Selling a house can be a roller coaster ride for any homeowner, but, with the right preparation, it can be a very rewarding – and profitable - experience. This special report lists five common mistakes sellers often make. Avoid these pitfalls, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
I have personally sold over 400 homes and over 85 Million dollars of real estate for my customers in Las Cruces. You cannot find a more qualified or experienced buyer or seller agent in Dona Ana County. I average over 50 sales a year and the average Realtor in Las Cruces sells 3 homes a year.
Choosing the wrong Realtor
This is the time for you to shop around. You’ll spend a lot of time with the real estate agent you choose, so make sure he or she is someone you enjoy being around and can trust.
Ask lots of questions. Are your communication styles similar? Do your schedules mesh? Is there an easy way to contact the agent? Is he or she someone others have recommended? Does she know the local area and the housing market? What are the agent’s marketing strategies?
Free check List of Questions to ask a potential Listing Agent:
1. How will you market my home? What specifically is your marketing strategy? Will you pay for a Virtual Tour? Will this Virtual tour be posted online. Where? See #2. Will you pay for my home to have its own website? Many if not all agents, if they are honest, dont have a marketing strategy at all. Their plan is to put a sign in the yard, get it on the MLS and pray. I'm a big fan of prayer but we need an actual strategy to sell a home in this market. To see a part of my marketing strategy click on this link.
2. What is your personal website to market my home. Over 85% of buyers start on the internet. If they dont have their own website, ie. one that is not a group or company website, look for someone else. Go online and get on Google. Type in Las Cruces homes or Las Cruces property, if you cant find their site neither can anyone else. A site with no search engine is like an unlisted phone number. No one can find it.
3. Ask how many homes they have sold this year, last year . You need a Realtor with recent experience. If they dont sell at least 30 homes personally per year, do not consider them. Years with a license is not necessarily a indication of future results. Top Producers will sell over 40 homes a year not 40 in 10 years. I can't tell you how many agents are pleased to tell you they have been licensed for 15 years and have lots of experience only to find they have participated in fewer transactions than top producers do in one year. There is a reason I am called aTop Producer, I produce.
7. Ask about their education. Are they a college graduate? What type of license do they have. Qualifying Brokers hold the highest Broker designation in New Mexico, associate brokers are the entry level designation. What other designations do they have, CRS- Certified Residential Specialist, only the top 4% of Realtors nationally have the education and transactional experience to be a CRS. ABR-Accredited Buyers Representative, remember many listings are sold by buyers agents which is why you need an ABR working for you. e-PRO- Electronic professionals understand internet marketing and are specifically trained to excel in marketing your home. GRI- Graduate Realtors Institute, graduates have passed all the tests and have taken extensive course loads to be the best trained agents in all areas of Real Estate and Representation. I have all of the above designations.
Take your time and find a realtor you enjoy and trust. Not all licensees are Realtors and not all Realtors are the same. Choosing a person to market your home based on the rate of their commission or the higher listing price is a huge mistake. New agents or ones that think little of their service will often let you talk them into any reduced rate or any price that will not work in the marketplace. Low service, Low experience and low price on the offers, if any offers come at all. This is one of the most important things to remember, your home not only competes with other similar homes in the area on whats inside, it competes with the other commissions.
If you choose a budget service Realtor that will List your home for 4% or 5% they will offer to split the commission with Buyer's Agents who bring a buyer. Now, do you think a Realtor will bring a buyer for a 2% split when there are savy sellers paying 3%? Probably not, a home for sale for $300,000 at 2% pays $6,000 to the Buyers Agent. A 3% split on the same home brings $9,000. Low commissions could mean fewer buyers because agents are less motivated to bring buyers by.
Think your Listing agent can sell your home themselves? Don't count on it, most listings are sold by agents other than the listing agent. There are nearly 400 Realtors in Las Cruces you need to help sell your home and they may not be able to help if the commission is low. Paying the extra commission to sell your home faster is better than a low commission where it takes longer to sell your home and you have to reduce the price anyway. This is the truth, and the truth is hard to come by. Call me, you will be glad you did. If you want to list your home with a discount broker I can refer you to someone else.
1. Rushing on the price
Take your time when you’re setting the asking price of your home. This is a crucial step that shouldn’t be rushed. It’s a tricky thing, and pricing too high is just as dangerous as pricing too low. Pricing a home too high to start with is bad. There is a flurry of activity normally associated with a new listing and you don't want to miss potential buyers because your home is overpriced. You can lower the price later but the home is now seasoned and not new on the market. It is likely this new price will not be noticed by buyers. They already saw it, decided it was over priced and have moved on. Price it right the first time.
The average buyer often looks at more than two dozen homes before making a decision. That means buyers have the advantage of comparison shopping. If your house isn’t reasonably priced, you may lose that perfect sale. Work with your agent to set the very best asking price. Most important to pricing is that your homes value has nothing to do with what you bought it for or what you owe on it.
2. Thinking first impressions don’t matter
First impressions count in a big way! If a seller hasn’t taken time to declutter and clean his house, he may lose the sale before a walk-through even begins.
Buyers can’t help but respond to your home emotionally. It the house is messy or there’s a strange smell coming from behind a closed door, they’ll likely make a quick exit and look for another home.
It may take some elbow grease on your part, but any effort you invest into preparing your home will pay off in the long run. These quick and simple steps will help you spruce up in no time.
On the outside:
• Cut and edge your grass
• Remove any clutter from your yard
• Trim hedges
• Weed gardens
• Wash steps, windows, railings, doors, etc
• Paint if needed
• Remove unnecessary clutter from garages
• Keep the home clean
• Shampoo carpets
• Clean tubs, toilets and showers and hang fresh towels
• Oil squeaky doors
• Turn on inside and outside lights
• Have soft music playing
• Make sure the house smells good
• Keep pets in separate area
• Open shades and draperies
• Open all doors inside home.
When buyers preview your home, they’re more comfortable and will spend more time when you’re not around. This would be a good time to run those errands or walk the dog.
3. Keeping a low profile
It’s a competitive market out there, and this isn’t the time for you – or your real estate agent – to become a shrinking violet. You want someone who will shout your home’s praises from the rooftops (figuratively, of course)! Make sure your agent takes full advantage of all the marketing tools he or she can.
The majority of home buyers start their search on the Internet. Is your agent taking advantage of that technology? Does your agent have a website? Can potential buyers easily find your home listed in a search and find feature? Once they do, is it easy to contact your Realtor for information? Does your Realtor list enough detailed information about your home? Buyers are often impatient and won’t take kindly to waiting for a Realtor to call back with information. They want to access facts about your home quickly and easily – or they might move on.
4. Breezing through the contract
Don’t make the mistake of taking the contract lightly. Protect yourself and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. It’s important that all of the costs, terms and responsibilities are included.
Have you disclosed everything about your home? Share all known defects with your buyer in writing. It will protect you if they later becomes dissatisfied.
5. Late Property Tax payments
Pay your property taxes on time. Did you know that your payment history for Las Cruces or Dona Ana county property taxes is public information? Buyers with savy Buyers agents will alter their offers if they think you are in financial peril. One way to tell this is if your property taxes have not been paid. One year is bad enough but some sellers think no one will notice that they are 2 years late. Believe me, as an ABR, Accredited Buyers Representative, I'll find out and so will many others. After 3 years the County can do some filing to auction your home to pay your back taxes. Keep your property taxes in Dona Ana County current.
I will have your property listed on all these websites and many more for maximum exposure to the market place.