Real estate column: Ways to not sell your home
Here are some ways to avoid moving even if you want to sell your house:
1. Thinking you can do it yourself. You’re likely not going to do surgery on yourself, build your own new car or home, or defend yourself in a lawsuit. So why would you try to sell your home yourself?
Believe it or not, trying to sell your own home will likely be a detriment. Buyers often don’t want to deal with the seller directly. If they think you are overpriced, they will not even make an offer because they don’t want to directly insult you. Brokers often would rather deal with a professional who understands the process of a real estate transaction than trying to teach you along the way.
2. Thinking you’re a photographer. How important are photos in today’s efforts to sell a property? Extremely. Many buyers won’t even give your home a thought if your pictures are poor or nonexistent. No one wants to see you taking a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror, or a crooked photo of your living room with your dog and cat lounging on the sofa.
Go ahead, Google “worst real estate photos” and sit back and laugh. Taking cool selfies with your kids on vacation doesn’t make you a good residential photographer. Furthermore, look at the history of those properties with bad photos, I would be willing to bet, and many of them have the words “price reduction,” “motivated Seller,” or “for sale by owner” next to it.
3. Get out. Really, leave the house during a showing. If you stick around and want to meet the buyer of your home and tell them all of the great things about it, all you’re doing is encouraging them to leave as quickly as possible in most instances.
If I were the buyer, instead of telling me what’s great, I’d ask you what’s wrong with it and what to hate about it. If a buyer is interested in your home, they will have their broker ask questions. The idea is to keep them in the house as long as possible, not to give them excuses to leave.
4. Never use the term “this is my bottom dollar.” It’s probably not, and you just scared a potential buyer away. In fact, if you used that term during negotiations, chances are you will be calling your broker at the end of this season to reduce the price, or you will be enjoying another winter in your home.
Even if it is your bottom dollar, just stop negotiating. A buyer doesn’t want to deal with someone takes a hard stance like that. They will ask themselves, “If this seller is already acting like this, how is the transaction going to go smoothly?”
5. Your Zestimate is a joke in these parts. How can a computer program determine the value of your home? Sure, it looks at county records, recently sold homes and trends. That may work if you’re in a cookie-cutter neighborhood in Denver, but not here.
Zillow claims a median margin of error of 5 percent. That can mean a lot of money being left on the table or be the very reason your home isn’t selling. To give Zillow credit, it does say that it is only a starting point, and to contact a real estate agent or appraiser. There is simply more to a home’s value than your Zestimate and price per square foot.
Sean de Moraes is a real estate agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s.
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