9 Mistakes You Can Make When Selling a Home in Toronto
Mistake #1 – Pricing Incorrectly Every Seller wants to realize as much money as possible when selling a home. But a listing price that is too high often gets the Seller less than a price that is market value. If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favour of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the people who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads! Overpricing mistakes usually increase time on the market, and that adds to the carrying costs. Ultimately, many overpriced properties sell below market value.
Mistake #2 – Failing To “Showcase” The Home Buyers look for homes, not houses, and they buy the home in which they would like to live. Owners who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping, and keep it clean and neat chase Buyers away as rapidly as a REALTOR® can bring them.
Mistake #3 – Using The “Hard Sell” During Showings Buying a house is an emotional decision. People like to “try on” a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It’s difficult for them to do that if you follow them around pointing out every improvement you have made. It may even have the opposite effect by making them feel they are intruding on their private space.
Mistake #4 – Mistaking Lookers For Buyers For Sale By Owners (FSBO) may get more activity than houses listed with a REALTOR®, yet a REALTOR® will only bring qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than if you open your front door to everyone who walks down the street. Many potential buyers may have a house to sell first, may need to save some more towards their down payment, or may have credit that needs fixing. When everything is in place, that’s when they start looking seriously.
A REALTOR® will ask a Buyer how much he can really spend for a house, how much he has to put down, how good his credit is, how much he can pay each month, how much he will realize (realistically!) when he sells his present home – and about a dozen other questions like that. But unless your REALTOR® finds out all the facts first, you must ask all these questions before the Buyer crosses your threshold. Otherwise, you may have a parade of Sunday afternoon shoppers with a dream of owning a home some day.
Mistake #5 – Not Knowing Your Rights AND Obligations Real estate law is extensive and complex; the agreement of purchase & sale is a legally binding document. Misrepresentation or an improperly written contract may cause the sale to fall through or be very costly mistakes to rectify. In advance you must be aware of any deed restrictions and local zoning by-laws and how they might affect the transaction. You or your REALTOR® must know how to remedy them or ensure that the contract is drafted to protect you from both legal and financial exposure
Mistake #6 – Signing A Listing Contract With No Way Out Many times a REALTOR® will have good intentions about marketing your house, but circumstances can change. There might be a crisis in the REALTOR®`s life, or they may decide to quit the business. In these cases where the REALTOR® couldn’t or wouldn’t perform, you should have the right to fire your REALTOR®. In some companies the Broker will assign your listing to someone else in the office, someone you didn’t personally select. Always protect yourself by getting a guarantee of performance with the right to cancel.
Mistake #7 – Limiting The Marketing And Exposure Of The Property The two most obvious marketing tools (open houses and classified ads) are only moderately effective. Surprisingly, less than 1% of homes are sold at an open house.
Advertising studies show that less than 3% of people purchased their home because they called on an ad. And if a machine answers, most callers just hang up without leaving a message.
The right REALTOR® will employ a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones he believes will work best for you and your particular property. There are many of more effective ways to find buyers than just open houses and advertising.
By the way, he or a trained member of his staff will be there every time the phone rings. Did you know that most calls come in during business hours when vendors are away at work and many home showing are between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday?
Mistake #8 – Believing That A Bank Mortgage Appraisal Is The Market Value Of Your House An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose at a specific time. If the lender wants to lend you the money, they are motivated to have the appraisal come in on the high side. A REALTOR® has access to more current information and has actually inspected the interior of the recently sold properties. Mortgage appraisers often do drive-by evaluations. Foreclosure or distress sales may not be taken into consideration. But a real Buyer in the real world shops by comparison and will not ignore these properties. They are your competition when you try to sell.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the value you were told even six months ago when you re-financed is today’s market value. Ask your REALTOR® for ALL the solds in your area, then decide.
Mistake #9 – Choosing The Wrong REALTOR® Or Choosing One For The Wrong Reasons To find the REALTOR® who is right for you, you may interview several. The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the person best qualified.
It’s interesting that in the real estate business, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. Bringing substantial experience to bear on your transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiation table, selling in less time, and with the minimum amount of hassles and mistakes.
The world is populated with real estate agents who are wrong for you. For example there are some who sell an occasional house for a little pocket change, or others who believe they can handle two careers. Or perhaps you might lean towards your cousin George who really needs your business.
For most people the principal residence represents their most valuable asset, thus the sale becomes a very important financial transaction. You are placing a major portion of your net worth in the hands of a REALTOR® for safekeeping. Choose that person with the same care as you would selecting a financial planner, accountant, doctor or lawyer. The person you select can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience.
Want us to interview for the job? We provide a free, no obligation evaluation of how much your home or condo is worth and explain the process step by step in selling your home. Email or call us today: 416-572-1016