It’s no secret that the Lethbridge real estate market teeters back and forth between balanced and soft. That is, we generally have enough inventory to go around and there is minimal upward pressure on prices.
However, if you’re a homeowner and want to sell, this should be nothing but pure incentive to align with a real estate agent who insists on making your listing stand out from the hundreds of other listings. That generally means enduring a little pain now to avoid lots of pain later.
Sometimes the best way to understand what TO do is to first get your arms around what NOT to do. Here’s a fun but poignant little infographic from our friends at Active Rain… plus my own personal commentary below!
My (Brutally Honest) Comments About These Seller Mistakes (in Lethbridge):
1) Showing Availability: People look at homes all day, every day. That’s why most real estate agents work ridiculous hours. If you turn down a showing, you may have lost that one buyer who would’ve fallen in love and wrote an offer. Ouch! There’s lots of inventory to go around and some buyers are only here for ONE DAY to look at—and possibly BUY—a home.
2) Overpriced Home: Is there an emoticon for the sound of a real estate agent giving a giant “SIGH” on the Internet? Okay, never mind. Just know this: “testing the market” is only valuable if you’re Steve Jobs or Richard Branson (you know, those zillionaire entrepreneur types). Buyers and their agents know if a home is overpriced. In Lethbridge this is enough to discourage some buyers from inquiring about the property AT ALL. (Why would anyone go to the trouble of writing up an offer an attempting to negotiate on an overpriced home if there are myriad more to choose from that are priced right?)
3) Cluttered Space: Unless they’re investors, most buyers see homes with their hearts, not their heads, first. Physical clutter creates mental clutter, the last thing you want to impose on a buyer touring your home. I am constantly shocked by how many homeowners in Lethbridge don’t deal with this before listing their home for sale.
4) Unpleasant Odors: This really goes hand in hand with #3 above. Smell has a dramatic and powerful impact on our emotions. Keep the smell in your home as neutral as possible. What you love to eat every day—or little Fluffy’s bathroom habits—isn’t necessarily what buyers want to inhale while shopping for a home. Orange-oil type scents may be the only exception to this rule.
5) Unwilling to Negotiate: While price is a key negotiating point, it’s not the only one. Possession dates and inclusions also top the list of important “negotiables” for Lethbridge buyers. That said, be open minded about price too. How much will it cost you to continue carrying the home versus a reduction in price? Just sayin’
6) Won’t Make Repairs: Remember what I said about buyers seeing a home with their hearts first, head second? If a home is in disrepair, it feels unloved. And unloved equals unlovable for a lot of buyers. You don’t need to go all Mike Holmes on the place, but, despite what you see on
“reality TV” (more sighing here), a lot of buyers don’t want a DIY project… they want a home.
What do you think? Are Lethbridge homeowners making these mistakes? Did the results of the Active Rain survey leave anything out? Feel free to add your comments below! Or of course, get in touch with me directly if you have questions about how to best present your home before you list it!