For all homeowners tired of advice from realtors on how to sell your home, here is something different--a list on how not to do so.
Ten Things Not to Do When Selling Your Montclair Home
1. Price your home with "room to negotiate." Sellers think that the more they ask for, the more they will get; study after study has shown that this is not the case. It is ultimately the buyer, not the seller, who decides the price. Pricing your home "slightly higher than what it's worth" will only serve to keep potential buyers from even looking at your house.
2. Take too long to respond to an offer. Potential buyers read a lot into your actions; they will think you are not interested in their offer and thus turn their attention to other prospects.
3. Refuse to counter a low-ball offer. You can't take it personally; this is a business transaction. Come down a little bit in your asking price just to keep a dialogue going. And if another offer happens to come in, you now have some leverage on both ends.
4. Follow buyers around, pointing out your house's charms. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves and their belongings in your house. They need to make an emotional connection first; your chatter is a distraction.
5. Contact buyers directly. There are too many opportunities for miscommunication and misunderstanding if you do so. This is what real estate agents and lawyers are for.
6. Convince yourself that it's not worth painting the house because the buyers will want their own colors. This is a classic case of being penny-wise, pound-foolish. If your goal is to sell your house, remember that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. A neutral color and a fresh coat of paint are always best.
7. Refuse to address home inspection issues because your house is "as-is." If problems such as mold, asbestos or termites are discovered during an inspection, the buyers will expect you to fix them; In this market, with so much inventory to choose from, buyers do not have to accept a house with major a safety issue. Moreover, once a problem is discovered, you are legally required to disclose it to all potential buyers in the future.
8. List your house as an "office exclusive." Unscrupulous agents may try to convince you that only the agents in their particular office are trustworthy; this is an attempt to keep other agents from getting the sale (and the commission). Obviously, the more agents trying to sell your house, the better - go with an agent who will "multiple list" your house.
9. Make your house difficult to show. Many homeowners are conflicted about selling, so they limit the days/hours that agents can get into their home. If agents can't show your house, they can't sell it. Your house must be competitive not only in price and condition but also in ease of showing.
10. Try to conceal problems you know exist. First of all, this is fraud. Secondly, whatever the problem is, it will ultimately be found. A freshly-painted basement, for example, immediately suggests to a home inspector an attempt to cover up water damage.