Cold air…if you’re in West Michigan right now, it’s definitely on your mind. You’re either enjoying it on a snowmobile or skis or trying to defend and protect against it by bundling up in winter clothing and making sure there are no insulation gaps allowing any drafts to enter your home. When it comes to your home, we all know that cold air can be a thief…sending those utility heating and gas bills sky high when allowed to enter unhindered.
So, why is it that the same homeowners who will insulate and bundle up to protect against the elements invading the home seem ambivalent and sometimes down right ignorant about the prospect of allowing a litany of intruders steal their profits when it comes time to sell their West Michigan home?
Like cold air, these thieves will pick your pockets and the worst part of the problem is most people don’t seem to realize what’s happening – often losing thousands of dollars superstitiously. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders.
1. Putting your home on the market too early.
Real estate agents who show homes often run into home owners who are simply not ready to show their homes. Yes, they have listed their homes and had the home advertised for sale on every conceivable medium, but when the call comes in from a ready, hot prospect…the home owner is simply not ready! Unbelievable but true!
Agents have gotten accustomed to informing eager buyers that unfortunately, the home they wanted to look at and possibly buy is not available today. And…then prepare to show another home. It is impossible to calculate how much these missed opportunities have cost home owners who are simply not ready to market their homes. As an agent, I would estimate that approximately 5-7% of homes we have sold were sold with just ONE showing. What if our clients had not been ready?
2. Leaving those small repair jobs for the next home owner…
It’s easy to fail to notice little things. Especially when you’ve grown accustomed to these minor irritations and learned to ignore them. You know, the little leak in the faucet, the scratches and dents, the worn out paint job, the grease stain on the carpet, the grimy cabinet doors, the little stain over the area which you patched when the roof leaked…
But, the issue with stuff like this is it almost NEVER looks ‘little’ to the potential buyer who is contemplating spending several thousands of dollars to purchase your home. All these ‘little’ things begin to add up to BIG dollars. After all, they’re not sure what else might turn up underneath the initial ‘little’ repair. When buyers make offers, they will often deduct several multiples of the amount required to make the repair in the initial offer or ask for larger dollar amounts to repair it themselves. In this way, homeowners unwittingly give away thousands of dollars for repairs which may have taken just a few dollars and some elbow grease.
Don’t allow ‘little’ repairs to shave off hundred or thousands of dollars from a potential offer. Make your repairs before you place your home on the market and make sure your home is ready and poised to fetch the top dollar.
3. Not understanding the Over-Pricing Penalty…
Yes, there is such a thing. Several years ago, I saw some statistics about the cost of over-pricing a home in our West Michigan area. In data obtained from the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS which tracked the impact of homes which were priced above the market and what they sold for compared to competitively priced homes, it was clear that not only did over-priced homes take longer to sell, on the average they sold for 15-20% less than they would have sold for had they been priced correctly to start with. In fact, these homes on the average eventually sold for LESS than similar homes which were priced correctly for the market.
So, in this way, home owners lost hundred and sometimes thousands of dollars, not to talk about the waste of time and effort. There is a penalty for over-pricing your home. Avoid paying it. If you suspect that you have made this mistake, make haste to remedy the situation. Take an honest appraisal of your home. If this proves to be difficult, ask a friend or colleague to give you their honest opinion. Or perhaps, re-visit the recommendation of your real estate agent and then adjust your price downward immediately by at least 7% and hope that you are able to stop the slide. This is one situation in which even a late adjustment can stop money from drifting out your door unhindered.
If you’d like to know about more ways to save money when selling your West Michigan home, please contact us. (616-791-0511) We can also advise on the current market value of your home.