Home Selling Do’s and Don’ts

Did you know that the best chance of getting an offer closest to your asking price occurs within the critical first two weeks of your home hitting the market? 

When your home first hits the market, buyer traffic is highest. Momentum is strongest.

Home Buyers vie to be the first ones through your door to see if this is the home of their dreams that they must snatch up before someone else does. Buyer psychology is, “It just hit the market. If we want this house, we should make a good offer.”

Home buyers and their Agents pour through the Internet to create the initial list of homes to see. Factors such as price, location and number of bedrooms or baths help get homes selected for the To-See List. Buyers may very well purchase from this initial To-See List. If not, back to the Internet they go to select from the “older” listings.

Buyer psychology is different now. Where it was “Let’s see it before anyone else does” for the new listings, it becomes “Why hasn’t it sold? What’s wrong with it?” for the older listings.

The feeling of excitement has soured a bit. Buyers may tour the older listing with a prejudiced eye, searching for the reasons why the home hasn’t sold.

After a couple of weeks and your home hasn’t sold, the sense of urgency has dissipated. Traffic slows as buyers are touring the newest listings. A drop in your home’s price can often generate renewed interest and traffic, but most sellers don’t consider a price drop as good news. 

If your home didn’t make the initial To-See list because, for example, the home was priced too high, your home has now accumulated days-on-market. Buyer psychology can be, “It’s been on the market for a while now; the sellers will probably take what they can get.”

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for that first two weeks:

Don’t overprice the home at the beginning, just to see if you can get it. Your traffic may not be as good as it would have been had the price been more in line with your comps. When you eventually lower the price, your days-on-market may embolden buyers to make an even lower offer, BELOW your reduced price.

Do listen to your Agent’s research on your comps as a factor in determining a good price. Everyone believes their home is the best on the block, but if you look at how well you’ve maintained your home as a “gift” to your buyer, it will help you get to “Sold!” faster, at the best price possible, which is your pay-off.

Don’t ignore legitimate feedback from your Agent and Home Stager about simple projects that need to be completed, or easy updates that need to be made. Too many projects can result in buyers passing on your home, seeing it as “needs too much work.” Do the many small projects and leave the one or two larger projects if you are unable to make expensive changes. If spending $1000 can net you $5000 more, it’s a no-brainer.

Don’t take a wait-and-see approach for addressing major issues such as painting the exterior, unless you’ve priced the home lower than the top of your comps. Buyers expect a home priced at the top of its comps to be move-in ready and perfect, unless you’re in a serious sellers’ market. If your home is priced at the top of your comps and it needs work, buyers can feel annoyed that you’ve wasted their time, which makes them less likely to make an offer. A wait-and-see approach often results in the same as overpricing: accumulated days-on-market, price drop, lower offer eventually.

Do address major issues at the start, one way or another. If you cannot afford to paint the exterior, for instance, get quotes. Quotes cost zero dollars, and make you armed and dangerous during negotiations. Then, price the home accordingly. Buyers’ Agents knows how homes should be priced and will be advising their buyers accordingly.

Don’t list your home without photos. You’ll be wasting the critical first week because the buyer psychology is usually, “Hmmm, there must not have been anything good enough to shoot” and won’t include your home on their To-See List.

Do have your home ready for photos. Rake the leaves, paint the room, have the home Staged BEFORE the photos are taken.

Strike HARD and strike FAST; be PERFECT for Day One on the market!

This is a sample of what can be found in my Seller-as-Stager eManual, available for just $27. Contact me to order your copy today! 

Copyright © 2021 by Cynthia Gentry Black
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.

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