Next to sunshine and lead surges, seller slip-ups are one of the most common things spring brings. Each year, too many sellers find innovative ways to kill a deal or chance at maximizing profit.
1. Banking on the Overnight, High-Dollar Sale
All the news points to the heat and low-inventory trends in today’s market. The good news is, many sellers have the confidence to get in the game. The bad news is that too many will do so thinking they will sell for top dollar in a flash.
According to Ralph McLaughlin, Housing Economist, “What’s quickening the pace of sales? It turns out it’s homes priced at the low end of the market.” National numbers show that homes are selling slightly faster than normal, but your sellers need to know that quick moves require competitive pricing.
Too many sellers think “low inventory” means low competition. When pickings are slim, updates become much more important. If buyers believe there’s limited opportunity to get the home they’re dreaming about, an understaged listing can demotivate the already anxious.
Here, scare tactics might be one the best ways to get your sellers to see the light. Show them shockingly competitive, similar homes in person and online.
3. Unwanted Buyer Gifts
Contrary to many sellers beliefs, most buyers don’t want to make critical repairs and updates when making a purchase. Anytime you hear a seller say, “We’ll leave that for the buyers,” remind them they need a buyer to actually close the deal.
Also, show your sellers the real value of making critical repairs. Check out NAR’s 2014 comparison of repair costs vs. resale value of home repairs for real numbers on how much they stand to make with improvements.
4. Scenting Strain
In an effort to “sweeten” the showing, some sellers can go too far. According to agent Genevieve Gheorghiu, “I find when sellers try to make their houses smell TOO good, it can be just as awful (as bad smells).”
As a part of your staging plan, don’t leave the “scenting” to chance. Recommend some of these easy smell-neutralizers that are guaranteed to deodorize without overwhelming:
- Bowl of Vinegar Overnight — Sit a bowl of vinegar in a smelly room overnight and it will help soak up the unwelcomed odor.
- Happy Hour Spray — Add 2-parts water and 1-part cheap vodka into a spray bottle and spray almost any area in the room. The mixture grabs the smell and evaporates.
- Have Coffee and an Orange — Coffee grounds and orange peels are great odor neutralizers. Add one of them to a bowl in the room, inside the trash can, or down the garbage disposal to ensure showing-friendly smells.
5. Not Protecting Privacy
Like it or not, showings can be an information security risk sellers don’t consider in the excitement of trying to sell. As a part of your “decluttering” conversation, be sure to discuss “what lies beneath” with your sellers. From important documents to valuables, like jewelry and electronics, get your sellers to think about things they need to protect from the strangers that will be roaming through their homes.
These are big five faux pas we’ve seen too often from sellers marketing during the start of the hot season. What would you add to the list?