Three Ways To Guarantee You Won’t Sell

Sorry for the delay in posts – I actually received an email or two asking why I wasn’t getting around to it (again, thanks Mom).  The spring season has kept me and my team rather busy over the last few weeks, then I did have a bachelor party and wedding for one of my best buds from college.  Who knew PA was cold, rainy and breezy at this time of year?  It made the outdoor wedding just that much more interesting. 

Nevertheless, it’s time to get back to work.  I talked with another agent last night here in the office who had just written an offer on a gorgeous FSBO I looked at several months ago.  At the time, the owner was considering selling the home but had not determined whether he was going to list it with an agent or not (i.e. ask me to do the work then take my price and do it on his own).  That was fine, I did an Opinion of Value for him and eventually he stopped returning my calls and listed on his own.  6 weeks later he got an offer from this agent here in our office, and they’re proceeding to closing.  According to this agent’s own admission, it was her opinion that he was leaving money on the table, and could have sold the home for as much as 5% more than what he was asking!  At ~ $300000 that’s a lot of money!

The point of this post isn’t about how to sell your home FSBO and leave money on the table, it’s how to avoid selling your home at all!  That’s right – let me share with you some of the ways I’ve seen recently that sellers are doing just that.  Whether it’s listed on the market or being sold privately, here are three easy steps you can follow to avoid selling your home.

1.  Overprice it.  Go ahead – inflate that number.  In the past few years we’ve had tremendous growth and appreciation in our area, but that train has slowed folks.  Real estate is a roller coaster sometimes, and while things will take off again we can’t rely on past performance to determine future results.   An overpriced home will keep buyers at bay, attract the wrong ones and if an offer does come, it’ll be a real doozy.  As in low.  The one positive?  You’ll help sell those other homes that are priced more fairly.
2.  Defer maintenance.  Everyone loves a fixer-upper, right?  A little paint here and there, drop a new floor in that kitchen, maybe even shore up the sagging front porch.  It doesn’t matter that you’ve been living there forever and haven’t been bothered by the drafty windows or the uneven floors, buyers care.  And we’re trying to attract buyers.  A showpiece home will show and sell, while a project fit for This Old House might just fall in on itself while you wait.
3.  Expect buyers to meet your demands.  Selling a home should be a little inconvenient – it’s not always comfortable to leave your home with an hour notice, keep it clean and showing well, and concede that lovely chandelier hanging in the dining room.  So don’t make it inconvenient – continue to draw a line in the sand and you’ll quickly set yourself apart from the crowd.

The market is strong (Contracts in the NRV during Q1 are up almost 17% from last year while they’re down almost 9% statewide), buyers are still moving into the area, and there’s plenty of competition.  So if you like mowing around that For Sale sign in the yard and helping your neighbor’s home sell, then follow these three tips and I guarantee you success.  OR, you can talk to a professional and we can design a plan to act quickly and maximize our exposure to the RIGHT market.

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