| Selling

We know having your home on the market is an emotional, disruptive process. With all the stress and pressure, it can be easy to make some unintentional mistakes. We thought it might be helpful to share some of the top seller mistakes from our perspective with a little advice to help avoid them. Let’s take a look. 

Just Saying No, Too Many Times

We get that not all showings will work with your schedule, but when you say no too many times it leads to missed opportunities. When you’re unavailable, you prolong the selling process. The result is that your home sits on the market longer, and buyers’ agents assume that something is wrong with the listing. While your home might be 100% sellable, its marketability starts to decrease as people get spooked by the listing sitting around for so long. 

Our advice: Do your best to make yourself available so we can show your home. The more access we have, the quicker the sale, and the sooner you can get back to life as you know it. 

Messy Bessy Times Infinity

It’s soooo hard to keep your home in primo condition when selling. That’s a fact we can’t avoid. But, if you tend to be a messy Bessy, selling your home becomes that much harder. We’ll help you out and arrange for a professional cleaning, but it’s up to you to keep your property clean and tidy for showings. This is a huge challenge for most clients, and unfortunately messy houses are a hard sell.  Again, you’ll hit that mark where too many people pass on your home, your home stays on the market too long, and it becomes a dreaded unsellable property. 

Our advice: Do your best to pick up after yourself every morning, do the dishes, put away your laundry, and keep your home neat. If you do, your home will sell fast, and you can go back to your lovable, yet messy ways!

Shifty on the Info

This is a major issue that can lead to costly lawsuits after the sale thanks to a little thing called failure to disclose. Many sellers don’t realize they’re legally obligated to let buyers know of issues like mould, former flooding, a leaky roof, damage to the structure, etc. All of these things are examples of “latent defects”. 

Because they lie beneath the walls, floors, or ceilings, they’re easy to conceal. They’re also hard to spot during a routine home inspection. Any issue you know of that can make your home uninhabitable, unfit for use, or dangerous must be disclosed. 

And there are other things we and potential buyers should know about:

  • Is there an ongoing issue with undesirable neighbour behaviour?
  • Does the basement flood and the roof leak every time it rains?
  • Was your home ever used as a grow op?
  • Were the proper permits acquired for your addition?
  • Is your basement apartment legal?

Our advice: Really, anything you know that could make owning the house a nightmare for the buyers should be shared with us. Together we’ll complete a “Seller Property Information Sheet” (SPIS), so all is revealed, and you avoid legal challenges. 

Mr. or Ms. Unreachable

Disappearing off the face of the earth when your home is for sale can really throw a wrench in the works. If we can’t reach you to confirm showings, your house won’t sell. If we can’t reach you to tell you about offers, you lose serious buyers. 

Our advice: Tell us the best way to reach you. For example, a quick text will get buyers lined up, and your home sold faster. We also love to know what level of communication you prefer. Some sellers only want contact when necessary, while others want to hear from us daily, even if there’s no updates. We’re committed to your needs, so sharing your preferences will help us meet your expectations and avoid becoming too naggy.  

Oversharing on Social

We know that social media might be calling your name morning, noon, and night. But there’s such a thing as oversharing. Social media posts can be addictive and you might be used to sharing everything in your life. However, talking too much about the status of your listing can be risky if you have a public profile.

Since anyone can search your name and find your social pages, the last thing you want to do is tip your hand. For example, an innocent post saying that you’re anxious to sell could negatively impact your chances for selling at top dollar. 

Comments like you’re so ready to move to a safer, quieter, better, happier, (insert adjective here) neighbourhood can turn off potential buyers, as can complaints about noisy neighbours. All of these things are fodder for would-be buyers who can easily get spooked or try to take advantage of your need to sell. 

Our advice: Avoid the topic of your sale and neighbourhood on your social media (and definitely if you happen to come across a buyers agent doing a showing). Instead, let our team provide some post ideas to help gain positive attention that could rally interest and shares.  

Overestimating the Appeal of Your Design Scheme

It can be difficult for some sellers to separate themselves from their homes. We know this because we see it happen all the time. When you love your home, and have to move for one reason or another, it can be downright painful listening to our advice to make décor changes. 

Hearing that you need to neutralize the wall colours, tear down the wallpaper, or paint over that mural in the baby’s room can really be difficult to digest. However, know it comes from a place of love and is designed to help you sell your home.  

Our advice: Think of it this way – all of these things were fine when you lived in the home, but once you decide to sell, it’s time to start thinking about your new home instead. The sooner you get into a seller’s state of mind, the easier it is to understand our recommendations. When we work together, we can make the changes that sell your home quickly at top dollar.

But I Paid a Lot for That

We know you did. And like above, sadly buyers won’t care. Unfortunately, there are pretty much zero renovations or upgrades that will give you a 100% return on your investment unless the market is incredibly hot. This is a big challenge for homeowners: knowing how much to invest in renovations, and which ones will see the best returns. 

The bottom line is we have to base your listing price on the condition of your home, but more importantly on what other homes in your area are selling for today. Although this can be hard to take, we can’t expect the buyers to pay you back for the floors you just had to have, or that quartz kitchen counter that goes perfectly with your wall colour. 

Keeping in mind there are things buyers love like hardwood floors, even an upgrade like that won’t guarantee you’ll get the full amount back in kind. On a positive note, your investments could encourage people to be more generous with their offers, and hopefully be willing to pay more for your home.  

Our advice: Trust your agent to know how to price your home perfectly. We know how much of a premium a buyer might pay for your renovations, and will be very strategic when we list your home. We price to sell for maximum profits but always relative to the market. 

The Commission Negotiator

Not all real estate agencies are alike. Even if there’s a discount broker advertising 1% commission on your local bus stop bench, you simply can’t pay that commission for a full service agency. We offer a complete package of services to our sellers from expert pricing advice to staging and from killer instinct negotiating skills to pro photos and marketing. It’s like comparing apples to oranges when you try to negotiate your agent’s commission to match a discount brokerage. They charge their fee for one reason and one reason only: You get what you pay for. 

Our advice: Take the time to understand commission fees up front and what they cover. If you still don’t like the rate, you can choose a different agent, keeping in mind you get limited service for lower commissioned agents which could very likely negatively impact your sale price and net profits.

The “Good Enough” Client

Viewing everything as “good enough” can certainly make life easier. It’s all about choosing your battles and living stress free. But when it comes to selling houses, good enough doesn’t work. It’s very easy to get fed up with the whole staging thing and want to just call it and say everything is good enough as it is. The thing is, we don’t want to come across as too picky or snobby, it’s just that we understand current trends and the things that appeal to today’s buyer. We only suggest changes to sell your home faster and for a better price. 

Our advice: Try to remember, we just want you to benefit from proven tactics including professional photography and on trend staging techniques designed to appeal to the masses. If we settle for good enough, we know you’ll pay for it with a house that sits longer on the market and that only attracts low ball offers. Everything we do is strategic in nature, and designed for the sole purpose of the sale.

Selling your home isn’t as hard when you have a team like us behind you. Just give us a shout at 416-291-7372 or email hello@christinecowern.com. We’d love to make your sale as profitable and stress free as possible!