Besides thinking the people on HGTV really know a lot about real estate, below are the most common ways sellers shoot themselves in the foot. Granted, we are in a hot market and buyers are easier to please these days, but there are 228 houses in Lexington in the $100-500k range that have been on the market for more than 60 days…..not EVERY house in town is selling in multiple offers the first day on the market.
1. When sellers don’t finish moving out. If you are no longer living in the house, get ALL of your stuff out. You know you are going to have to do it anyway, right? It will make your house look better. Better looking houses sell quicker. Time is money.
2. When you don’t paint because you think you are somehow doing the buyer a favor by leaving it up to them to paint. I hear this a lot: “I don’t know what color the buyer will like and most buyers always paint after they move in anyway.” I can tell you that bad paint keeps a buyer from making an offer. If it doesn’t look good, they don’t want it. Fresh neutral paint is the cheapest thing you can do you make your house easy for a buyer to say YES to.
3. Leaving a lot of room for negotiating. An over inflated price usually drives buyers away. I see all the time where a seller will list for far more than the house is worth and eventually sell it for a little less than it is worth. The best model is to price it right from the start. If a house has been on the market for a long time, buyers assume there is no risk of losing it so they make a low offer just to see what you will take.
4. Not doing any obvious repairs. As a seller, your goal is to make it easy for a buyer to say yes to your house. You want them to be excited and fall in love. If a buyer walks in and immediately sees work that needs done, they begin to subtract whatever they think it would cost to change it, and they usually overestimate the cost. You want your buyer to be walking around your house falling in love with it rather than subtracting repair costs off your list price.
I hope this helps you when it is time to sell. The worst thing that could happen if you did all of this is that you sell your house for top dollar in multiple offers the first day on the market.