If they haven’t already, tulips will begin popping up one of these days, as winter storm Stella is all but forgotten. Housing inventory has also been doing its best to bloom in 2017, with less than stellar results. Inventory shortages have been the talk, even the latest from the National Association of REALTORS® shows this first quarter having the lowest number of homes for sale since 1999, when they started tracking inventory.
In Northeastern Pennsylvania, our housing shortage also continues – there are over 21% fewer homes on the market this year versus exactly one year ago. What’s more, median time on the market, year-over-year has dropped by almost 35%. This has benefited sellers in the region, to say the least. Fewer homes actively for sale and less market time: The spring seller who currently has their home listed is the beneficiary. Chances are these homes, which are already selling faster, are selling for better price, terms and conditions than in previous months.
Furthermore, as a seller in today’s market, it’s absolutely critical you don’t make one of the following home selling mistakes. Any of these five mishaps could be worse than not getting a rose from Rachel Lindsay during the upcoming season of the Bachelorette (which is set to kick off on May 22 on ABC, by the way). Nevertheless, here are five mistakes to avoid when selling your home.
Don’t Make A Bad First Impression
There’s no way to get it back, your singular shot at a first impression with a buyer. Quite frankly, it all begins when the buyer pulls up to your home, whether it be in person (drive-by or showing) or online. This is a critical mistake many homeowners make, whether they’re attempting to sell it on their own, they haven’t heeded the advice of their REALTOR® or even if they’re dealing with an inexperienced agent. If a potential buyer arrives at your property and it lacks curb appeal, then you’re missing a wonderful opportunity. If your landscaping isn’t been up to par, then you’re not making a connection with most buyers.
Missing photos can have a detrimental effect on the release of your home to the marketplace. It’s sad to acknowledge this, but I’ve even witnessed instances where real estate agents listed a home online through multi-list on behalf of their client and there were no photos of the property to be seen upon its release. This is a huge opportunity wasted and a disservice to the client. On the contrary, professional photography can be a real difference maker!
Of course, there’s phase two when making a solid first impression with prospective buyers. The marketing continues when the buyer enters your home. Make sure to have an in-depth conversation with your REALTOR® pertaining to de-cluttering and de-personalizing your home. For more tips on this, see “Five Ways To Liberate Your Cluttered Home”.
Failing To Do Your Homework
Like the days of old, failing to attend to your homework can put you in a tough situation, a bad contract or waste precious time/resources you may not have at your disposal. Prior to placing your home on the market, you should do some research to familiarize yourself with the current market conditions. While it’s true that a seller won’t have the information nor experience at his/her fingertips to give a proper home evaluation, he/she can and should utilize the information available to learn more about his/her property’s ecosystem.
Doing your homework also includes choosing a real estate professional who has the experience and tools available to properly market your home. Scour open houses and the Internet in search a REALTOR® who will actively listen to your needs and will help you customize a marketing action plan for selling your home. Find a good fit, someone you form a good rapport with.
Overpricing Your Home
Mistake number three is a doozy! If you want the right kind of buyer to enter your home, the one who might actually purchase it, you’ll need to make sure your property is priced near fair market value. If a seller overprices his/her home, buyers won’t take a look at it or may even make extremely low offers. Sellers can lose their edge, if they overvalue their home and reduce the price later. Generally speaking, there’s a period of market time, which is optimal. Don’t let it slip by!
Pricing a home can be tricky, and so while it’s important to note the wealth of information which is available through Zillow Group (and Zestimates), there’s a greater pool of data not accessible through Zillow that should be taken into consideration as well.
Don’t Hide Things From Buyers
There’s water seepage situated by a corner of the foundation in the basement. Old knob-and-tube wiring can be found in the attic. The electrical outlets in one of your bedrooms have always been an issue since you moved in years ago and you never got them fixed. There are many other instances where sellers should disclose defects, telling potential buyers everything they know about their home. Don’t allow buyers to lose trust in you. Be upfront with them from the beginning. To learn more about the importance of full disclosure, check out “What You Need To Tell Buyers About Your Home”.
Refusal To Accommodate Buyers
Finally, one sure-fire way to lose more opportunities and potential eyeballs for sell your property can be through dismal of showings. If you’re attempting to sell your home, you’ll want to make sure you’re making every effort to get buyers into the property in a timely and efficient manner. Don’t cancel appointments, if you can help it. If you have pets on the premises, you should make sure they are securely isolated in a safe place (and the buyer’s agent is notified of their location in advance) or removed from the property. It is also generally recommended that sellers leave the home, if possible, while the showing is underway.
There’s a lower barrier to entry for homeowners in today’s less-than-competitive seller’s market. With fewer inventory listed, it seems like properties will continue to move short-term in 2017. If you’re an owner looking to sell, have a conversation with your REALTOR® about the market and remember to avoid those five mistakes prior to and while listing your home.