Be a savvy seller and pull off a great summer deal
- 03 Dec 2010
While summer is generally considered to be the best home sales season, sellers still need to steer clear of some classic mistakes that can scupper even the most promising deal.
That’s the advice of Hano Jacobs, CEO of the Realty 1 International Property Group, who says that for most homeowners, the actual sale transaction is often only a step on the way to a different goal, such as a better property, better job or different lifestyle, so they just want to get it over with and can quite easily lose focus.
“However, whether you’ve been transferred and have to sell immediately or you're thinking about retirement and can afford to be a bit more patient, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to obtain the best possible price for your home. And that means paying attention to the details of the transaction in order to avoid the mistakes most often made by sellers.”
The first of these, he says, is trying to value your own home. “Because of the emotional connection their homes, not to mention the time and money they have invested, homeowners who do not seek expert advice on current market conditions will almost always overprice. And if they’re rigid about getting this price, they will alienate most potential buyers and most probably end up selling their property for less than an experienced agent would have recommended in the first place.”
The second mistake that sellers often make, says Jacobs, is choosing the agent that gives them the highest estimated sale price, rather than the one that has the best marketing plan. “Many agents are still not able to offer much more than for-sale signs, show days and an ad in the local paper, and will try to get your mandate by bumping up the estimated sale price instead. But the real key to a successful sale these days is maximum exposure as fast as possible using additional tools such as online and cellphone marketing, national advertising and extensive referral networks - and you should be very sure that these are included in the marketing plan for your home.”
Thirdly, he says, it is a mistake not to carefully prepare the property for sale. “Many sellers don’t see the point of spending any more time or money on a property they’re about to sell, and are content for buyers to make an offer on their home ‘as is’. The trouble with this approach is that most buyers don’t want to be bothered with bringing the home up to scratch or working out how much to take off their offer to cover the expense of repairs or renovations. They are much more likely just to pass altogether on a tired-looking home and choose a well-maintained home where everything is in working order, even if it is a bit more expensive.”
The fourth common mistake sellers make is confusing mere activity – that is, lots of viewings – with genuine buyer interest. Says Jacobs: “When potential buyers are genuinely interested in your property, they make offers. So if you are not getting offers, something is obviously wrong and you need to insist that your agent gives you detailed buyer feedback and then make the changes necessary to get the property sold. Buyer complaints are usually about price or condition, but the problem could also be that you need to be more flexible in the type of offer you will consider.”
However, he says, this flexibility should never extend to accepting offers from people who are not financially capable of purchasing your property. “The fifth big mistake that sellers make is to shy away from trying to establish a potential buyer’s real financial status because they are uncomfortable talking about money or fear that it will be regarded as an invasion of privacy. You need to remember that home sales are essentially a simple exchange of property for money, and make sure that your agent is only bringing you offers from people who genuinely have the money or the bona fides to obtain a home loan in order to purchase your property.”
Realty 1 International Property Group