“Whenever you’re new to anything—a new job, a new exercise routine, a new school, a new town—you’re apt to say some pretty ridiculous things, whether it’s down playing how difficult something may be or being unaware of the reasoning behind certain situations.” - Tara-Nicholle Nelson Trulia
For Susan the art of buying and selling homes is second nature. But for first-time sellers, the process of getting their home sold can be a bit of a mystery. Though well-intention-ed, sometimes sellers say some crazy and out-of-touch, and—yes—even ridiculous things in haze of seller’s worry.
1. “But I spent X years or $XX on that!”
One of the biggest perks of home ownership is the ability to customize the home to the personal needs and wants of the owner and their family. Though fantastic to you, that beautifully landscaped koi pond may look like a ton of work to a buyer. You kid’s hand painted mural might have cost a pretty penny but to the DINKs (dual income, no kids) that are buying your home, the unicorn theme just won’t due for his home office…and that means that they may not be willing to pay for it.
“Remember that some home improvements can increase the value of the home, many should be looked at as features that enhanced their quality of life while the owner lived in the home. But, when it comes time to sell, . The enjoyment of those special features your return on investment. If an eventual buyer also happens to love them, fantastic! But sellers can’t approach the home selling process expecting every buyer to share your value system and pay through the nose for them.” - Tara-Nicholle Nelson Trulia
2. “We just need to find a buyer who understands my tastes.”
There are certainly occasions, with rare properties, where there is truly a narrow niche of buyers that will have to find, understand and appreciate a property. Susan once listed a converted church that was decked out on the lower level as a high end private apartment. The upper level was a shop space and the building had an addition that was set up as offices to be rented out. In addition that property was in a very small town. This property really needed to wait for the right buyer. There was just no way that Suzie-and-Joe-first-time-home-buyer were going to choose this live/work space over a cute traditional home.
But this saying is ridiculous when it is uttered by the owner of a home with potentially wide appeal as a reason for not staging or preparing their home for sale, or in the effort to avoid neutralizing highly design and decor choices.
3. “I want to price it high, so I have room to come down.”
Everyone likes to feel like they got a win. Son no one lists their home at exactly what they need to pay off the loan/break even/ or feel ok with the sale, BUT over pricing the home to the extent that it is on the market with nicer homes at the same price is just a waste of time. If other sellers are pricing appropriately and your home is priced too high over what the market will bear, many buyers won’t even bother trying to negotiate down, and some won’t even look at it. Buyer’s search in price ranges on the internet and if your home is bumped out of their range it might no longer be the most expensive house in their search but rather the lease expensive in someone else’s. That higher price buyer however will be comparing your home with higher quality/priced homes.
Pricing your home too high can also lead to a longer time on the market.
4. “That offer is an insult— I won’t even dignify it with a response.”
“For sellers, a home represents a massive investment of money, time, hopes and dreams. It probably also represents personal tastes, style and some precious memories.” - Tara-Nicholle Nelson Trulia
As a seller or a buyer you need to remember that no one is trying to insult anyone. This is just business. The buyer is trying to get as low of a price as possible and the seller is trying to get the most for a home. The times we make the most mistakes is when we are angry or emotionally involved. Keep a cool head and counter, even if you don’t come down much at all from the list price it will let you know if the buyer is serious or just trying to get a steal. Even if they are trying to just get a steal; they are not evil. They are just not your buyer.
5. “I need $X to get the home I want and take my Australia trip—let’s list the place for that.”
“There are lots of respectable strategies for setting a list price, but all of them have their basis in one thing: data. Pricing can be the toughest conversation of all to have with sellers. But remember: The market sets the home’s price. The ultimate value is based on what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it—not what the seller “needs” to move.” - Tara-Nicholle Nelson Trulia
If the market cannot get you what you need to move (minus the vacation expense) then it may not be time to sell.