Monday, August 24, 2009

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: Top 4 ways to NOT sell your home.

NORTHWEST AUSTIN HOMES: Top 4 ways to NOT sell your home.

There are a lot of opinions about what it takes to sell a home. I have the opportunity to work with not only home sellers in NW Austin but I also work with a lot of buyers. I always say that I learn much more about listing homes for sale when I am working with buyers and vice-versa. I get to learn their likes and dislikes and what attracts them to a property. I also work with other agents in trying to show their listings to these prospective buyers. Through these experiences I have learned ways to sell your home and the funny thing is, I have learned a lot more ways to NOT sell your home. Here are the Top 4 ways to NOT sell your home.

1. Go Ahead, Overprice Your Home!
As a home seller you are free to price your home as high as you would like....but, it will remain your home if you price it higher than the market will allow. The list price of a home is all about advertising. More often than not, there is a difference between the list price and the sales price. Most often the two are pretty close. Now, when I am talking about list price vs. sales price, I am referring to the LAST list price not the original list price.
Once you place your home on the market, it has the possibility of being exposed to lots of qualified (and unqualified) buyers. Some of them are the PERFECT BUYER FOR YOUR HOME. If your home is overpriced, it may be out of the perfect buyers range. By the time you lower your price, they have probably already found another home. As I am writing this there are almost 4000 homes available in the City of Austin alone. That means that buyers have a lot to choose from.
I have been to homes where my client LOVES EVERYTHING ABOUT THE HOUSE except the price! They weren't looking in an area that was too expensive or looking at homes out of their range. In one example, my clients loved house A. Based on the comps, house A was overpriced by nearly 10%. Knowing they did not want to overpay, we kept looking and we found house B. It was very similar to house A in size, location, age, and quality however House B was priced at market value. Long story short, they put in an offer on House B and have been living there happily for the past two months. Meanwhile, House A is STILL on the market AND this is in an area that homes do not last long on the market.

2. Do It Yourself-
Ok, I would like to preface this by saying not everyone needs a REALTOR. I have worked with buyers to purchase homes where the seller is representing themselves or they have a "limited representation" listing (read:no representation). They get their home listed in the MLS and put a sign in the yard and voila! SOLD! Right? Not always...
If it is priced very well (low) it has a chance. Past clients of mine bought a home in Brushy Creek for well under market value because the seller had a limited representation listing. The seller paid about $600 to list their home in the MLS. It ending up costing them close to $15000 of built in equity because the home was undervalued.
More often than not, the seller in this case will overprice the home because they are not looking at actual sales data. These homes have no chance of selling. Anybody can give a home away but it takes a professional to make sure that you get every penny that your home is worth.

3. Bad Advertising
Advertising can affect a home for sale in a negative way just as much as it can help in a positive way. What is the number one way people look at homes for sale? They see a sign in the yard? (not really.) Read a flier? (Nope.) Heard about it from a friend (Rarely). That's right, they look on the Internet. So, if you want to sell your home, it should be easily found on the Internet.
This takes multiple steps-
-Make sure it is listed on EVERY popular searching site (and sites you may have never heard of before)
-Pictures are sooo important (the MLS allows 25 now.) How many does your listing have? (This is not always the agents fault. The house has to have things worth showing off too.)
-Make sure you are working with an agent that knows how to properly fill out the forms for submission to the MLS. For instance, in the Agent Remarks and Internet Remarks you are allowed up to 500 characters. I think a seller should be using all 500 because it is searchable data and, along with pictures, helps to get people interested in the home when they are first looking at it on the Internet.

4. Make it really difficult to show the home to prospective buyers.
Have a tenant living there- Tenant do not want the home to sell. Then they have to move.
Only Showings by Appointment - Horrible Idea. Buyers want to see the house now not next week. It is fair to ask for notice but the longer notice that you expect exponentially diminishes your chances of showings. 24hrs? no. 1 hr? maybe 30 min. or less? YES!
Have a code or key with your agent that doesn't return phone calls-I have tried to contact listing agents with a key to the property with no response, ever. Those homes will not sell. The key should be on site.

If all of the other steps are in place and the buyer can't get in to see the home, they will find another one.

Like I have said before, no one can force a home seller to do any of these things and you don't have to, UNLESS you actually want to SELL your home!

Posted by Brian W Martin REALTOR for The Pinnacle Group of Keller Williams specializing in Helping Homeowners SELL THEIR HOME in Austin, TX

1 comment:

  1. Very true - there are so many choices for buyers that if your realtor isn't letting people see your home and it's overpriced, you're wasting your time. Great post.