by Walter Sanford
Here’s a checklist of ideas to educate your prospective sellers on the pitfalls of selling their home and help position yourself as the local expert.
Just one more piece of collateral to add to your lead conversion and follow up tools as a free download on your web site, addition to your email auto responder, or through your client e-letter.
Pick out those that best suit your business strengths and modify to make it your own.
18 Mistakes Most Sellers Make When Putting Their Home on the Market
- Pricing your home too high: Have a professional determine comparable sales and listing competition. You want top dollar, and you want all the buyers to see your home. The top agents know how to walk that fine line.
- Small repairs bring big profits and fast sales: Have a professional give you low-cost solutions to minor repairs that will yield big profits. I arrange for a professional inspection for my sellers so we are actually selling “pre-inspected properties”, which is another reason why I get more showings for my sellers.
- Not considering other financing terms (besides cash): Have a professional give you options that may be better than cash for you, the homeowner, and financing options that excite a buyer. All of my sellers have a flyer that we give them on the “Fifteen Ways a Buyer Can Finance” detailing how new buyers can finance your home.
- Market Timing: Have a professional determine if the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. At least ask to be shown how you make profits in a down market. There are opportunities in good and bad markets. At Sanford Systems, we study market trends and know what is around the corner.
- Providing easy access for showings: There are many ways to show a home. Appointment only is the most restrictive; lock boxes are the least restrictive. Have a professional help you determine which is best for your lifestyle. I have a full-time staff that will make sure your home is shown when that buyer is ready. Another exclusive service of Sanford Systems is that we train each of the agents in our office on how to best show your home.
- Staging your property correctly: Can you put items in storage? Create more light or music? Walter can help you with ideas, a handyman, or designer. We have the experience and ‘know how’ to make your property a better value every week.
- Choosing the right REALTOR®: If your home didn’t sell last time, make sure and get it right this time with someone who knows the market and how to create a customized marketing plan to bring top dollar.
- Believing that selling property is seasonal: Do not base selling decisions on the seasons. Property is always selling. In fact, in the traditional “off times” there is less inventory, and, therefore, more activity on individual properties as a result. One of my biggest months for sales and seller success has been XXXX.
- Pricing their home too low: One reason to hire Walter is to make sure that no money is left on the table. We will make sure all of the features and benefits are not only brought out in a real world marketing campaign, but also that you get paid for them.
- Not using current marketing technology: Make sure your agent is on the “Information Highway” with 800 interactive voice recognition systems, personal web sites, search engine technology, and the latest in buyer communications. Check out our web site and buyer resources here XXXXX.
- Re‑evaluating the marketing plan every 10 days: The market, you, and your property require intuitive changes on a regular basis. That is why we schedule a meeting with our seller clients every ten working days.
- Believing the agent is not doing the job: Do you know that 80% of buyer activity comes from signs and the MLS? Even the most mediocre agent can bring these tools. So if you lack showing problems look at your price, terms, and staging first. At Sanford Systems we can add value to your property in many ways.
- Ignoring first impressions from the buyer: Sales are often hampered by unkempt lawns, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, hard‑to‑work locks, dead light bulbs, bad colors, stains, unlit areas, and unusual smells. Spend time on the little things; double up on your gardener, keep things cleaner than usual and “marshal” the pets. Understanding you still have a life, I will give you a simple list of small items to consider.
- Not giving the sales effort enough time: You should never give too little time to something that is inherently a long process. Estimate the time you have to sell and then add some time so that you are never put in the position of having to do something based on deadlines. Walter can help you with the average time on market in your area in your price range. We do, however, pride ourselves on beating the average days on market, as published by our Multiple Listing Service.
- Dealing with unqualified or unsavory characters: One of the best reasons to hire a real estate professional is they have the ability to pre‑qualify a prospect before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, they have the tools to discover if a prospect’s motivation to see your home may be other than purchasing a house. Understand that I use a team approach in achieving your goals as a seller. One of my team members is a local lender who I will involve in your sale early who will pre-approve every buyer that I show your home to.
- Believing they are powerless to make a difference: Top agents in the industry report that sellers themselves are responsible for one out of six sales. You can network with your business and personal friends, hand out flyers to your personnel department, and keep the house “ready to move into.” Your professional real estate agent should be ready to hand out all sorts of easy assignments to make the “team effort” successful. I have a list of thirty items you can help with, if you are so inclined.
- Testing the market: Never put your property on the market unless you really want to sell. Get ready for a professional sales effort if you list with a great agent. If your plan includes indecision, be prepared for frustration because top dollar sales success is Walter’s objective.
- Not setting up expectations with their agent: Your agent needs to guarantee how fast the return phone calls are made, how many websites your home will be on, numbers of showings, and a myriad of other goals. Sanford systems provides these guarantees (as many as 300 marketing points) in writing.
★ Walter Sanford’s Library – Walter’s training manuals, books, cd’s and systems.