7 Deadly Sins Sellers Make & How To Avoid Them

I’ve seen may lists of 7 deadly sins for sellers, frankly some are a bit wishy washy and I’d rather address the hard hitting issues that are real obstacles for sellers:

Valuing a home takes into account a lot of different criteria, including comparable homes sold and for sale. Often sellers will look at those comparables and see how their house is better but perhaps not how others may be favourable to buyers. And no surprise, of course sellers think their house is perfect, they bought it and made it just right for them!

Choose a good agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market and who will give you an honest valuation based on the latest market data.

Read: How to choose an estate agent

How we live in houses and how we sell them are two very different things. While we love our ‘things’ they may distract a buyer from seeing the house itself.

I once had the most beautiful period property on the market with enormous rooms, big windows and high ceilings. Viewer feedback included “wow, they’ve got a lot of stuff” and “it’s going to take them forever to move”. They simply couldn’t see past the clutter and didn’t offer on the house. The cost of storing these things would have been significantly less than the knock on price.

If you’re downsizing, declutter before you go on the market. Otherwise consider packing some things away – you’ll have to pack them eventually anyway.

Sellers often have a list of work they plan to do before selling such as replacing a bathroom. However, this might not increase the value or appeal of their house.

One thing that is definitely worth doing is painting over water stains on the ceiling – so many houses have them! Inevitably it’s from a leak years ago which has long since been fixed. However for a buyer this indicates problems with plumbing and/or the roof.

Work with a good estate agent who can give you an objective view of what’s really worth doing. The focus should always be on keeping costs to a minimum with maximum positive impact on buyers.

I think we all know that some agents over-value in order to win business. After all, that extra £100,000 they’re talking about would sit very comfortably in your pocket. However, over-valuing can cost you in the long run. Over-valued houses can sit on the market, lowering their perceived value to buyers.

Work with an estate agent who has your best interests at heart – and best price, rather than those who are more focused on meeting their monthly listing targets. They should have strong data to hand to back up their valuation and a plan to market your property incredibly well to capture the market.

I hear this a lot! Indeed some houses do sell in 2 days (my record is 30 minutes) but the majority don’t. I mostly hear this from buyers who don’t want to go on the market until they’ve found the perfect property, however most sellers only want proceedable buyers (under offer or cash) to view their homes.

Define your search criteria, shortlist properties, get a feel for the market and then, when you’re under offer, view the properties on your shortlist. With the right research, one of the properties on your shortlist will be just right for you.

Read: How to choose a house in one day

This is what I call the ‘Bob from Leicester’ scenario. Let me explain. Every house has its target market/s. How the house is marketed and priced is key to appeal to these markets. If you’re looking for someone who will love the negatives as much as the positives (and every house has its negatives!) AND will pay 10% over market value, your target market becomes so small it can, in fact, be as small as one person – Bob from Leicester, who isn’t looking to move for 12 years.

Ensure your property is priced and marketed to appeal to buyers looking now. A good estate agent will be able to tell you who these target markets are and how they plan to reach them.

You get what you pay for! Did you know some of the online agents can lose up to 75% of potential viewings because of their clunky systems and lack of customer service?*

Every point in this article will be addressed by a good agent who can give you a realistic price and put in place a strong marketing plan. Crucially, they will defend your price to buyers, knowing the property inside and out with all it has to offer to interested buyers. They will then have a robust sales progression system in place to push the sale through. And of course all these sales elements will be joined up so no buyer falls through the gaps. This is how you achieve the best price for your property.

To discuss the sale of your home in more detail feel free to call us anytime.

Natalie Carter

Founder & Director

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