Dated: 03/29/2016

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Would you like to sell your house?

Let’s leave the words on the side and let’s get it done. Every day in my job I speak to people who are struggling to sell their homes, so I wrote this blog to address two of the most common and most avoidable seller mistakes:

1. Listing a home at the wrong price

2. Not preparing the property prior to listing

1. So you decide that you want to sell your home, because maybe you want a bigger or smaller one or perhaps because you are relocating a new city, state or country.

Now, imagine that you are the buyer searching for your new home, and there are 15 properties that you like in your target area and that fit within your budget. All things being equal, which house will you buy? Guess what?

Most of the time buyers will go for the cheapest option. Oftentimes sellers may have unrealistic expectations of what their house should sell for, which prevents them from pricing their homes to sell.  Sellers are motivated to obtain the highest possible price to avoid losing money and maximize their return on investment. Sellers often (erroneously) assume that theirs is the best house in the neighborhood, so it should fetch a higher than market price; or people become fixated on the neighbor who sold her house 2 years ago for X price, which means X price must also be achievable for you.  

The unfortunate reality is that these expectations and comparisons often lead to frustration, lost time, and lost opportunities to sell a home.  While it is not unreasonable to want to obtain the best possible price for your home, it is important to recognize that market conditions, supply and demand and numerous other factors will determine the price at which your home can and will actually sell.  

When you decide to sell your home, sit down with your realtorand review in detail the market comparables in your area, paying close attention to price per square footage, year was built, upgrades, style, and much more. Based on the information available, your realtor can help list  your home at the appropriate price where you will not unnecessarily leave money on the table, but where your home will be best positioned to sell quickly. Listing your home at an appropriate price generates increased traffic and buyer interest.  

2. There are some beautiful properties currently listed on the market, but unfortunately there are numerous properties that should never have made it to market in their current condition.

I understand that for many people, their home is their “baby” and they are very protective of their personal space.

But when you decide to sell your home, it is time to let go of your personal feelings. Once you are preparing to market your property, it is time to view it not as your own personal space, but as a commodity that you are selling with the goal of generating a profit. The focus shifts from making your home your own personal haven where you get to display your personality to making it into a space that is inviting and appealing to the widest array of people imaginable.  You essentially want to turn your home into a blank canvas so that any buyer who walks inside can imagine themselves inhabiting that space. 

It is actually not difficult to turn your home into a space that will appeal to most buyers.  There are number of simple actions you can take prior to listing your home that will make a huge difference without busting the budget: paint the interior walls a neutral color (lime green may be your “thing” but it may be very off putting to buyers), upgrade/replace flooring (if you have an old stained carpet, replace it; deep clean or re-grout tile), remove personal pictures, keep curtains open to maximize natural light, repair any obvious and unsightly defects throughout the home (scratches and chips in paint, replace broken light fixture covers, install new fixtures). But above all else, the most important thing to do is to always keep your home immaculately clean and smelling fresh once it is listed. Although it is a nuisance to constantly have to keep your house in a showable state, I cannot tell you how many times buyers have walked away from a home because of a bad smell and unclean interior (animal odors, pet hair and clutter are particularly offensive to buyers). The first impression always matters so remember you are trying to showcase the value and appeal of your property, not your own personal style and taste.

If you are interested in selling your property, give me a call at 512-216-7336. I will help turn your home into the belle of the ball.  

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Kim Mauldin

Texas Real Estate License #634179 Please click on the Resources tab for these forms: Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Notice ....

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