|5 Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home this Spring
|By Paul Owers
RISMEDIA, Monday, April 09, 2012—
(MCT)—Home sellers find that interest from prospective buyers heats up in the spring as many families look to get settled in a new place before the school year starts in August.
But the traditional March-through-May buying season can be a dud for sellers who don’t deliver what they promise or who stand over buyers as they open cupboards and peek in bedrooms.
“Some sellers are their own worst enemies,” said Michael Citron, an agent in Broward County, Fla.
Here are five things that turn off prospective buyers:
-A cluttered house or one that smells. When sellers have too many possessions, buyers have a hard time imagining themselves living in the home. Sellers should put their stuff in storage—or move out altogether, if possible.
Pet odors are also a big turn-off, as is a house that reeks of cigarette or cigar smoke. “If buyers smell smoke, they’ll walk out immediately,” said Jon Klein, an agent in Coral Springs, Fla.
-False or misleading advertising. Sellers and their agents stretch the truth by claiming a home has four bedrooms, but the fourth room isn’t a bedroom because it doesn’t have a window and closet.
Joanne Caouette, a Canadian looking to buy in Broward, said one home was advertised as waterfront but only had a water view. “It’s a waste of our time,” she said.
-Sellers not committed to selling. Some sellers want to test the market, then waffle when buyers show serious interest. Others ignore offers or are insulted by what they consider low bids. “No offer is insulting,” said Bob Melzer, an agent in Boynton Beach, Fla. “It’s a point to begin.”
Wishy-washy sellers don’t use lock boxes that give agents quick access, or they’re not accommodating when it comes to scheduling showings. “If you want to sell your house, there should be very few times when you can’t show it,” said Cathy Prenner, an agent in northeast Broward.
-Overpricing the house. Many sellers are too attached to their homes and think they’re worth more than they are, agents say.
Even though prices are beginning to stabilize, a seller who misses the target likely won’t generate much interest.
Before hiring an agent, interview several. They almost certainly will have documentation that shows what comparable homes in the neighborhood are selling for.
“If you set the home at market price, you’re going to get that property sold,” said Summer Greene, a real estate manager in Fort Lauderdale.
-Sellers who stay for the showing. This is a pet peeve of buyers and agents, who say sellers should be long gone when prospective buyers show up.
Prospective buyers want to be free to tour the home without the owners present. They don’t want to carry on a conversation or listen to why the sellers think they should buy the house.
Citron strongly opposes sellers talking to buyers before they’ve signed a contract. By revealing their motivation, for instance, sellers can inadvertently give buyers more power in negotiations. “The only thing you can do if you talk to the prospective buyer is hurt the deal,” Citron said.
©2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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