It’s no secret that the housing market has made a remarkable recovery nationwide over the last few years. Most major markets across the country have experienced greater demand and shrinking inventory, creating a strong market for sellers to sell their homes quickly and for greater profits. If you’re selling your home, however, don’t let your advantage go to your head. Here are three blunders sellers commonly make during a sellers’ market:
1. Not pricing your home competitively
One of the most common mistakes you can make in a sellers’ market is overpricing your home. Sellers often look around at the listing prices of others homes and, due to their surprise at what others are asking and a fear of not getting every penny they can, they list their home too high.
However, failing to base your listing price on the selling price of comparable homes can have negative repercussions. First, and foremost, most buyers need to acquire a loan in order to purchase, so your home will need to appraise for the purchase price.
Secondly, in today’s real estate market, buyers have access to a lot of information and are comparing your home to more properties than ever before. Pricing your home too high can also cause it to sit on the market longer. When a home is on the market for, what in another market, would seem a reasonable period, buyers often ask the question: “What’s wrong with this home?”
2. Failing to prepare your home to go on the market
Sellers frequently look at minor maintenance and the tidiness of their home as small details that they shouldn’t need to worry about in a sellers’ market. Overlooking these details, however, can contribute to buyer’s lack of confidence in the home and a fear that the home may have larger issues that have not been addressed. This can have a huge impact on a buyer’s willingness to submit their best offer. Creating the best first impression can have a big impact on the types of offers you receive on your home.
3. Not taking the first offer seriously
In the often whirlwind process of selling a home during a sellers’ market, the idea that you shouldn’t consider the first offer is a common misconception. A seller asking a reasonable selling price can often receive a strong offer right away. But many think: “I got such a strong offer right away. If I wait, maybe I’ll get an even better one.”
However, there are several reasons to consider the first offer more carefully. Often times, those immediate offers are made by motivated buyers who’ve done their homework and have been waiting for the right property to come along. They know what they can afford and are realistic about what they’re going to have to pay to get what they want. While there are likely more people out looking for a property similar to yours, it’s not uncommon for the first offer to be the best offer. Also, even in a sellers’ market, a fresh listing can often benefit from greater negotiation power than a home that has been on the market for a while.