you adore foods with very pungent spices, these favourite dishes that you cook should be put on hold until after you sell your home and get moved out.

A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, rugs and carpets will go a long way in removing pet, smoking and food odours.  If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be advisable.

10. Cash is not always king

Cash does not always rule the roost. When financing Buyers have to compete with Cash Buyers, they can make their offer look very appealing in a number of ways that can beat out the Cash Buyer.

First, by making sure they’ve presented their offer without any errors, making sure it is accurate and complete. Next, they’ll want to make sure their Pre-Approval letter indicates their strong ability to secure the mortgage to buy the Seller’s home.

11. Well maintained homes sell for more money

A well maintain home provides a sense of wellbeing to any prospective Buyer as they imagine that the home having been well cared for and likely will not provide them with too many worries down the road after they’ve bought the home.  Red flags are virtually non-existent with a well-maintained home as compared to a home that appears to not have been maintained.  This peace of mind comes with a price tag that results in the Buyers willingness to pay more for a well-maintained home.

12. Procrastination and ignoring communication jeopardises home sales

Once the decision has been made to sell your home, it’s critical for your communications to be prompt and timely.  Now is not the time to run off and pick dandelions ignoring your Agent requests for answers to questions that the prospective Buyer may have or to delay signing/initialling a contract update. This type of procrastination can irritate all parties and possibly jeopardise the sale of your home.  Be available, prompt and courteous when selling a home.

13. Buyers must envision themselves living in your home

Unfortunately, this does involve taking the “you” out of your home. When you’ve decided to sell your home, it is now important to realise that your home now needs to read like it could welcome anybody to suit their family.  Begin your packing before you get your home listed for sale and remove all the memories on display and all the things that say “you” live there.  Neutrality must now be present in your home.  This is because too many Buyers can’t look beyond the “you-ness” of your home to picture themselves there, so it’s best if you make it easy for them, so it will be easy for them to buy your home.

14. Videos & 3D walkthroughs can sell homes

When you had your home listed for sale and you didn’t get any Buyers, did you know that Buyers skipped over your listing due to limited photos or poor quality photos? Yes, photographs do matter. Over 90% of Buyers start their home search online and they want to “see” homes and not read about homes; they want to see high quality photos and videos. Poor quality photographed homes will have Buyers snubbing their noses at your home.

Interstate and overseas buyers will feel more engaged and more inclined to make an offer if they feel they have ‘experienced’ the home. Getting on a plane to view is not always the easiest option. This is where 3D walkthroughs and videos can play an important role.

15. Trying to hide a defect will haunt you

You never want to get a call from a Lawyer, indicating that the Buyers that bought your home are now suing you for not disclosing that home structural issue that you were aware about. My mum always told me that when you lie, you eventually get caught, boy was she right! Being slapped with a lawsuit is never welcome news to a home seller.  Speak the truth and more importantly ensure that you have had full disclosure to your agent.

16. Cooperation continues to be the name of the game

When an exchange occurs such as does with a home sale, a little bit of cooperation will go a long way and quite often, ending with a favourable outcome for a home Seller.  Don’t fight the Buyer tooth and nail, as they’ll immediately withdraw to put on their boxing gloves and in this scenario everyone loses.  A little give and take, more times than not, results in superior results.

17. What you love isn’t what a prospective buyer loves

neutralize your home of your purple passion, your bold reds, your mounted hunting treasures or your Woodstock beads. As an agent, I can look past these passions of others, yet not everyone can - or should I say most cannot.  Do not give a Buyer a reason to find distaste in what you desire. When you sell a home, it is not the time to show the world what makes you tick, you want to show how Buyers can fill your home with what makes them tick.

18. Settlement date is move out date

It’s important to understand that when the closing date comes around, all of your belongings must be packed up and moved out, leaving behind a clean home ready for the Buyers to move in once they’re given the key at the closing table.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stay a few days after settlement to finish the few things you just never got to it. Under WA law the owner of the house must hand over the keys by 12pm midday the following date. If, however the home is unoccupied, the keys must be handed over immediately after settlement.

19. Requiring that a buyer meets financing eligibility increases your likelihood of selling your home

First of all, Real Estate Agents shouldn’t even be showing Buyers your home unless they know the Buyers have been reviewed to make sure they can indeed afford to buy your home. Unfortunately, not all Real Estate Agents adhere to this common sense business practice and will show prospective Buyers homes that they don’t even know if they can afford.  Make sure the Real Estate Agent that you hire, scrutinises any incoming Buyer’s offer for their ability to actually be able to pay for your home.

20. Experience sells

Hiring a skilled, trusted, Real Estate professional gets homes sold in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money. Your choice of a Real Estate Agent matters.

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