What Not to Do When Selling a House

Selling your home is a major life milestone. It can be complicated when you consider all the steps involved. Repairs, preparing the home to list, finding a buyer, home inspections, the closing process, and finally the move. The process is like no other financial transaction. But too often, sellers sabotage the sale of their homes by making avoidable mistakes.

Listing and selling your home is time-consuming and stressful. It may feel like an invasion of privacy. Strangers will come in and out of your home and poke around. They will criticize and make unnecessary comments in your presence. To top it all off, they will offer you less money than what you are asking for and ask for closing costs.

Listing mistakes can impact your finances and most importantly, the sale of your home. Little improvements can go a long way. A well-maintained exterior signals to buyers that the interior has been well maintained as well. Trim the trees, lay fresh mulch, hose down the walkways, pressure-wash the sidewalk, upgrade old light fixtures, or paint the front door.

These are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when selling a home:

1. Not Hiring an Agent

Your Real Estate Agent will be a valuable resource in your quest to get the best possible price for your home. Helping you set a fair listing price, offer suggestions about staging, repairs, cleaning, and curb appeal that will pay off. Some choose to go the For Sale by Owner route to avoid paying commissions but don’t realize the support and guidance we offer.

A great agent has your best interests at heart. They will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for a quick sale. An agent can also help with the emotional part of the process. We interact with potential buyers and eliminate showings to those who only want to look at your property but have no interest in buying a home. Selling looks easy, but you need someone that understands the process forwards and backward.

Your agent will have more experience negotiating home sales. You will get more money than you could on your own. If any problems occur during the process, and usually do, an experienced agent will be there to handle them for you. We are familiar with all the paperwork involved in real estate transactions and make sure the process goes smoothly.

2. Setting an unrealistic price

You might have an idea of how much your home could be worth based on home sales in your community. Homes of similar size and features that have sold near you. These comparable sales referred to as “comps”, are what real estate agents use to recommend a listing price.

The challenge is that no two homes are ever the same. As agents, we need to account for each difference between homes to be accurate. This is called adjusting. Pricing your home too high can cause the listing to suffer.

The price you want and what the market will bring can be two very different things.

Whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend not just on your pricing approach, but also on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.

In today’s market, Buyers are extremely well educated. They have all the historical data. Access to tax records. What you paid for the property and many times what you owe. A seller needs to understand they are dealing with a very educated party in the negotiation.

Over-pricing a home and having a listing on the market for several months, is never good. This might make a buyer think there is something wrong with the property.

3. Failing to make the necessary repairs

A long list of repairs can turn buyers off and potentially decrease the value of your home. Buyers expect the condition of your home to match the description on your listing.

Whatever improvements or upgrades are completed, make sure these are done right and by a professional. The objective here is to address evident issues, especially those that are likely to turn up during a home inspection.

Look for items that are broken, in poor condition, or can affect the safety, structure, or functionality of the home. Pay attention to things like appliances, carpet, light fixtures, dents, and scrapes on walls and doors.

4. Skimping on listing photos

Photos are one of the best marketing tools online. Professional photos create more interest in a property, more interest leads to more buyers.

If possible, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top-quality results. Don’t allow your agent to take a few snapshots on a phone. Good quality photos should be clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light out.

Showcase your home’s best assets. Many buyers are looking for homes online these days and make their decision to fall in love with your home with pictures. Good quality photos will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest.

5. Not staging your home

Sellers often take lightly the power of furnishing and staging. All homes benefit from staging, whether they are studio condos, single-family homes, or lavish mansions. Staging is not decorating; it is placing neutral yet tasteful furnishings to draw attention to the features of your home. In some cases, you can get away with moving furniture around or adding a curtain or a painting. But sometimes, you may need to stage your home.

Have your agent, point out areas of your home that need attention. Declutter, clean thoroughly, add a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and get rid of any odors. This will help you make a good impression on buyers.

Generally speaking, the cleaner, less cluttered, your home is, the more appeal it can have. Even if you’re not hiring professionals, there’s plenty you can do yourself. Hide personal photos, knickknacks, and memorabilia. Tone down distracting decor and bright colors. Move anything that would divert attention from the most important thing a buyer should be focusing on, the Home.

Be a wise seller, call a professional!

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

Orlando Listing Agents Vs. Buyer’s Agents

You’ll probably never hear a listing agent ask a buyer’s agent, what’s the highest amount their client [the buyer] is willing to pay for a property. So why is it that some buyer’s agents think that it’s OK to ask listing agents how low their client [the seller] is willing to go on the price?

I don’t know of any good listing agents that would spill the beans anyway, why would they? When I became an Orlando Real Estate Agent, one of the first things I learned is that there are 3 things that you never reveal in a real estate negotiation…seller’s motivation, seller’s price, and the terms. It would be kind of like showing your cards to the other players at the table in a high-stakes poker game.

