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Five Common Mistakes Sellers Make

In a competitive market, every detail matters. So, how do you rest assured your home stands out and gets top dollar? By avoiding some of the biggest mistakes that sellers can make.

Here are some necessities along with things to watch out for when listing your home, as shared by experts in the field.

No Hurries, No Worries

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when putting your house up for sale is being in a hurry. As Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty Global Real Estate Advisor Kathy Williams shares, sellers should never accept an offer after the house has only been on the market for a day.

“List your property on a Wednesday or Thursday and allow people time to come see the home. Not everyone can see it on the first day it is listed,” Williams says. “Have the agent add to the remarks that offers will be looked at after the home has been on the market for five days. It gives everyone a chance to come look at it and submit an offer. Only then can a seller be confident that they got the best offer possible. If they took an offer that first day, they would never know what someone else may have offered.”

Be Prepared

 In a second-home market, it’s critical to keep in communication with property managers, plus diligently maintain and review all records when preparing Seller Disclosures.

“Often, our clients haven’t been in the home for months, if not years, and use the home intermittently, with renters in the home when they’re not there. Disclosure items such as a leak or bear break in are often forgotten, as the home is not top of mind in relation to their ‘primary’ world,” Luxury Real Estate Agent Katherina Haug explains. “If the home is rented, we often see that property managers take care of the issue, and add it to their monthly invoice, and the property owner may never even know the issue arose.”

When Haug reviews disclosures with clients, she reminds them to slow down and then reviews each item in detail with them so they properly recollect any issues and repairs.

Another imperative way to prepare your home for sale is through staging.

Whether virtually or literally, creating the best possible first impression for home buyers is the easiest way to wow them and drive interest. For more information about staging, click here.

Choose Wisely

 Before selecting a real estate agent, interview several.

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty Real Estate Professional Breck Overall suggests asking each agent two questions:

  • What do you do that nobody else is going to do?
  • What does your brokerage and marketing platform do that no others do?

“Our number-one recommendation is to make sure they select the right realtor to partner with,” Overall says. So often sellers fall prey to the realtor who promises them the highest price for their home which leads to false expectations and missed opportunities. Ask the right questions and save yourself a lot of grief in the long run.

 Price Appropriately

 One of the biggest mistakes any seller can make is pricing their home improperly. Broker Associate for Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty David Gemme cites a longstanding real estate adage in which buyers always feel they are paying too much, and sellers always feel they are pricing too low.

“A seasoned agent will understand the value proposition of your home, the market conditions and will suggest a pricing strategy that is in alignment with your goals,” Gemme asserts. “Be wary of agents seeking to buy your listing by promising you the world. Look for the agent that prices within the market comps and has a track record to prove that their strategies really work.”

 Stay Ahead of the Curve

 The days of putting your home in the MLS, running an ad in the real estate section of the paper are gone. To achieve their selling goals, sellers in today’s market should choose a brokerage that is creative, tech savvy and provides value beyond the “old school” ways.

Tahoe City-based agent Katherina Haug constantly uses new technologies to drive her business.

One of Haug’s favorite tools is a state-of-the-art app called Curate which was developed by Google exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty.  The app is especially useful with unfurnished homes. It first scans a room, then superimposes staged furnishings in selected styles to help buyers envision the home’s possibilities.

Recently, it helped paint a picture of a master bedroom’s potential for her clients.

“I walked into a home recently in Incline Village, Nevada, where the master bedroom was just unbelievably massive. My clients didn’t know what to do. They were overwhelmed,” Haug says. “I pulled my phone out, put the app to work, and they saw the potential there. It’s incredible what we have at our fingertips, if we know what to look for and how to employ the technology.”

She uses Instagram to create personal connections and engage with followers and potential clients. She also strives to inspire them with what it means to live in Tahoe.

“We are all just trying to live our best lives and the residence comes hand in hand, but only after that dream is sparked,” Haug shares. “Our buyers come to purchase a home at Lake Tahoe because they want to enjoy what Tahoe has to offer. The home doesn’t come first, the dream does.”

Understanding these common pitfalls will help sellers set realistic expectations for achieving their goals.

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