Seller Mistakes You Should Avoid – 2015 Selling Season

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As I work with more and more sellers and see issues that other listing agents run into when I am working with buyers, I regularly acquire knowledge about what does and doesn’t work for sellers in our current local market and want to share this with you so you can be as successful as possible when you want to sell.

Pricing Incorrectly

Pricing strategy is one of the most important factors in determining what a property will sell for and how long it will take to sell. The length of time it will take to sell is most commonly related to pricing and the further above market value it is priced the longer it will take to sell.

Pricing is dependent on current market conditions for your area, neighborhood or complex and for the price range of your property. The conditions for the Tampa Bay real estate market or the Pinellas County real estate market is one thing, but there are different market conditions from neighborhood to neighborhood within the same city and similarly from condo or townhouse complex to other complexes. Additionally, there can be different market conditions for different price ranges.

So there is an art and a science for properly pricing a home, condo or townhouse so that it sells for the best price in the optimum amount of time.

If your area or complex is showing very strong market conditions with high demand and low supply, it makes sense to price above the market value of your property but not too high. If your property is in an area or complex with low demand and high supply or if your particular property is one that is not in high demand, you will need to price much closer to market value.

Ultimately the market will determine the value of your property and what is is worth is what a buyer is willing to pay for it. No matter what you or your agent feel it is worth, it is what buyers feel it is worth that will determine your success or failure in selling.

In addition to pricing correctly at the beginning, which does take some work to determine correctly, a strategy for adjusting the price depending on activity and offers (or lack of them) is also important to work out at the beginning. Then a monitoring of activity is important to determine if and when any price adjustments should be made. This will also depend on your desired timing for selling. If you have a specific timeframe in which you want to sell, adjustments to price depending on activity level will be very important. If you do not, then it will not be as vital but will still be important since properties that stay on the market too long will lead buyers to wonder what might be wrong with it.

Fair or Poor Property Condition or Appeal

This has an effect on pricing and success. A property that is in excellent condition and shows well will sell faster and for a higher price, especially when it is more in demand as far as location and type of property. So the condition and appearance of your home, condo or townhouse will have to be factored into the pricing strategy which includes what can or should be done to improve it within what you can and are willing to spend.

In some cases a pre-listing property inspection would be adviseable to find any issues that could come up on a buyer’s inspection. You can then either make these repairs or you can just be prepared for them to come up as issues and not be surprised by them when they do. If you choose to make any needed repairs then you will be able to price your home a little higher than you would otherwise.

Sometimes a staging consultation will be a smart move. In many cases this is something your agent may have enough experience to help you with while in other cases you will need to have a staging professional brought in. And sometimes you will need to have a professional stage part or all of your property. To sell for the best price and in an optimal timeframe, buyers will have to be impressed with how your home, condo or townhouse looks and what is needed to get it to that level will vary from property to property. This is step that should not be ignored or glossed over.

A good agent will provide you with written information on what curb appeal is, how to declutter (if needed) and what to do to get your property reading for showing.

Poor Quality Photos and Lackluster Descriptions

If you have a correct pricing strategy and your home, condo or townhouse is set up to show well then you still have to have good marketing to bring in buyers.

One of the most important factors in this is having professional quality photos whether done by your agent (if they have the right equipment and knowledge) or by a professional photographer. I know from my own experience and that of buyers I work with, when the photos for a property are dark or not properly focused or don’t show the rooms well – that property will not attract as much interest and will have less buyers consider it. Photos are so important that there are buyers who will purchase a property never having seen it in person – they bought based on the info in the listing and the photos they saw.

This includes virtual tours and for some properties a video tour.

While photos have a big impact, the description of the property will enhance or creates the emotional response which motivates a buyer to see a property. Bland descriptions of property features or descriptions with ‘fluff’ or cliches like ‘honey, stop the car’ aren’t very effective. In addition, a description may bring a lot of people to see the house but not the type of buyer that will purchase it.

It is essential that the photos and description be done to the highest quality level or any marketing that is done will be a waste.

Not Being Selective When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

There are 2 factors which are equally important in choosing an agent to help you sell your home, condo or townhouse: 1) skill level related to the above factors and 2) relationship with you as a seller.

When an agent wants to be the one to sell your home you may get all sorts of promises or be told all sorts of interesting things they will do differently, but will they be the best one for you.

Make sure you see some of the listings they have had so you can check on the quality of the photography and written description.

Find out what they include in the way of marketing for what you will be paying them.

See if they spend the time to find out what is important to you and if they really listen to what you are saying.

What are their communication skills and do they have a plan to keep in regular communication with you about progress?

I have known sellers who went with an agent who they knew from a personal connection or because they were promised things that sounded great and then had their property languish on the market or never heard from their agent. This is an important decision and you should make sure that you have an agent you trust and that values the importance of the seller-agent relationship

When you’re ready to sell don’t hesitate to contact me to get find out what I do to bring the selling experience to a whole new level.

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