7 Deadly Pitfalls When You Sell Your Own Home Yourself And How To Avoid Them!
Deadly Pitfall No. 1 – There are tons of horror stories out there among homeowners who have tried to sell their own home only to have a buyer tie up their home for 3 to 6 months trying to get financing. Because of anxiousness to sell, homeowners fail to find out ahead of time, before any contracts are signed, whether the buyers have made arrangements for a loan or whether they have even talked to a lender at all. 85% of buyers in the market to buy a home today do not know how much they can afford, according to lender guidelines for home loans. It is very disheartening (sometimes sickening) when a homeowner finds out the buyer cannot get a loan to complete the sale. Even though you may feel uncomfortable doing so, you must be firm in getting information out of buyers, as to their ability to get a loan. Do not tie up your home in a contract until the buyer has brought you a letter from their lender stating they are pre-approved, not pre-qualified. There is a difference. Pre-approved means the buyer has been approved for a loan by the underwriter (the person who says yes or no) and the is money waiting for them once the house is approved. Pre-qualification is the loan officer’s opinion as to whether the buyer qualifies for a loan. The loan officer does not make the loan decisions. They only take the buyers’ information and pass it on. The underwriter is the one who says yes or no. Taking this advice could keep from costing you months of headaches, bunches of time and money, and the turning away other buyers who may be much more qualified to buy your home.
Deadly Pitfall No. 2 – Watch out for the bargain hunters. Owners, who try to sell their own home, are prime targets of bargain hunters who will try to high-pressure you into taking offers far below market value. In other words, they want to steal your home. They are, normally, excellent buyers who either pay cash for your home or have large down payments. Do not let the dollar $$ signs intimidate you. Stick to your guns.
Deadly Pitfall No. 3 – Make sure you do mega-tons of market research before you price your home. Try to find a minimum of 3 homes similar to yours that have sold in the past 6 months. Also, try to find at least 3 homes that are currently for sale that are similar to yours. These homes are your competition. If the other homes offer more for the money, your home will sell your competition. Pricing your home in the fair market range is critical to your success. Many homeowners get greedy and grossly over price their homes. This destroys the marketability of a home. Do not rely on rumors or what your neighbor said. Verify every sales price at the County Auditor’s Office. You can go online to search the address of the property you want a sold price on or you can call them. They are very good at helping you find what you want. This will let you know if the neighbor is being truthful or if they are stretching it (It is amazing the number of homes in a neighborhood that have sold for less than the neighbor said). At the other end of the spectrum, some homeowners price their homes too low. They fail to get the fair price they are entitled to. The asking price should be at the upper end of the fair market value range with the homeowner expecting to get a price that is in the mid-range area of the fair market value range. Paying for a professional appraisal will help immensely! Then you have something to show potential buyers the value of your home.
Deadly Pitfall No. 4 -Watch out for the stalkers. These are dishonest people who come through your home to see what they can come back to steal at a later time, when you are not home. They will appear to be very legitimate buyers. Always ask to see the potential buyers’ driver licenses. If they refuse, do not let them into your home. Explain the reason you want to see their driver licenses. If they are legitimate buyers, they will be more than happy to show you them. Write their names and drivers license numbers down. This could mean the difference of being safe or being robbed. Be firm in this step. Do not be a wimp. It could cost you!
Deadly Pitfall No. 5 – Be prepared for the buyers, who make you an offer, to knock off an amount equal to a real estate commission. This will come right off the top before they start to negotiate with you. Buyers who look at homes for sale by the owner know the seller is trying to save the real estate commission. Decide how you intend to handle this problem ahead of time. A home is worth only so much, regardless of who sells it!
Deadly Pitfall No. 6 – Be prepared for phone calls late at night and very early in the morning. Potential buyers are only concerned about one thing; their own needs. They will try to pressure you into showings at times that are convenient for them, but may be very inconvenient for you. Don’t be so anxious that you let them control you. Be friendly and kind, but be firm. If they are really interested in looking at your home, they will be accommodating. Experience has shown that the high pressure, pushy buyers are the ones that are the time wasters.
Deadly Pitfall No. 7 – Do not fall into the trap of trying to copy what the traditional real estate companies do in marketing your home. Do not spend the money, you are trying to save, on display ads placed among the traditional real estate companies’ ads. Studies have shown that owners who sell their own home and place ads in the classified section under “homes for sale” will get five times more calls than those who run ads in the display section (including traditional real estate companies). Be creative in your marketing. Look to other industries, which use good marketing, to pattern your marketing after. Don’t be afraid to be different. Advertising only sells 5% of the homes advertised (statistically proven by the National Association of Realtors). Statistically, only 1% of realtor open houses sell. Why would you want to have your home open for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, only to have potential buyers come straggling through and never buy. If you want to hold an open house, hold it open for only a fifteen-minute period of time. Place signs in strategic places. Flood the neighborhood, apartment complexes, laundermats, grocery store bulletin boards, and a bulletin board at work with flyers stating this is the only time you will hold your home open. Everyone must be on time. State that no showings will be held prior to this time. If someone wants to look at your home prior to this time, be firm in telling them the date and time set is the first time they can look at your home. This open strategy creates the auction affect when a group of people shows up. Have written hand outs to give them on price, features, and other information. Let everyone in attendance know the date when you will be looking at all offers. Make this date 3 days after the open house. This gives legitimate buyers time to get other opinions and inspections, if they desire. All of this creates, in the mind of those in attendance, scarcity (We’d better move on this one before someone else beats us to it), social proof the house must be a great value, and the urgency to make a decision… just like an auction. The mindset is this must be a great home, if there are so many others looking. This is creative marketing.
**This free report is given to you as a gift from Dana and Alan Burk. This information is only intended to help you sell your own home, if that is your desire. You are probably wondering why would we be so willing to share this information with you? Is their some kind of catch? Number one, our mindset of doing business is to give without expecting anything in return. Number two; our business relies heavily on others telling their friends, family, and co-workers about our extraordinary level of service. We call this working “By Referral Only!” When your needs are met, we know you will tell others how we have helped you in some small way. Number three; you may eventually need our help. Hopefully, you will call on those who care about your needs before their own. This is not a common way for business people to conduct themselves in today’s business world. Most businesses are only concerned about their profit. We are different. We put our client’s needs before our own. We feel our responsibility is to give you information you can count on, tell you what your options are, and, then, let you make all the decisions. We bust a gut striving to exceed your expectations. Mother always told us, if we give freely, without expecting anything in return, we will always be rewarded in some way! We think Mom is right! Good luck in your home selling!