6 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Property By Daniel Hopkins | H&M Properties | Cardiff Property Info

6 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Property

Selling a property and moving home is a very stressful time and full of decisions you need to make. In the many years I have seen some terrible mistakes and poor decisions which have ultimately cost homeowners thousands of pounds and a lot of wasted time.

MISTAKE 1: Pricing Too High

Probably one of the easiest mistakes to make, as naturally everyone wants the highest price for their property, and rightly so.

If a property appears really good value, everyone is going to want to view it, and if right, they will offer on it. The competition for the property will drive up the price to an absolute market value.

In contrast, if all the research suggests that your property is worth £500,000 and you decide to price the property at £525,000 or £550,000. What do you think will happen?

Firstly, you will have limited interest as your property will appear expensive compared to the competition (it is important to note that 70% of the interest, and so the best price in a property will come in the first 3 weeks of marketing). Secondly you are helping your competition sell their properly priced property.

Thirdly, it is likely after 6 weeks your property will start to stagnate and it will become "Oh that house is still on the market, there must be something wrong with it". No-one wants what no-one else wants and everyone wants what everyone else wants, It's human nature. There is only one solution to the third, and that is a price reduction.

So forthly, you're going to have to reduce the price, but here's the issue... Do you think a price reduction to £500,000 will do it? Probably not! Your house is now stagnant on the market and you've missed the prime market. You're going to need to reduce your £500,000 house to £480,000 or £490,000 to re-invigorate the marketing. So what has started out as "Let's just try a little bit higher and see what happens" has actually cost you £10,000 - £20,000 and months of wasted time.

MISTAKE 2: Choosing The Right Agent

Choosing the right agent is an important part of the process - you will have a relationship with the agent that you will be trusting to sell probably your biggest asset.

Do not be duped into thinking the most expensive agent is the best, nor the cheapest agent will provide you with the level of service required to get you the best price. Think, do you trust the agent? Does the agent understand your needs? Do you think the agent is over valuing your property to win your business. Use your gut feeling when chatting with the agent.

MISTAKE 3: Thinking The House Will Sell Itself

I was sat in a coffee shop once and I over heard a couple of people chatting. One was discussing getting her house on the market and the other said,

"Don't worry, your house will sell itself".

Normally I am not one to intervene in peoples conversations but I felt I had to say something. I asked why she felt that way about houses selling themselves which she replied, "Well, you just stick it on Rightmove and it will sell itself".

I felt hurt. I had to softly reply. "Whether you love or hate estate agents, you need them. Heres why";

  • Homes do not value themselves at the correct level to achieve maximum interest, quickly, and avoiding stagnation and reduction.
  • They do not photograph themselves to attract maximum viewings.
  • They do not write a description that will give potential buyers just enough info to encourage a viewing.
  • They do not promote themselves in places they will be seen the most.
  • They do not overcome peoples objections resulting in more viewings.
  • They do not continuously analyse and review the marketing and make changes where necessary to avoid stagnation.
  • They do not arrange viewings in a way that creates a sense of competition.
  • They do not followup viewings addressing peoples possible concerns and starting negotiation.
  • They do not negotiate the best price for themselves.
  • They do not progress the sale solving inevitable problems along the way. For example, chains breaking, survey issues and slow solicitors etc.

An experienced expert, committed agent will do all this.

She was impressed and had not appreciated all that an agent does.

MISTAKE 4: Being Fixated On The 'Price You Want'

Let's use an example to explain this one;

House on the market for £325,000, owner won't let it go for a penny less than £320,000. Why? Because they have spent a lot of money on the house. Understandable right?

Assume you get someones top offer of £315,000 from a first time buyer - you have 3 options;

  1. Accept it
  2. Refuse it
  3. Use it

Using it means you can go out and view potential purchase properties as you are in a very strong position with a first time buyer behind you. The idea would be to make your perceived 'loss' of £5000, a £10,000 'gain'.

You see, if you receive an offer slightly under 'what you want' but that buyer enables you to save more money on your purchase, then that's a good outcome.

So, try not to fixate on 'what you want' rather fixate on the 'ultimate goal'.

MISTAKE 5: Refusing An Early Offer Because It's An Early Offer

Now I am not saying you should accept all early offers, just don't refuse them because they are early. I have seen sellers refuse asking price offers from excellent buyers in the first week or two of marketing, only to sell under asking price 8/10 weeks later.

According to Rightmove;

70% of interest in a house for sale, comes in the first 3 weeks of marketing. That is your premium price opportunity.

Each offer whether early or not needs to be assessed on its individual merits:

  • Offer amount (Is it enough?)
  • Buyers position (chain, no chain, cash, first time buyer etc)
  • Financial situation (amount of mortgage and deposit etc)
  • Motivation - buyer may have been waiting for a house on your street for 6 months which is great motivation. However if a buyer has made offers on 3 houses at the weekend, yours being one then you have to question their motivation.

Once you have all the facts you can make an informed decision.

MISTAKE 6: Taking The View 'I'm In No Rush'

Whether you're in a rush or not, the longer you leave your house sitting on the market, the less chance you have of getting the best price.

If you are not wanting to move to a bigger property until September then put your property on the market about April / May rather than going on the market in January at an inflated price because you're in 'no rush'. Hold off, price competitively (as per mistake 1 above).

So, To Recap:

  • Don't put it on for too much.
  • Choose the right agent.
  • Don't think it will sell itself.
  • Don't be fixated on the price you want.
  • Don't hold out for a price that may never materialise.
  • Don't put it on until you're ready.
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Daniel Hopkins | H&M Properties | Cardiff Property Info



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