Narrowing down a large list into 5 items can be difficult, but I wanted to really magnify the main mistakes I've witnessed over my two decades of selling and marketing real estate. Here are my top 5, along with a detailed description:
1] They hire the wrong professional.
We can feel obligated to use an Agent that we know, a relative or a referral from a friend. Albeit, I love referrals from past clients, I always try to jump on a phone call or zoom with that potential new customer to explain what I can do for them, my experience and set expectations. I don't take anything for granted and always still try to earn the opportunity for new business. If you are looking for a real estate professional with a particular set of skills, a specialty in a certain area or someone that can stand out above the rest, have those questions ready and be ok with needing to have some tough conversations in order to determine if this person is the one you want representing your largest asset.
2] They don't properly prepare their home for sale.
Your Agent will [or should] have a detailed checklist of things to focus on long before your listing goes live online. One of the most important aspects of selling is the potential buyer's first impression. How well does the street view of your home present? Any prospective client that is serious about your home is already making mental notes as soon as they step out of the car. Harnessing the first impression is such a key component to ensuring the rest of the tour goes well. Additionally, how is the home set up inside? What are the colours on the walls? How is the furniture arranged? What are the smells in and around the space? Is the home clean to your standards or the expectation of the client? Ask yourself all of these questions honestly and then take the critical point of view of the buyer. Does anything change?
3] They shoot for the stars.
We all want to aim high - especially when it comes to the asking price of your beloved home. But unfortunately a lot of sellers opt to list too high from the start. This is always a tough conversation to have with selling clients. The realistic approach VS the inflated expectation. Who tends to usually win out? Yup, you guessed it - the one who signs the contract and essentially makes the final decision. Good Agents will bring you comparable home sales, advise a range on where you should be and leave it in your hands to make the call. Great Agents will mathematically break down the comparable home sales, provide a solid value on where you need to be and have solid reasons on why coming to market at [X] is so imperative. As Agents, we ask clients to be sensible and rational about understanding the process around formulating an accurate and smart list price. Personally, I take great pride in being able to really nail an evaluation and in the end, create an amazing selling experience for those that put their ultimate trust in me.
4] They fail to time the market or seasons.
In real estate, stock markets and overall investing, timing is everything. We've all heard the "we are just going to wait until spring to list" replies almost as much as we've read "location, location, location!' in the opening remarks of a property description. When the conversation of considering selling even comes up, that's when you ought to start watching the trends. Sales data, inventory levels, neighbourhood competition and so on. In 2022, the best time to sell a home in Calgary was actually February and March. You know what is typically synonymous with these months? Winter, cold, non-serious buyers, low sales, high days on market, etc. But those that had their hand on the pulse of the market knew that this was the best time to sell, cash out and move on. If you want to always have a lot of competition around you, go ahead and list in spring. For those wanting the most out of their property and probably a quicker sale, watch the market and have it dictate what you should do.
5] They let their emotions take over.
Yes, I totally get it - selling your home can be an emotional experience. It takes a lot out of you in choosing to move on from a property that's likely provided loads of great memories. When it's time to buckle down and focus on the task at hand, it's key to remain level headed. The goal is to work together and treat it like a simple transaction. There are a couple things to keep in mind: ① If the home hasn't received an offer within the first 3-4 weeks, it's probably overpriced. ② The first offer is usually the best offer. I've seen a lot of people be stubborn with their home value, not wanting to reduce and additionally I've witnessed others walk away from a quality deal over a few thousand dollars. As an experienced Agent, I'm here to provide support and a listening ear. I want to be the backbone to this successful and seamless sale.
There you have it - my top five mistakes sellers make in the home selling process. Was there anything you think I missed or didn't touch upon? Let me know by reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out the form below!