The work of a rehabber doesn’t end once the property is finished. In fact, in many respects, it is just beginning. You need to push the ball over the goal line and get the property sold. It is not enough to rely on the work you and your team did to find a buyer. With low-interest rates and increased financing options, buyers still have the upper hand in negotiations. You need to do everything you can to have your property stand out if you want a quick, smooth transaction. Just one minor misstep with the list price, landscaping decisions or marketing can bring any momentum you have to a screeching halt. Here are five home selling mistakes you need to avoid at all costs.
- Pricing Too High: If you have ever watched any one of the numerous real estate shows on TV you know about the damage of pricing too high. This isn’t just a common theme real estate agents use to get your home sold quicker. It can have a legitimate and lasting negative impact. In the world of real estate first impressions are everything. When a new listing hits the MLS you get instant feedback from agents and buyers. If your home is listed too high agents will scoff at the listing and not give it a second thought. You may think that in listing aggressively and trying to squeeze every dollar from the property you will improve your return, but the exact opposite usually happens. The demand will be far less than anticipated and after a few weeks you will be forced to act. This could mean lowering your price or spending money on staging to generate interest. You are almost always better off listening to your agent and listing at a number in line with the market.
- Not Using An Agent: Every person, in any business, wants to maximize their return on investment. After spending several weeks on a rehab project you can feel that you know the home better than any agent that will try to sell your property. Instead of throwing money away on the commission you think you can sell the property yourself. What you may not understand is what is involved in selling a home. You need to know how to market the property to generate maximum interest. A for sale sign in the front yard or on the top of the street will probably not get it done. You also need to make yourself available to show the property whenever there is interest. If there is an offer you need to understand how the contract works and the legal aspects with a sale. You may catch lightning in a bottle and find a buyer, but in most cases, a real estate agent can negotiate a higher price and free up time so you can focus on finding the next deal.
- Dismissing Offers: There is no such thing as a bad offer. Sure, some offers will be well below the list price, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Think about how you acquire properties. You try to get the best possible price on every property. Sellers think the same way and are always trying to get a steal of a deal. If there is a lowball offer you shouldn’t get offended and take it personally. Always counter at a number you are comfortable with, even if it is just under the list price. If their counter is still off then you can move on, but you never want to blindly ignore an offer. Many buyers make low offers in an attempt to see where you stand. If you hold your ground they know you will end up near asking price. An offer is an attempt to start negotiation, however low it may be.
- Stubbornness: In any real estate transaction there is a bit of give and take. The goal isn’t to dominate every negotiation, but to get the property sold. You need to always think about the big picture when selling a home. It is very rare that you will get everything you desire from the sale. Unless you are in the right market and time it right, you need to be willing to make concessions. This could mean slightly coming down on your price, extending the closing date or changing something in the property. If you say no to everything your buyer pool may dry up and you will be left with the property for weeks, possibly months before another seller comes along. Making a little less or cutting into your profits isn’t ideal but in the big picture, it is almost always worth it.
- Dismissing Staging. With some properties, it may not be enough to do quality work. Regardless if you are selling a freshly finished rehab or a home you have lived in for two decades you need to make buyers feel welcome. They should feel an instant appeal as soon as they open the front door. As much as a blank canvas provides options, it may not feel like home. You should always at least consider staging the property. Sure, staging comes at a cost but it should be thought of as an investment. Spending a few thousand can possibly net you five times your investment for the right property. Staging doesn’t work on every rehab in every market, but for the right one it can make all the difference.
Getting a property sold always has its fair share of challenges. Don’t make things harder by making simple mistakes. Use these five tips to help expedite the sale and maximize your profits.
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