When you announce that you are selling your home, don’t be surprised if suddenly family members, friends and work colleagues become overnight real estate experts with all the advice under the sun. Everyone will have an opinion, usually based on their own past experience. While your friends, family and colleagues no doubt mean well, don’t base your decisions on anyone’s advice but an experienced real estate professional, unless of course they are referring you to an agent they used and were happy with.
Here are 4 more things NOT to do when selling your home.
1. Don’t engage an agent too late
Some sellers assume that the longer they wait before they engage an agent, the less they will have to pay them in commission. However, in reality, the agent is not paid until the property is sold and the fee does not vary depending on how much work the agent does for you or how early you engage them. So you may as well engage them early in the process to get all the advice and help you can from them. In fact, the earlier you engage an agent, the more time the agent can spend with you advising you on things like how to present your property to attract the right target market well before the property is launched on the open market.
2. Don’t select the cheapest agent
Avoid the temptation to base your choice of agent on the fee they charge. Think of the commission charged as a performance fee. The best agents are armed with excellent negotiation skills and will take the time to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome in the sale of your property based on their performance. And remember, they are only paid once the property is sold and it is up to you to approve an offer. You are under no obligation to release your property unless you are happy to proceed. Cheaper agents will generally not spend the time it takes to achieve an excellent outcome. When selecting an agent, treat it as though you are interviewing them for a job. Ask them how they will find the right buyers and what type of marketing they do. Ask them to do a negotiation role play with you (where you play the role of buyer) to determine if their negotiation skills are up to par etc.
3. Don’t overprice your property
It may be tempting to list with the agent who suggests the highest listing price, but be aware that some agents use this tactic to lure a seller into listing with them only to do a price reduction soon afterwards. If you launch on the market with an over-inflated asking price, you’ll scare off potentially large numbers of otherwise interested buyers. Furthermore, the longer your property sits on the market, the less chance you have of generating a wave of interest and excitement around it. The best price almost always happens in the first few weeks, so starting with a price that’s too high may mean you will miss out on your best buyer.
4. Don’t skimp on marketing
An effective, professional and well executed marketing campaign is one of the best ways to generate interest around your property. The more people within your target market who see it, the greater your chances of securing a good sale price in a reasonable timeframe. You’re better off spending $1,000 on marketing than losing $10,000 on the sale price because the property wasn’t exposed to the right people in the right way.