Every seller wants the same thing. They want to sell their house for the MOST money possible, as QUICKLY as possible, and they want it all to go smoothly, right? Right. I don’t imagine I will get much argument from that … and as a real estate agent I can tell you that is exactly what we ALSO want for you. So….why so often does it NOT go that way?
Lots of reasons. Most of them you have already heard…the market, the season, the election, interest rates… But are there reasons YOUR house isn’t selling and others are? Is there something NO ONE is telling you…because they are too embarrassed to have that conversation with you? Maybe. If you want your house to SELL then keep reading and make sure YOU aren’t making any of these mistakes.
Thinking your house is special. I see this one again, and again, and AGAIN. You would think every seller is a millennial the way they all talk about how SPECIAL their house is…and how they deserve so many tens of thousands of dollars for just owning it for X number of years. Let me tell you right now, your house is not special…I don’t care how many agents you have had walk your house and TELL you it is special…I am here to tell you that it is NOT. This isn’t an easy thing to say to your face as you proudly lead me around your home pointing out all of the upgrades you have done and remembering all the many happy memories you have created in your home. It also won’t win a real estate agent (me!) the listing, so I don’t tell you(well, actually, I might)…and you go around thinking your house is special and maybe doesn’t have to TRY as hard as the other houses to sell, and will WIN the most qualified buyers without any EFFORT to earn their admiration. This belief is one that will KEEP your house from finding its wings and its new family. It will keep your house with YOU for much longer than you had planned. Your house is NOT special and if it doesn’t put on its best face and clean out most of the junk that has accumulated inside…it will STAY with YOU. Spruce up your house before you put it on the market, that means landscaping, paint, clean out your closets, make all repairs you know your house needs, CLEAN IT until it shines, crank down the air so if feels like heaven in July, and KEEP IT THAT WAY UNTIL IT SELLS. Your house (and you) will have to put in some effort….no, you guys will have to give your ALL to sell quickly, and for top dollar. Selling isn’t for sissies if you want the most moola TODAY. Don’t believe your house is special and will sell without a WHOLE lot of work!
Thinking you are a salesperson. Sellers (you) might think that the buyers that are looking at your house won’t see the important things, and their agents won’t point out the important things, and if you don’t stay there for the showings then all of the important things will be missed. So you stay, and you SMILE super big and you are SUPER nice to everyone that comes to look at your house. You aren’t putting on an act, you are a naturally SUPER NICE person. You just want to make SURE that buyers see what your house has to offer. What is embarrassing to tell you is that your SUPER NICE smiles come off as creepy, and you following the buyers and their agent around is SUPER ANNOYING and really not helpful at all because no one is listening to what you are telling them, they are busy working on their mental telepathy (or just texting their spouse) to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND AWAY FROM THE CREEPY SELLER. You might not think it is possible that anyone would think your helpful information is creepy, how could showcasing your remote control pool waterfall be construed as CREEPY? This definitely doesn’t apply to you…but I am here to tell you it DOES. No matter how non-creepy you THINK you are….I promise you that is not the impression the buyers are getting, or their agent. Leave your house when buyers come through to view it.
Thinking they will come back. Let’s say you had a day….you know what kind of day I am talking about. And 3 seconds after you FINALLY get home, get the kids out of the car and plopped in front of the TV with goldfish so you can start to think about dinner … the phone rings and it is an annoyingly sweet sounding agent asking if she can take her buyers through your house RIGHT NOW. She is SO sorry she didn’t make an appointment, her assistant told her the house was vacant…but they saw you drive into your garage as they were pulling up to view your house…but they are here, could they PLEASE just see it really quickly? Every single cell in your body will want to scream “NO!” you haven’t even cooled down from your drive home, you are starving, your kids are whiny and tired and so are you. Whatever it is, you STILL have to leave your house again, right now, and let them view your home. Because you only need ONE buyer, and this showing could be that buyer. So smile, wave from your car, and drive around the block until they leave, or through a drive through for dinner (because selling your house IS one of those times that fast food is okay). You never know, the buyers might only be in town for a couple of days and they won’t have time to see your house another time, they need to find their house today. You must suck it up and make your house available…even when you really don’t want to…because even though your agent (not me) said if someone was really interested they would come back, and professional agents will make appointments with the two hours leeway that you requested, I am here to tell you that might not happen.
Digging your feet in when it comes to negotiating. Sometimes the BEST offer you will get will be your first offer. Sellers (you) might think you under priced your house if you get an offer right away, so if that offer is also asking for a home warranty and closing costs….you think “No way!” Clearly your house is GREAT and you should have priced it higher because you got an offer so quickly, so no way will you also pay for those things for the buyer. Here is what is hard to say to your face…”You are SO LUCKY to have this offer. This is a gift that has fallen into your lap and you should work with it! These people really want your house, but every negotiation should be a win/win so you should buy them that home warranty and help them with their closing costs.” If you think there will always be another buyer willing to pay more so you don’t need to deal with the petty requests of this buyer…you could be so wrong. Sometimes the first offer will be the ONLY offer you get for a month, or two. Then, when that next offer comes in… you have been sitting on the market, keeping your house sparkly, clean, and available for showings…for over 60 days and this next buyer thinks you might be starting to feel a little desperate to sell…so they low ball you, to see if you will bite. And you will WANT to bite because you are tired of this stupid house and your stupid neighbors asking how it is going, and every house you want to buy keeps going under contract, and you are just DONE…so you take LESS than that very first offer you had 60 days ago that you turned down.
Not agreeing to make repairs to your house when the buyer requests them. This is the one that as a real estate agent baffles me again and again. Just because you lived in this very SPECIAL house and a buyer has made an offer on your very special house, does not mean it is a done deal and your job is done. Maybe it didn’t bother you to have the roof leak because the rain went straight into the kitchen sink so you hardly noticed it, and it IS Arizona, it hardly rains! …but that doesn’t mean this is something the buyer would also be willing to live with. And if the buyer would like you to repair it…why does this make you SO FURIOUS? When you bought that house didn’t you make the sellers replace the air conditioner? What if they had said no to your request, would you have still bought that house that you love so much and is SO VERY SPECIAL? I can tell you you would not have because you were flat broke and every penny you had was going into the purchase of that house so there was no way you would have moved forward with the house purchase with the broken air conditioner… so why do you expect this buyer to ignore your leaking roof just because you can? Make repairs to your house, or negotiate a fair credit in lieu of repairs, don’t let the buyers walk away. It is part of being a reasonable seller. I know that you hate spending money on a house you are leaving…I so get it…but that is part of selling.
Selling your house SUCKS. It is a TON of work to get your house ready to go on the market, and then daily maintaining that ridiculous glow and sparkle while people walk your house and JUDGE it…and then decide that they don’t want it. For these reasons YOU must not sabotage your own sale by making any of the mistakes I just listed for YOU. Really, do yourself a favor and make sure you aren’t your own worst enemy…and save your real estate agent from having to tell you any of these things to your face. That is not a fun conversation for either of you.
If you want more tips and secrets to make the home selling process the EASIEST, quickest, and most lucrative for you, follow me…I give out most of my secrets generously! If you want a FREE check list of what to do to get your house ready to sell…CLICK HERE!