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5 Pitfalls When Selling Your Home

Ken Rigel

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

May 25 4 minutes read

Selling your home can be challenging. Avoid these common pitfalls that can prevent a successful sale.

1. Poor pricing strategy and lacking patience

When the price of a property is set too high, it can make potential buyers lose interest from the start. If this inflated price is then not quickly adjusted to match what buyers may want to pay, then buyers may think "what's wrong with this home?" 

💡Pro-Tip Be upfront with your agent on what price you would like as well as the lowest price you'd be willing to accept. (For example, I'd love to get $500k but would be okay with $475k.) Also, ask your agent how long they expect it to take for compelling offers to come in based on different pricing strategies (slightly above market value, market value or below market value.)

2. Ineffective marketing

If the property isn't marketed well or advertised to reach the right audience, it can fail to attract enough buyers, leading to the listing expiring or getting a lower price than what the seller was aiming for. 

💡Pro-Tip Get a clear sense of how your agent's marketing plan for your home. Ask the "W'' questions: when, why, what, how many people, etc. If the marketing is dialed in, you will know if the home has been slightly overpriced if it is looking great and shown to tens of thousands of people online.

3. Property condition

Issues like hidden flaws, lack of maintenance, or unresolved problems can discourage buyers from making offers, causing the listing to expire without a sale. 

💡Pro-Tip Plan 6-12 months in advance if possible. This extra time can help as there may be cheaper "fixes" than you realize that can go a long way. As "home condition" can also be something as simple as a fresh coat of paint, landscaping, decluttering or better organizing your things and space.

4. Limited buyer interest

Even in a hot seller’s market like today’s, there may be fewer buyers looking for properties in a particular area or for a specific type of property for the price the seller is willing to accept. 

💡Pro-Tip It is important to understand the "unknowns vs. knowns" here. This is where communication with your agent and understanding the market is important. Good questions to ask include: "How many comparable homes as mine have been sold in the last 3 to 6 months? How long were they on the market for? What was the sale price? Is there a particularly unique feature about your home compared to these previous ones that could turn off buyers?"

5. Seller inflexibility

 If there are known issues with your home, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a buyer to ask about repairs or compensation when they submit their offer. All different factors have to be taken into consideration and certain requests may need to be negotiated to get a deal done. 

💡Pro-Tip Be honest with yourself about what your home is offering in terms of price, location and condition. On the flip side, what may it be lacking? If the home looks great and is located in a desirable area, that doesn't mean there is no limit to what someone would pay for it.

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