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Sabotaging the Sale

15 September 2012

When most people sell their home, they’re usually in a rush to do so. Either they’re relocating to somewhere quite far away; they simply can’t afford to make mortgage payments any longer; or they’ve already purchased a home and don’t want to pay two mortgages. There’s always a reason that sellers want to unload their property – and quick. But still, too many homeowners sabotage their own sale by making some very common, and very rookie, mistakes. Here’s what they are, so you can avoid them.

Everyone knows that homebuyers are looking for homes that are spotless, inside and out. But are there still bags and boxes of stuff that need to go to the second-hand store? And are there still bags of garbage piled up outside that need to go to the dump? Is your garage full of stuff for that garage sale you’re going to have? Simply moving things from one place to another is not enough to get your home “show ready.” A crucial step after cleaning is to get rid of all that stuff. So do it. And today rather than tomorrow.

Pricing based on sentimental value, rather than real value
You want to get top dollar for your home. Of course you do; everyone does. But you have to push this thought out of your mind when deciding on a price for it. You may have made a lot of renovations over the summer that you think should add a ton of value to your home. And your baby may have taken his first steps in that living room. But none of these matter much of the true market value just isn’t there. This value is determined by the condition of the home, surrounding homes, and what the market is doing. While the new floors you laid definitely have potential for upping the value, don’t count on it before you consider all the factors.

This includes everything from telling a seller that the basement has never flooded (when you’ve just finished cleanup,) or simply leaving out important facts so that it doesn’t detract from your property value. While this may seem like the best way to make a fast sale, it’s the worst. Disclosure laws are always in effect when selling a home, and this means that there is certain information that you simply must share with any potential homebuyers. Speak to a real estate agent to find out what they are.

Saying “no” to potential buyers
Don’t think you would do this? What if they came for an unannounced showing at dinner time? Or when you were just sitting down to watch that movie you’ve been waiting for? Remember, it doesn’t matter. Yes, buyers and buyer agents are going to ask that you bend over backwards for them while you’re selling your home. And if you want to sell fast and get top dollar, you’re going to have to suck this one up and just do it.

Taking low shots
You might be offended at the offer a potential buyer just gave you. But it’s essential that you don’t show it. Shouting back, “Thief!” or “Do you think we’re stupid?” won’t get you anywhere. Yes it’s your home, and you love it. But you’ve got to put your emotions aside and be professional and courteous at all times. Look at it as the business transaction that it is; and not like someone’s trying to rip something dear from your arms. After all, these people are just trying to get the best deal on the home. Just like you did when you bought it.

Standoffs with the inspector
Any responsible buyer is going to have an inspector take a look at your home before they purchase it. And the chances are good that the inspector’s going to come back with at least a few odd jobs and repairs that need to be made. Accept the report with a smile on your face, and then try to get done what you can. No one’s home is perfect. Now that you’re trying to sell, you need to make sure it’s at least pretty close.

Lost documents
This is important if you’ve ever had work done on the home that you’re going to need to verify; but it’s most important if you live in a condo. If that’s the case the chances are good that you have homeowners association or condo community paperwork. You need to have all these documents on-hand at all times when selling. If you don’t, there could come a time when the buyer is allowed to walk away from the sale and leave you with nothing. (Not even your papers.)

Forgetting the appraiser
So many people go to such great lengths to ensure that their home is in perfect orderly condition before buyers come to see it. Then once they have a deal lined up, they let everything go to heck in a hand basket. That’s a mistake. The appraiser is still going to come at some point, and you need to make sure your home looks just as good for them as it did the buyer. That appraiser’s final evaluation needs to come as close as possible to the already agreed upon price. And it won’t if your house is filthy.

Embarking on one or two forms of marketing
So your home is listed on MLS and there’s even a “For Sale” sign sitting in your yard. What else do you need to do? Get listed on real estate blogs and websites, advertise open houses, and have an extensive network of buyers and agents just waiting to pounce. Oh, don’t know how to do all that? Just work with a good real estate agent. They do.

Maybe you don’t need to sell, but you’d like to. Well, you think you’d like to. Maybe. Possibly. This kind of thinking just isn’t going to work once your home’s on the market. And if you put it on at the wrong time, or at the wrong price, or with the wrong intentions, the entire thing could go south. Be absolutely sure when you want to sell, and then go at it with gusto!

Have you made mistakes when selling your home? Or have you seen others? Share by using the comment section below or, by Liking us on Facebook!

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