I guess you can’t blame buyers for wanting to feel out what the seller’s bottom line is before making an offer in writing. It’s mostly about saving time and effort. If the seller isn’t interested in accepting a lowball offer, then the buyer could save themselves the hassle of preparing a contract, pre-approval letter, etc. After that, the buyer then has to wait and see if it’s been accepted or not.

Although the seller’s “bottom line” as well as the buyer’s “best and final” is eventually revealed to each other, you can’t just skip the first part of the dance that we call negotiating. Sometimes I wish we could cut to the chase because it would save the realtor some time also.

So when a buyer’s agent asks me what my client’s bottom line is. I say “put your best and final offer in writing and I’ll present it to my client”, and that’s when the real negotiating begins.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

9 Critical Questions you Must ask your Orlando Realtor before Listing your Home

Listing your home with the wrong agent could cost you Big Bucks

Most people will only sell a home a handful of times throughout their whole life. With limited or no experience in Orlando real estate it’s hard for someone to know how to maximize their profits from the sale of their home. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that all realtors are the same. They list with the first realtor that comes along without doing any research on that person and it ultimately ends up costing the seller thousands of dollars. The following information will help you to decide which Orlando realtor you should choose to sell your home for maximum profit.

Always Start with Google

Like pretty much anything you do these days, you start by typing your search term into Google and see what comes up. Most of the time you can find out anything you need to find out just by doing this. Once the list of Orlando realtors comes up, pick the top ten search engine results and write down their information. From these top ten agents, you should use the following questions to decide which is the right agent for you.

1.    Could You send me some information about yourself?   By asking this  question you can learn a lot about this realtor. Ask them to see some of their marketing materials such as; postcards, ads, internet ads, etc. Also, pay attention to how long the agent takes to get back at you. If it takes a Orlando realtor 24 hrs or more to get back to you after you’ve left them a message then you can expect them to take at least that long to follow up with a potential buyer for your house.

2.    How many Orlando properties have you listed and sold in the last six months?   You want an Orlando agent that has experience in selling homes in the area where your home is located. By knowing the number of houses they’ve listed and the number of houses that they’ve sold within the same time period, you can get a good idea of what kind of results to expect.

3.    What is the average length of time that it takes you to sell home?   See what they tell you, then verify it. An Expert in Orlando real estate will know exactly at what price to list your home at to sell quickly for the highest price that the market will allow. The agent that you choose should have a good record of selling homes, not just listing them.

4.    How long have you been in business?   Going by how long an agent has had their license is not a good way to find out how good of a home seller they are. There are many “part time” agents that have been licensed for ten years or more, but I will choose a “rookie” top producing agent any day over a realtor that has to do something other than  selling Orlando real estate to make a living.

5.   Do you have any employees or an assistant?    Top  Producing Orlando Agents will almost always have at least an assistant. A lot of things involved with selling real estate are tedious and very time consuming, especially when you’re negotiating a short sale. A realtor with an assistant is typically a sign of a successful realtor.

6.  What listing price would you recommend? And how did you come up with that number? Pricing a house right from  the beginning is absolutely critical. The price should be realistic and a Keep in mind the selling price should attract prospective buyers to your home, get you top dollar in the current market and reflect the condition of your home. Be realistic and avoid ‘yes agents’, who will say ‘yes’ to any request or price while your home languishes on the market. Lowball agents will try to talk you into an artificial price simply to sell as fast as possible.

7.   What does your listing agreement entail? ,  when does it expire and what fees will I have to pay if you are successful in selling my house? – Have your agent go over every detail in the listing agreement with you until you understand it completely. Make sure the beginning and ending dates are on the agreement; a good standard for length is three months. Know exactly what fees you will be paying and remember that less is not always better. If the agent stands to make very little commission you can bet it will be reflected in the amount of time and effort that is spent marketing your home. If the agent reduces their commission to get the listing it may mean they intend to spend very little money promoting the property. The normal commission is between 5 and 7 percent.

8.   How do you market your Orlando properties?  How much is your Orlando realtor going to spend on advertising this property? What are the different methods or strategies do they use for marketing their properties? Do they have a strong internet presence? Beware of agents that will do nothing more than list your property on the MLS…and that’s it. Agents who are aggressive and innovative with their marketing will always outperform agents who only rely on methods of the past.

9.   Can I see some testimonials from your past clients? Any top producing Realtor should have at least a dozen testimonials from past clients and should be happy to show them to you. If the agent can’t produce any, then you should end the interview right there and continue searching for the right agent.

I hope these questions will help you to find the right realtor for you. As always ask me anything, I’m here to help.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields