Avoid these 7 pitfalls that will kill the sale of your house.

In News by Frank Becerra

 

Selling a home offers its typical challenges. Maybe the couple across the street just listed their residence, which you know has an amazing kitchen (while yours is just slightly less so). Probably values have started to drop a tad. Or maybe you’re getting transferred and you have to sell – and find something brand-new in your future city – in what seems like an impossibly short amount of time.

Whatever the circumstances, you want the sale to go as smoothly, and take place as quickly, as possible. So don’t do this stuff. Really. Just don’t.

1. Don’t take your own photos How important are house photos? Many purchasers won’t also look at a listing that doesn’t have them. Ditto for poorly taken photos that don’t adequately present the home. We’ve talked before about the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) survey that showed that home buyers rate photos as the feature they use most when searching for a home online. “Home sellers used to count on curb appeal to produce a good initial impression on potential buyers,” said HGTV. “Today, with 80 percent of home buyers starting their house hunt on the web, a home’s pix appeal,’ or how good it looks in photos submitted on the Internet, is taking over as the top way to impress customers off the bat.” To put it another way: “Here’s a shocker: Most of the listings with bad photos also have wording like price lowered!’ Marked down!’ and Priced to sell!’ in the listing-all indications that the phone isn’t specifically ringing off the hook,” said Adorama. “Could it be that the lousy photos of these properties are turning apart potential clients?” Ugly House Photos The easy answer: yes. If you insist on taking pictures yourself, (and we really, really recommend you don’t unless you’re a professional photographer, at least heed some ideas. But again, not a good idea. Trust us.

2. Don’t try to sell your home by yourself According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker-an amount that has been rising consistently since 2001 when it was just 69 percent. The reason: Homes sold with a Realtor get a higher sales price: “The typical for sale by owner (FSBO) home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales,” said the NAR. Homes listed with an agent also sell weeks earlier than FSBOs.

3. Don’t argue with your agent about price.

What you feel like you should be able to get for your house. What your neighbors next door with the updated kitchen and the oversized lot got because of their home. These are two things that are irrelevant to your listing cost. So is what you presently owe on your home. It’s your agent’s job to research the area, the market, recent sales and new listings, and come up with a smart pricing strategy to get your home sold. If you disagree with the listing price your agent recommends without a legitimate reason (like you’ve found real comparable properties that weren’t part of your agent’s analysis or listing presentation), right now there could be trouble brewing.

4. Don’t trust Zillow as the word of god In a nutshell, using Zillow (along with Redfin and Trulia) to determine your home’s value, is dangerous, because their cost estimates are off. And not by a little. Zillow has copped to being off by 8% on their Zestimates®, but that doesn’t come close to the L.A. Instances record that found Zestimates can be wrong by as much as 61% depending on the home and the location. A recent study found that their average Zestimate is definitely off by $14,000.

5. Don’t follow prospective buyers around while they’re touring your house Buyers hate this, plain and simple. If they have questions, they will ask. Shadowing them is only going to make them feel uncomfortable, which isn’t likely to result in a sale.

6. Don’t refuse to negotiate If there’s one thing you can depend on during a home sale, it’s that there’s going to be something to negotiate. Even if both parties immediately agree on the sales price, there could be issues that are uncovered during the inspection, or conflict surrounding the close of escrow and move-in dates. Your inflexibility could end up in a cancelled escrow.

Ugly House Photos

7. Don’t ignore your agent’s request to fix up (or at least clean) your home Staged homes sell faster and for more money. So do up to date homes. But it doesn’t mean you have to shell out a bunch of money. According to the condition of your home, it could take as little as a good scrub down and a little decluttering to make your house shine. Your agent will undoubtedly have suggestions to make your house more saleable. Listen to them. Even if it’s uncomfortable to hear that your home isn’t as tidy as it should be or that your décor style maybe isn’t what purchasers are looking for, it’s in your best interest to make the recommended changes. If you want to market your house, that is.