Right now we are experiencing the hottest seller’s market I have experienced in over 15 years of selling real estate in Gwinnett County. Although inventory is low and home prices are on the rise, there are still mistakes made by sellers that cost them money and possibly even the sale. In a seller’s market, buyer demand outweighs the current housing supply. Since there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from sellers can ask and receive a higher price for their home. This can give the seller a false sense of security which can affect their decision making, and that can cost the seller both time and money.
Here are Six Common Mistakes Seller’s Make In A Seller’s Market
1. Pricing The House Too High – In a balanced market, most sellers believe their home is the best in the neighborhood and worth more than it really is, so in a seller’s market, it’s a given to think their home would be worth even more. In reality, the market will determine how much the house is worth by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Overpricing the house is the number one way homeowners sabotage their own efforts to sell.
The majority of homebuyers look at listings online before viewing the property in person. If your home is overpriced, it will not compete well online with the other homes in that price point causing the buyers to bypass your listing. Do your homework when setting your list price because you only have one chance to make a first impression. Overpricing your home in any market will typically cause the house to sit on the market for months with little to no showings or offers.
2. They ‘Overplay’ Their Hand – Just because it is a seller’s market doesn’t mean a buyer will just pay and accept whatever the seller is offering. Buyers are still looking for the best deal on the house they find. In most cases, home buying and selling is a negotiation process that ends up in a win-win situation for both parties. if you’re not willing to negotiate on price or any other terms with a prospective buyer then you had better make sure you are the best deal on the market in that price range. Otherwise, you will find yourself losing potential sales. The best advice is to decide on a strategy before putting your home up for sale. If getting the highest price is the most important factor then decide on what other terms you may be willing to bend on to put the deal together and get your home sold.
3. Sitting On Or Flat Out Rejecting The First Offer – It’s easy in a seller’s market to think you can just wait for the offers to come rolling in and choose the one that meets everything you are asking for, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you are priced right you may get multiple offers, but in many cases, the first offer is the best offer because many of the buyers currently in the market haven’t been able to find what they are looking for. So the fact they liked the house and were motivated enough to make the offer often means there is a deal to be made. The risks of not working the first offer are high. It could be months before another offer comes in and it could be for less money, or the house could sit on the market for an extended period of time and end up not selling at all. More times than not, when sellers don’t take the first offer seriously they end up accepting less than the original offer.
4. Rushing To Get The House On The Market – Every seller has different motivations for wanting to sell their home. Maybe your family has grown too big and you are ready to move up, or maybe you want to move to a different neighborhood or school district. Whatever the reason, this is what drives our thoughts and decisions when putting our home on the market for sale. Unless time is the motivating factor and you need to sell quickly you should take a step back and look at what you can do to maximize the value of your home. Some of the things you can do to get the most money include increasing curb appeal by keeping the grass mowed, edged and weeds trimmed, as well as making sure there is no debris or toys in the yard. On the inside make the kitchen and bathrooms shine, de-clutter, and stage the home for the market.
5. Not Having The Home Ready For Showings – In a seller’s market, once you place your home on the market for sale the calls from real estate agents wanting to show their buyers your home will come pouring in. The easier you can make it for buyers to see your home the better chance you will have of selling fast and for top dollar. Turning away potential buyers because the beds aren’t made, or the house is a mess, or any other reason sends a message that you are not really serious about selling.
6. Trying To Predict The Market – Real estate is a cyclical business, meaning home prices rise and fall. If predicting these cycles were easy we would all be rich. There is no doubt that the housing market has improved over the past couple of years but that doesn’t mean this upward trend will continue. Home sellers that are waiting for the ‘right time’ may find the market has shifted against them. Rather than trying to predict the housing market, consider all factors involved when selling your home, such as extra mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, and the many other expenses you will need to pay while holding onto the property. You may find those costs outweigh any short-term gains in your home value.