#1 Price – Most of the time the biggest culprit to stalling offers on a property is the price of the home. Not surprisingly people have an emotional attachment to their residence. Home is where we raise our families, entertain friends, and relax during our off hours. As a result when people put their home on the mark et they attach a large sentimental value to what the property is actually worth based on comparables. Also, many sellers consult real estate aggregators such as Zillow which do not always have the correct “zestimates” thus misleading the sellers into believing their home is worth more. Before listing your home it is best to consult with your Realtor about the recent sales in your neighborhood. It is also a good idea to tour comparable properties on the market that have not yet sold to get an idea of the competition and perhaps note the homes which have been on the market for some time to avoid the pitfalls that property seller may be experiencing.
#2 Advertising – While the local MLS is definitely a great tool to promote homes for sale, it is just one of many available to Realtors. Experienced brokers know that to sell a home in the shortest time for the most of money they need to promote the home to as many people as possible. At Home NV we understand that while the MLS and the plethora of websites the local listings are syndicated to (such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.) it is just not enough exposure. We believe in marketing beyond the web – we embrace print advertising! We use direct mail to promote your listing to your neighbors – obviously they like living in your neighborhood, chances are they may have some friends or family who may want to live there too. We promote our listings in Reno-Gazette Journal. Additionally our broker owns I Love Reno magazine where our listings get exposure to 25,000 Reno residents. Of course this is on top of networking with fellow agents and open houses that further help to spread the word about the listing.
#3 Condition – Buyers understand that unless they are buying a new construction, they are going to end up living in a home that has been lived in by other people. However, with the exception of the investor-buyers who are looking for fixers, most people are looking to buy a home that feels comfortable and livable from move-in. Thus a seller should prepare their home for sale by addressing issues that are obvious turn-offs to buyers. This may include major improvements such as kitchen and bath renovations, or minor ones such as carpet cleaning and touch-up paint. Either way, it helps to have the perspective of one (or more) real estate professionals to help guide you in the process of making your home sell-ready.
#4 Photography – A picture is still worth a thousand words, perhaps even a million in today’s pic-obsessed world. A photo can mean the difference between a prospective buyer passing on touring your property because the picture did not tell a great story. Some tips for taking great home photos include: photograph the largest bedroom (usually the master) rather than each of the bedrooms as small rooms often do not photograph well; make sure there are no pets or people in the photo (including the photographer); take extra pix of the kitchen as that is an important area for most buyers. If it seems that the photos are not coming out stellar, consider hiring a professional photographer – we love Frank Haxton at Digiman Studio– to tell a captivating story of the home.
#5 Wrong agent – At Home NV we believe that sellers should interview several Realtors before they make their decision as to who will handle the sale of their home. The sale (or purchase) of a home is a partnership between the seller and his agent. Not all partnerships work out, and we feel that sometimes it is better to refer a client to a colleague if we believe that agent is better suited to handle the transaction. To determine if an agent is the right person to partner with on the sale of your home ask some questions. Find out how long the agent has been in business and whether they are a part-time or a full-time agent. Ask about marketing and promotion the agent does to help his clients sell their homes. And never be shy about voicing your concerns. If you feel that a particular agent may not be able to get the job done find a different one – there are many experienced real estate professionals in the Reno market and you will without a doubt find the right fit.
#6 Timing – While we have gorgeous seasons in Northern Nevada that does mean that during some months many buyers (especially those who are on the fence) are hibernating from house hunting. The official selling season kicks off in March and runs through August. This is primarily due to families with school-aged children waning to move before the following school year begins. Depending on weather, the season extends through October. However, once the holidays are upon us, most sellers prefer to wait to list because they would rather entertain family than offers from prospective buyers.
#7 Too long on market
– Much of the real estate sale is psychology 101. When a home has been on the market for a period of time, prospective buyers tend to overlook it because “something must be wrong with it.” Avoid other pitfalls mentioned in this article and you will not be faced with the “stale” listing dilemma.
#8 Too much personal touch – When buyers are looking for a home, they want to envision themselves living in the property. Getting your home market-ready means taking as much personal “stuff” from visible spaces. This includes personal items such as photographs and diplomas, as well as decorations that are “too much” stylistically. It is best to have a neutral décor, thus if you have a particular taste, such as Victorian or nautical, it is advisable to limit the amount of these pieces to avoid the potential buyer skipping your home because they are overwhelmed by the décor.
#9 Inflexible seller
– If the goal is to sell the home fast for the largest sum of money, the seller should be in partnership with his Realtor.
This means having the home presentable (beds made, dishes and food put away, etc.) and making the home available to show during “typical” showing hours (9AM to 7PM) daily.
#10 Stigmatized property – Some states have disclosure laws about death or violent acts committed at a property listed for sale. The State of Nevada only requires that disclosure is made if the event is material to the home itself, for example if a roof collapsed and caused injury or death this would need to be disclosed to the prospective buyer. It is possible for a home to become stigmatized if an event (big enough for neighbors to talk about) occurred at the property. Best advise is to be upfront, otherwise the buyer will hear it from the neighbors and shy away from closing the deal. Also, if the home has other stigmatizing factors out of the sellers control such as backing to a busy street, adjust the price accordingly and ask for buyer feedback. This way the seller and his agent will always be aware of the issues concerning prospective buyers that may be addressed to help the house sell faster.