While it is useful to learn from your mistakes, it is far more ideal to learn from other people’s mistakes and thereby avoid making them altogether. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, this is particularly important when selling a home. He provides a few common mistakes that sellers have made in the past, in the hope that future sellers avoid repeating them:
Selling the home privately
There are certain things that should be left to the professionals. Selling a property can be a complex, intricate process. While going it alone might be a tempting option to avoid paying an estate agent’s commission, working with a reputable real estate professional will ensure that the home is sold for the best possible price within the shortest possible time. A professional agent from a reputable company will provide the seller with a valuation, advice and all the additional data they need in order to ensure the property is correctly priced to sell. They will also market the property to the correct type of buyer from their database of potential purchasers.
Selecting the wrong real estate agent
While not using an estate agent can be a mistake, using the wrong agent can be just as detrimental to the success of the sale. The simple fact is that all agents are not equal, so it is vital to select the right one for the job. It is important to work with an agent who has working experience in the area that the property is situated. The agent must have a depth of knowledge on the property market, specifically the micro-market in the seller’s neighbourhood.
Overpricing the property
While it is good to have high expectations, sellers should rather be smart when pricing their home. Although many sellers will be tempted to over-price their property to counteract buyer negotiations, overpricing could chase buyers away altogether, leaving the home sitting on the market for longer than it has to. Listing the home at a price above fair market value and then letting it drop several times can also lead to a lower selling price than the seller was originally hoping for. A savvy agent can help the seller set the best, most competitive price for their home based on other recent sales and local market trends.
Worrying about the little things
When selling a property it is important to keep things in perspective. The seller needs to bear in mind that they are in the process of one of the biggest financial transactions they are likely to ever make. While it might be easy to get distracted by the costs of the pre-listing repairs and upgrades, once the home is sold, the seller can focus on the rewarding outcome and forget about the small frustrations along the way.
Becoming overly emotional
It is easy to get wrapped up in the fact that many memories have been built up in the home, however while these are heartfelt stories, they will not win over buyers. Although sellers will have an emotional attachment to the home, potential buyers will only be looking at the home itself. The seller’s personal history with the home can sometimes cloud a buyer’s judgment, which is where an objective estate agent can be a valuable asset.
“Avoiding these mistakes will help to ensure that the process of selling a home is less stressful and a far easier procedure to handle,” Goslett concludes.
For more information visit www.remax.co.za