5 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Selling Their Properties

April 12, 2017

Selling a property is an emotional and taxing process that can lead tons of homeowners to make some missteps. And when someone is on a timeline to sell a house and move into a new one, there’s little to no room for error.

This week, we pulled research from the First Multiple Listing Service and a variety of other sources to outline some of the most common issues sellers face when they list their properties. From pricing to inspections to marketing, here are five things Metro Atlanta sellers should avoid.

1. Listing an inaccurate price

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We’ve discussed the importance of accurate pricing. If you list your property too high or too low, you run the risk of leaving money on the table.

From a county perspective, we’re seeing that sellers in Fulton and Dekalb are having the most trouble with pricing their homes.

In Q1 2017, the original median list price in Fulton was a staggering 34.4% more than the $267,000 median price they actually received. Meanwhile, in Dekalb, people who sold homes in Q1 2017 originally asked for 22.6% more than the $216,000 median they ended up seeing.

Sellers in other counties are also struggling with overpricing, but not as much.

In Cobb, those who sold homes in Q1 2017 brought in a median of $285,450 – which is 16% less than the original median they listed. In Forsyth, sellers made 12.5% less than the original median price they listed last quarter. And finally, in Gwinnett, last quarter’s sellers received 11.1% less than the original median price they requested.

2. Getting caught off guard by the inspection

Finally getting an offer on a property you’re selling is exciting, but soon after, many sellers face an unnecessary level of stress once the buyer’s inspector comes around and finds an unfortunate surprise.

Lmistakes selling homeess than half of sellers (45%) have an inspection done on the property before they list the home, according to research from Zillow.

It is crucial that all sellers understand what could possibly go wrong with a property before they find a buyer—particularly in a market like Metro Atlanta. Trulia research found that Atlanta saw the third-highest rate of failed deals in 2016. Some 10.4% of home transactions fell through in the market. Trulia cited the lack of necessary home improvements as a common cause.

When sellers understand and resolve any major issues before putting a home on the market, there’s a better chance that the transaction will move forward smoothly.

3. Attempting to sell the property yourself

You might think it’s worth it to save the standard 6% fee on agent commission and try to sell the property yourself. Trying to sell a property without the help of an expert may actually end up costing you big bucks.

The vast majority of sellers rely on professionals. Only 8% of last year’s home transactions were “For Sale By Owner,” per a National Association of Realtors study. Trying to sell a property without the help of an expert may actually end up costing you big bucks.

These are just some of the things you miss out on if you decide to go it alone: an extensive network of potential buyers; expert negotiating skills; an unbiased point of view regarding your house; knowledge on legal matters, if necessary; and more.

4. Ineffectively marketing the product

Just think about it: Would you buy a shirt off a retailer’s website if the product photo was clearly taken with an iPhone, and the shots were uninspiring? Doubtful! You want to be inspired to own that shirt, and perhaps even envision yourself wearing it. Buying a home is no different. This is one of the biggest, emotional purchases a consumer will make in their lifetime, so it’s up to the seller to inspire them.

Zillow found that 48% of sellers who sold for more than list price had professional photos taken of their home. Some three in 10 of sellers who sold above list price had video footage taken.

Today’s buyer is relying heavily on digital means and social channels to inform their purchases, so it’s crucial that sellers market their home to reflect that.

5. Not keeping closing costs in mind

Seller concessions are increasingly becoming the standard in Metro Atlanta. In January 2017, nearly two-thirds of local home sellers gave contributions to their buyers.

As a seller, you need to be prepared if your buyer asks you to cover these costs on their behalf, and you need to understand that they aren’t cheap. In every county, with the exception of Fulton, seller concessions increased significantly in Q1 2017. Sellers in Dekalb saw the highest year-over-year increase, having paid 21% more in concessions in this year’s transactions compared to Q1 2016.

Avoid mistakes by calling in reinforcements

What's the best way to avoid these issues? By turning to the experts. We understand – it can add up. Realtors + inspectors + professional photographers + seller concessions = $$$. But it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. To learn how Knock includes all of these services for the same fee as a traditional agent, read up on our strategy.


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