If you’ve recently decided to sell your home, your timing couldn’t be better. Some experts are saying we’re in the “strongest seller’s market ever.” With homes entering and exiting the market at lightning speed, an average of 62 days nationwide, it’s reasonable to assume yours will sell quickly, too. And it gets better: The median list price of homes is currently 9% higher than this time last year.
All that good news doesn’t mean you can just toss out a half-hearted listing and expect the offers to just roll in, though. Selling a home fast and at a great price—even in perfect market conditions—requires a plan of action and the effort to execute that plan. As you prepare to put your home on the market, be sure to avoid these five biggest listing mistakes:
LISTING MISTAKE 1: OVERPRICING
Yes, it’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean buyers have lost their common sense (usually). If you list at an unreasonable price, your home will likely sit on the market. And sit. And sit. And sit. And a stale listing is unappealing to prospective buyers—even somewhat desperate ones.
Pro Tip: Many buyers believe that if their home sells too quickly, they priced it too low. More likely, it was priced just right. In fact, setting it too high to leave room for negotiating could backfire, scaring off legitimate buyers. Today’s buyers are savvy, and will know if the price is right. And if it is slightly lower, chances are good the right buyer will come in above asking price to get a great deal.
LISTING MISTAKE 2: FOREGOING REPAIRS
A seller’s market doesn’t mean you can get away with being cavalier about that leaky roof or corroded plumbing. Sure, you might get an offer right away, but you might also waste a bunch of time negotiating contingencies. You’ll most likely end up paying for necessary improvements anyway. It’s always worth it to make repairs ahead of time.
Pro Tip: First impressions start at the curb, so be sure to include outdoor repairs on your to-do list.
LISTING MISTAKE 3: AVOIDING CLEANING/DE-CLUTTERING
Similarly, a seller’s market doesn’t magically decrease the power of first impressions. If prospective buyers walk into a cramped mess, they’ll be ready to move on to the next showings—regardless of how few are available. Although a clean and de-cluttered home takes time and energy, you’ll have to do it before you move to your new home anyway—so you might as well start now. In other words, if you don’t plan to take it with you, toss it now. Of all the things you can do to improve your home’s market value, cleaning and de-cluttering are the least expensive.
Pro Tip: Don’t go overboard when you de-clutter. Your home still needs to feel, well, homey. Rather than clearing your kitchen counters entirely, create “vignettes” such as a neatly folded newspaper and a cup of coffee on the island.
LISTING MISTAKE 4: USING SHODDY PHOTOGRAPHY
Now that your home is freshly repaired and spit-shined, don’t wreck your listing with terrible photography. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the vast majority of buyers consider the Internet the most useful source of information (86%), and 44% of buyers look at properties online before they do anything else. Those first impressions we mentioned earlier? They start in the virtual space—before prospective buyers even plug your address into Google Maps.
Pro Tip: Lighting is a critical element in real estate photography. Throw open those curtains and let the sun shine in to capture the best shots.
LISTING MISTAKE 5: HIRING THE WRONG REAL ESTATE AGENT (OR NONE AT ALL)
As you read through the last four mistakes, we’re guessing you had some questions:
- What’s the right price for my home?
- What repairs qualify as “necessary” in my case?
- Is my home clean and de-cluttered enough?
- Can’t I just use my camera phone to take photos?
This is why it’s important to involve a real estate professional in your home sale. A qualified real estate agent can help maximize your profit and minimize your time on market. [Find out how to choose the best real estate agent.] When choosing a real estate professional, don’t assume everyone is equally qualified.
At VegasOne, we have dozens of agents waiting to serve you. Get started today!