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Critical Home Seller Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
By Kay Pascale.
Selling your home is one of the most important life-changing decisions you’ll make. It’s both personal and financial, and the stress of the home sale process can leave you open to some critical, and costly, mistakes. Here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agents
The second most ill-advised choice, beyond trying to sell your own house, is the wrong choice of estate agents. Properly-vetted estate agents, with proven sales records, can help you with many of the costly legal requirements of property transfer as well as avoiding the myriad of pitfalls of a poorly marketed home. Consult several local estate agents and ask each how they would market your home. Also, ask for a comparative marketing analysis that would give you the values of homes in your area.
Part of a successful home sale is the attractive staging of the property. Decluttering your home will allow the potential buyer to visualize themselves in the home. Putting your extra clutter from the garage, attic, and even some of the main rooms of your home in storage will make your home feel more spacious to the buyer.
Small upgrades like fresh paint and home
repairs are necessary to secure the best price for your home. The basics of
home maintenance give the buyer confidence in your home as their choice.
Keeping your home picture-perfect and ready at a moment’s notice for a showing
can greatly improve the likelihood of a successful and quick sale. A
well-staged home ready for viewing will get the most potential buyers for your
Your House Too High
Pricing your home too high is one of the costliest and time-delaying mistakes. Too high a price can turn off buyers and delay the sale of your home. Each subsequent lowering of your sale price will put you in a more vulnerable position in negotiating an optimum home sale price.
Giving a 90-Day Notice
One of the legal pitfalls that good estate agents can help you avoid is not giving a 90-day notice of cancellation to the bank. This is a costly mistake since it results in a penalty of 1% on the remaining balance on the bond for the full 90 days.
When Estate Agents Should Insist On An Independent Inspection
The EAAB (Estate Agents Affairs Board) encourages buyers to have a home inspection. However, which buyer ever reads the articles on the EAAB’s website? Maybe estate agents read the articles and the EAAB encourages estate agents to advise buyers to have an independent property inspection?
Most estate agents prefer not to have an independent property inspection, mostly because of concerns over defects that may make the sale fall through and because of the cost involved.
Estate agents should know better! Insisting on an independent property inspection may save the agent from strained relationships with both sellers and buyers. Furthermore, an independent inspection will prevent damage to their reputation or possibly even costly liability later on, should problems occur with the condition of the property.
An independent home or property inspection doesn’t kill a deal by forcing sellers to disclose defects that they wouldn’t otherwise have known about. Any defect that is serious enough to kill a real estate transaction is best discovered before it can kill the deal or result in litigation at a later stage.
If you believe that the voetstoots clause is no longer applicable to home sales, you are mistaken. Estate agents and home sellers are using the voetstoots clause in 98% of the “offer to purchase” agreements. Furthermore, the voetstoots clause protects both the seller and the agent in case of legal ramifications for defects. The seller is not selling his home in his normal course of business. As a result, the Consumer Protection Act does not protect you!
In conclusion, just imagine what is wrong and can go wrong with the house you just bought if you don’t take the correct action!
There are also various versions of “Sellers Property Condition Disclosure” statements in use by estate agents. The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) prepared one of the disclosure forms. Another by a prominent firm of conveyancing attorneys. Some “Offer To Purchase” contracts include the seller’s disclosure towards the back of the contract. None do much to make the average property transaction any fairer for the buyer.