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More Mistakes That Can Delay A Quick Sale

Mistake #6: Failing to Look at Your Home as if You were a Buyer

Often, sellers become too comfortable–or at least tolerant–of the clutter and imperfections of their homes. And, while potential buyers may tolerate the same sort of imperfections in their own residences, when it comes to your home, most buyers have higher expectations. Use the following checklist to ensure buyers see your home in the best light and improve your chances for a quick sale. When a buyer sees areas that need maintenance or repair, he or she see areas where they can discount your home’s sale price.

Exterior:

1. Painting your home’s exterior will make it look years younger and cleaner.

2. Trim back trees and shrubs and mow the grass. Weed and plant flowers. If the yard is neglected, buyers might wonder what other aspects of your home have been neglected or need maintenance as well, and they may not bother to request a showing.

3. Sweep all sidewalks, front walkway, and patio areas.

4. Clean windows and replace any broken or cracked panes.

5. Park extra cars down the street.

6. Put away bikes and toys. Remove rusted swing sets or broken playground equipment.

7. Don’t leave hoses stretched out in the yard where someone might trip over them.

8. Water lawns very early in the morning or late at night so prospective buyers and/or their children won’t track into your house after a tour of your yard.

9. Make sure roof is debris-free and in good condition.

10. Keep pet areas, like litter boxes, out of sight.

Interior:

1. Make sure your kitchen is extra clean–even the oven. Put away all dishes and any extra items from your counter tops. Store your toaster, blender, and small appliances to create space.

2. Carpets and all other flooring should be clean and vacuumed.

3. Open all curtains, drapes and blinds, and turn on the lights

4. Place fresh flowers and plants throughout the house. Dispose of dying plants.

5. Make all beds. Put away toys in your children’s rooms. Remove clothes from floor or chairs.

6. Straighten your closets. Crammed closets look smaller.

7. Organize your laundry room. Use hampers and baskets.

8. Remove unnecessary items from your bathroom counters and make faucets shine. If your shower curtain is torn or frazzled, invest in a new one.

9. Secure jewelry, cash, and prescription medication not just out of reach but out of sight. Don’t leave any valuables available to a thief.

10. If you’re going to get rid of old or unnecessary furniture items and home decorations when moving, go ahead and dispose of those items now. Rooms look larger when they aren’t crammed with furniture.

Mistake #7: Offering Explanations about Your Home during Showings

Potential buyers usually feel more comfortable when homeowners are not present. If you have to be at home, resist the urge to offer explanations, point out perceived flaws or offer to repair items. People differ in opinion and preferences. Your home’s floor plan, which you may have always found less than satisfactory, might be just what appeals to a potential buyer. The general rule is, the less said and the smaller your presence, usually the better.

Mistake #8: Not Knowing How to Price Your Home to Sell

Determining the market value of your home is one of the most challenging aspects of the selling process. If the listing price is too high, you’ll limit financing and reduce offers. Sometimes, home sellers believe that they have to set the selling price higher than actually expected because it gives them an opportunity to negotiate and accept a lower offer. But often buyers who might be most interested in your home find a flaw they don’t like immediately—your asking price–and they don’t even take the time to drive by or ask for a showing. By the time the price is adjusted, you’ve already lost exposure to a large percentage of potential buyers. It’s critical to find out, where and how fast, the market is moving when setting the selling price and negotiating an offer. Any of our experienced Coldwell Banker realtors are aware of market trends.

Mistake #9: Not Planning Your Move Before Your Home Actually Sells

Many sellers simply don’t plan their move early enough, then they feel totally overwhelmed when it’s necessary to move sooner than they expected. Organize your move before a contract is ever signed. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask movers to estimate the cost of your move. When you have to move quickly, the price can skyrocket according to need and you have no basis for comparison. Fill out a Personal Household Inventory for each room. This is important for establishing the declared value of items for moving companies and can be used as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as accurately as possible, the year of purchase and original cost of each item. Prepare a separate high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of “extraordinary” value, such as antiques, china, crystal and electronic equipment. Attach any records of purchase or invoices to the completed inventory.

Mistake #10: Being Inflexible or Unwilling to Compromise Sometimes, it is necessary to bend a little when it comes to the sale of a home. If you are inflexible about the date you can move out, price, necessary repairs, and other contract items, buyers can become discouraged or even angry. It is often necessary to compromise. Agreeing to a repair that might cost you an extra couple of hundred dollars out of pocket, might actually save you much more than this amount in interest on your home loan in the long run. While you don’t want to give away hard-earned equity, often sellers must look at the overall savings involved. Your Coldwell Banker realtor will advise you on any contract items and how to best achieve a win-win situation with any buyer.

If you have any questions about how to position your home for a successful sale, just stop by our Coldwell Banker office and talk to any of our experienced, knowledgeable agents.