Common Home Selling Mistakes
Mistake #1 -- Over-Pricing
All Kansas City home sellers want to get the highest possible sales price for their home, however over-pricing almost always proves counter-productive. Over-pricing a home means the buyers who are really looking for a home like yours won't see it in the search results... And the Buyers who do see your home in the search results will probably be expecting a larger home. In many cases, over-priced homes simply serve to push buyers to the appropriately priced homes. Homes also have the greatest appeal when they are NEW on the market. Buyers and buyer's agents have set up auto-notifications of new listings and if you get over-looked when your home is new on the market, there's a good chance you won't get a second chance later. The longer a home is on the market, the fewer showings a listing receives and low ball offers also start to come in after a home has been on the market for a while. Since a seller is likely to net less in their home sale the longer the home is on the market, it's best to price a home appropriately early in the process when interest in listings are at their peak.
Mistake #2 -- Basing Market Value On Prior Re-Finance Appraisal Or Tax Appraisal
Refinancing appraisals have historically been higher than a home's true market valley. Because you already live in the home - and aren't making a purchase decision - refinance appraisals during the housing boom rarely came in too low. Those appraisal amounts definitely shouldn't be relied upon to determine market value of a property. County tax appraised values also provide little value in most cases because the county doesn't go inside to inspect homes. The best way to gauge the market value of your home is to go over recent sales of the most comparable homes in your area. Taking a look at the current listings in your area can also prove beneficial, since buyers will be comparing you to the current competition on the market as well.
Mistake #3 -- Not Taking Every Showing Seriously
Having a home in excellent showing condition at all times is vital but sometimes sellers cut corners and that leaves a home lagging behind the competition. On a daily basis, bathrooms need cleaned, clothes picked up, rooms vacuumed, dishes done, blinds opened and pets dealt with as needed. Many showings are called in with less than an hour notice and if a seller isn't ready at all times for a showing they'll never get a second chance at a first impression. If something as minor as door stop is broken, it should be replaced. If a faucet is dripping, fix it immediately. If the front door key doesn't operate smoothly you'll be giving buyers the wrong impression before they even step into your home. You definitely want Kansas City home buyers thinking about the GREAT features of your home, rather than dwelling on minor issues that could have been easily remedied before the home was shown.
Mistake #4 -- Focusing On Lookers Who Aren't Really Buyers
Open houses and print ads provide very little return on investment compared to 10 years ago. National stats show open houses sell less than 1% of homes and print ads sell less than 2% of homes, so in most cases resources are better spent on marketing a home in the places buyers are searching online. A NAR study showed that the average open house looker is more than 8 months away from being ready, willing and able to purchase a home. Very few open house visitors have even spoken to a lender about getting pre-approved to purchase a home. Few open house visitors who must first sell a current home have even put their home on the market. Times have changed and 90% of home buyers today will first view online the home they ultimately purchase.
Mistake #5 -- Not Taking Into Account An Agent's Intangibles
Two of the common first questions at a listing appointment are, what do we recommend for a list price and how much is the real estate commission. Unfortunately neither question factors in the marketing exposure the agent will (or won't) provide and doesn't factor in how hard the agent will (or won't) work on the seller's behalf throughout the process. Exceptional marketing skills help a seller generate the most interest and highest possible sales price. This helps OFFSET the real estate commission IF the right agent is hired. The level of dedication and representation an agent provides makes a HUGE difference from one agent to the next. Think about the outcome of contract negotiations, inspection negotiations and dealing with unforeseen situations between contract and closing. Truly, the difference between two agents can be the difference in thousands tilting either towards the seller OR towards the buyer during the real estate process.