I’ve been doing my job long enough to recognize good and bad seller strategies. So I thought I’d round up the bad ones to potentially make things smoother for some sellers this year.
Here are my top five home seller mistakes. Avoid them if you can:
1. Skimping on staging. Buyers will pay top dollar if they emotionally connect with your home, and that means making the property look as appealing as possible. You’ll also want your home to stack up visually against the comps. Staging will be worth the money.
2. Immediately hiring the high-volume neighborhood specialist as your listing agent. Yes, you’ve seen his or her name plastered all over your neighborhood. Most agents in San Francisco sell in multiple neighborhoods, and know the micro markets well. You should absolutely consider an agent with professed local market knowledge, but don’t forget about the rest. Marketing and technology platforms, solid agent networks and service levels should be priorities. If your listing agent can’t produce an outline of what he or she is planning to do from start to finish, it might be time to look at other options. And more importantly, make sure your agent isn’t ultimately the type to railroad you into accepting an offer that may not provide the most beneficial price and terms just so he or she can move on to the next transaction.
3. Pricing your home too high. It seems like buyers are throwing money at properties regardless of list price in this market, doesn’t it? That’s not really the case. The selling pattern in San Francisco right now is list low, sell higher, and if you list too high, you’ll sit.
4. Accepting a preemptive offer in a hot market.. You put your home on the market, and within two days, your agent is presenting you with two amazing offers. But you haven’t had many buyers through, or even an open house. Based on my experience, it could turn out that the buyer who writes the highest and best offer visits during your second open house. Unless you have to sell rapidly and aren’t concerned about getting the highest price and best terms possible, let your agent market your property for at least a week or two.
5. Being satisfied with a minimal marketing program. The correct marketing strategy is crucial to a successful sale. Make sure your agent and his or her company are in a position to really make a splash when they market your home. Connecting with your targeted buyer demographic is critical; more than 90% of prospective home buyers are doing online searches. If the buyers you’re trying to reach aren’t impressed with what they see online, you can bet they won’t take the time to schedule a showing.