When putting your home on the market in Chattanooga, you want to sell fast. You also hope the process is smooth and easy. Oh, and wouldn’t it be great to make a profit on your investment? Your ideal is to sell for the listing price – or very close to it.
If that’s you, this may be the most important article you can read.
To sell your home quickly, easily, and profitably, you need to avoid pitfalls. Let’s look at the top 5 mistakes to avoid when selling your home.
1. Don't interview only one realtor.
This is the largest transaction you’ll ever make. It only makes sense to interview several realtors. Referrals are always nice, but don’t settle for the first realtor you meet. There are some very important questions to ask [link to the seller’s guide]. In fact, if you don’t ask them, you’re selling yourself short.
Make sure every agent you speak with has years of experience. But not any experience will do. They need to have a good track record selling homes like yours – even in your neighborhood.
Many agents will say almost anything to get your signature. They may even suggest – or agree with – a high listing price for your home. Don’t buy it. Select the agent who levels with you about your home’s value and the price the market will support.
2. Don't ignore the market.
The Chattanooga real estate market isn’t a clone of markets around the country. It’s different – and its unique aspects affect your selling price. Your agent should know how long the average home spends on the market. They should be able to give you a picture of what to expect.
To get even more specific, different areas of Chattanooga can vary widely from one another. St. Elmo and Highland Park aren’t the same. East Ridge isn’t like Ooltewah.
Even within neighborhoods, market conditions vary street to street. In St. Elmo, Tennessee Ave., St. Elmo Ave., and Alabama Ave. are like sub-neighborhoods on their own. Your realtor needs to know how to approach those micro markets.
In order to successfully sell your home, you need to value your agent’s knowledge of market conditions. If home selling prices are headed up, you’ll do great.
If prices are trending down, you may end up with less of a gain than you’d like. On the bright side, your next home in the same area will probably be a great deal.
To avoid disappointment, be aware of market trends. If you have a good agent, they’ll do a great job of setting your expectations.
3. Don't hide your home's flaws.
If your roof needs replacing, the chimney leaks, or you’ve had your foundation fixed, say so. A seller’s disclosure form is a must – and potential buyers are counting on your honesty.
You may be tempted to say, “I don’t know.” But remember – lies can come back to hurt you. You’ll stay out of legal trouble by telling the truth.
Save your receipts! If your prospective buyer needs more info, you can take that opportunity to show them how you fixed the problem.
4. Don't set the price too high.
An overpriced home will look shabby in person. Higher prices set high expectations. Buyers with a higher price range will be quick to point out flaws – and notice how your home doesn’t reach the standard of the other homes they’re viewing.
In addition, you’ll miss out on your target market by overpricing. Buyers who would make an offer for your correctly-priced home … won’t. They’ll be finding a home in a lower price range.
5. Don't ignore your agent.
A good realtor knows their business. If they tell you that you’ll field better offers by removing your stuff and staging your home, or if they tell you to make particular updates, they’re speaking from knowledge. It’s not guesswork.
Here’s the truth: buyers rate homes poorly when they see work that needs to be done. Their feelings dictate whether or not they make an offer.
In the same way, your realtor probably suggested a listing price. If you decide to list higher, you risk a poor response, a long listing duration, and price reductions. Those don’t look good to potential buyers. They’ll wonder why no one else has made an offer.
Those are a lot of Don’ts. Here’s a Do: make thoughtful, patient choices from the start. Your home sale will go much more smoothly, easily, and quickly.
And if you’re still looking for a realtor, give us a call. After all, you deserve to sell your home smoothly, quickly, and easily – and we can help.