Today we are going to talk about the 6 dumbest mistakes, smart people make when they sell their home.
Mistake #1 – Picking a realtor that tells you that your house is worth the highest price. Let’s say you decide to interview 3 realtors, (which for the life of me I do not understand why people do that because we will all come at you with the same information), certain realtors may (in a competitive situation where the seller is interviewing multiple agents) tell you a price higher then they actually think it is going to sell for. I recommend you substantiate it with these realtors and ask why they are telling you your house is worth $100,000 more than the one down the block that just sold a month ago. Make sure that they can back it up, there could be a very good reason as to why or they could be “buying your listing”.
Mistake #2 – Not marketing your property online. Everybody puts your property on the MLS, but that is not necessarily marketing it. There are three critical things you need to do when you sell your home. Price, presentation and marketing; you need all three of those things. Your first showings are not when a person walks into your house anymore. Your first showing is online. More than 95% of homebuyers go online when they are looking for properties. You need to have beautiful pictures and you need to have your home priced properly. You want to make sure that your Realtor has an online presence with their website, that they are active with social media and they spend some money on professional photography and professional video to get your house sold.
Mistake #3 – Thinking that your tax assessment is the market value of your home. For a number of reasons, that is not correct. No one from the assessment authorities has ever been inside your home. Let’s say that you have done $200,000 of renovations and you are probably not going to march down to the taxman to tell him so that you can pay more taxes on your home. In this case, they wouldn’t have any idea of the renovations and your tax assessment would probably be too low. Conversely, if your house had been rented out for the last 20 years and shows poorly, it would probably be worth less than your assessment. In a rising market, and when assessments are done in July, you will not get the assessment until January, and if the market has changed the assessment will not be accurate. Do not mistake your tax assessment for an accurate reflection of the value of your home.
Mistake # 4 – Thinking that all realtors are the same. Here is an interesting statistic. As of the end of June, there are 14,000 realtors in the Greater Vancouver Board. 10,000 of them have not sold one property this year. If I am going to sell my house, or I need a heart surgeon or a divorce lawyer, I want someone who is active in the marketplace. You may want to ask the realtor how many properties they sell, on average, on an annual basis. The reason that is important is because you want them to be competent negotiators and know what is going on in the marketplace. It always surprises me how many people take such little time when listing with someone, when it is one of the biggest transactions of our life.
Mistake # 5 – Thinking that you need a Cantonese or a Mandarin-speaking agent to sell your property because of the high population of Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking people around Greater Vancouver. This is not true because these properties are sold online. I do not speak to the buyer if it is a Mandarin or Cantonese buyer, they speak to their agent and I speak back and forth with the agent who speaks English.
Mistake #6 – Overpricing! You cannot get your house sold if it is overpriced. If your house is worth 1 million dollars and you list it at 1.2 million, and you get showings, do not get all excited. Those people can afford more than you have. Meaning you are bringing the wrong buyers into your property. The people that can afford more that are coming through and you do not stack up to the other properties that are listed at 1.2 million and worth 1.2 million when you are worth 1 million. The people that can afford 1 million will not be coming in because they think they cannot afford it. If you overprice your home you will not get the right people through the door.