Don’t Leave Money On The Table

by BW Group on Friday, January 29, 2021
Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling

Even in this hot seller’s market, we’ve seen a lot of homeowners leave a substantial amount of money on the table by making these common and easily avoidable mistakes.

Here are our Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling:

1) Not preparing in advance - This is by far the most common mistake we see. By failing to get your home properly prepared you open yourself up to surprises that could cost you a lot of money. Smart sellers prepare at least a month in advance of listing. They meet with a real estate professional and map out a pre-listing strategy that involves the following:

a) Ordering a new certificate of location (if more than 10 years old or changes to the property have been made, such as the addition of a fence, pool or deck)

b) Having the home inspected by a licensed building inspector

c) Executing key repairs that would scare off potential buyers 

d) Decluttering and Deep cleaning from top to bottom (a fresh coat of paint can provide one of the best returns on investment)

e) Home staging 

By checking off these boxes, you will present your home in the best possible light to future buyers and they will pay top dollar as a result. 

2) Not marketing it effectively - This is the second most common mistake we see. Everything from amateur photography (poor lighting)to not producing high resolution 3D virtual tours, property videos and custom floor plans. 

You also want to make sure that your property is being advertised on various online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, not just on Centris. Today’s buyer is spending a lot of time on social media. An effective marketing plan puts your home in front of thousands of buyers as well as their friends and family who may not be looking at Centris. 

These marketing tools are a must and, if executed correctly, will create a serious buzz that should have qualified buyers lining up to visit and make offers. These days buyers want an in-depth preview before booking a visit, so make it easy for them. If they can tour your home virtually and they like what they see, chances are they will make an offer after a visit. 

3) Not pricing it right - In a hot seller’s market, some folks think they can ask whatever they want for their home. In reality this is often a terrible strategy. You’ve probably seen homes in your neighbourhood that have been up for sale for months during the hottest market we’ve seen in decades. To get top dollar, you need to attract enough interest to create buyer competition. By overpricing your home, you kill the excitement and leave buyers wondering if they are wasting their time even making an offer. They usually won’t, and will move on. The smart sellers go the other way and price competitively so the buyers will fight it out in a bidding war. Price it right to get top dollar.

4) Accepting an offer on day one - This is another sure-fire way to leave thousands of dollars on the table. You must give all of your target buyers enough time to view your home. When a home hits, it can take up to 3 days for active buyers to see the listing, preview the pictures, 3D tour and video and then make time to book a showing. If you avoided mistakes 1-3 and then get a good offer on day one, chances are you could have received many more offers and a lot more money. Tell your broker you don’t want to accept an offer for a few days and put yourself in a position to let the maximum number of qualified buyers see your home. 

5) Focusing only on the price - Sometimes the highest priced offer isn’t the best. Weigh your options carefully and avoid disappointment. Offers with a lot of conditions are risky. There are a number of ways that an offer can be derailed between the time it’s accepted and when it signs at the notary 30, 60 or 90 days later. 

During the pending period, the financing condition could fail if the buyer wasn’t properly pre-approved or the house doesn’t appraise for what it sold for. The buyer could also get cold feet after the inspection and walk away. This is another reason to do your own inspection before listing. Any other conditions of the offer, even if they might seem minor, are there to give the buyer a possible out. If you are lucky enough to have a clean offer with no conditions, consider the risks of taking one that has lots of conditions but offers you a few thousand dollars more. It might just backfire. 

These are just a few of the many mistakes we commonly see in our local market. If you are thinking of selling or would like some honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home while avoiding unpleasant surprises, feel free to reach out. We would be happy to offer our guidance and advice with absolutely no obligation on your part. 

Helping you is what we do!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter - The Tool Shed - for Pro Tips and advice on all things related to owning a home and buying or selling real estate in the West Island of Montreal.