Making the biggest 55+ community home sellers mistake can be disastrous. Selling a home in a 55+ Community can be very challenging, especially when the reasons are due to health or the passing of a loved one. Lots of owners are upset and depressed when they sell because they have developed memories in their homes and in the community they lived in. It is very natural to be emotional and attached to the home, however some sellers are upset for different reasons why they can’t sell their home. While it may be stressful to sell your home, there is no reason to make selling the home any more complicated than it has to be. It is very important to know what to avoid. Let me guide you on how to avoid these mistakes.
Overpricing Your Home
This is by far the #1 home seller mistake in a 55+ community and it happens in any kind of market – Seller’s Market or Buyer’s Market. It is also the most difficult hurdle to jump especially when the home was bought at the height of the housing bubble. The longer your home sits on the market, the more it is perceived as being overpriced. Prospective buyers may see as there may be something wrong with your home.
When a home is first listed, the home will generally have the most views therefore generating the largest pool of buyers exposed to the listing. Overpricing the home in an 55+ active adult community will lead into missed opportunities with buyers that are serious about buying in the price range at which your home should have been listed. Buyers are often making lowball offers on overpriced listing which almost always be rejected by the sellers. These lowball offers prone to infuriate and discredit sellers.
Testing the Real Estate Market Can Hurt
There are real estate agents who intentionally exxagerate the value of a home. We call it “buying a listing”. This tactic is to push the seller into signing a listing agreement. After weeks and months have gone past the cold reality sets in and you have lowered the price on the home. Out of your frustration y
ou have accepted an offer far below your original number at a price even lower than similar homes in your 55+ community.
Setting a Fair Price
It is very important to set a fair price which reflects the current market. Have your agent prepare a comparable market analysis and talk about the analysis in detail. These comps are the number one resource we real estate agents have. There may be no two homes alike, they still can be compared by an experienced real estate agent who understands in making adjustments up- or downward.
Condition of your 55+ Community Home
You may have lived in your home for 20+ years and don’t want to spend a few thousand dollars making repairs on a house you are about to sell. Real Estate Agents get that. However, buyers also want to purchase homes that are in good repair especially when paying top dollars for your home. Buyers who view your home with an experienced buyer’s agent will notice broken items and deferred maintenance. To get ahead of your game, check out the common home inspection check list. This will help you what is going to be inspected and knowing what you may need to repair or replace. You should always consult with an experienced agent about your condition and sale-ability of your home. In addition a good home inspector should point out what needs to be done before your home hits the real estate market.
Odors in your Home
There is a very strong connection between smell and memory. Smells are excellent at triggering emotional reactions. When showing buyers homes with bad odors, we react to a very basic level. We’ll get uneasy or even physically distressed. I have shown homes with potential buyers and within minutes of entering the home, the buyers walked right back out due to strong odors. While potential buyers may not like the color or an architectural style of a home, our reaction isn’t usually physical, and we can deal with it rationally. But odors don’t always give us that ability, since our bodies are already beyond that. If you are a smoker and/or have pets, have your home professionally cleaned and smoke outside during the time your home is on the market. Make sure your carpet is cleaned and that all odors are eliminated before listing the home.
Dirty, Cluttered and Dark Homes
Living in a home day in and day out, you become comfortable with your own things. Oftentimes, your stuff can make a room feel smaller than it actually is and it can be even a distraction to buyers who want to visualize of their potential room. A clean and bright home goes a long way when showing a home. Buyers tend to overlook some minor repairs or dated homes when the home is clean, decluttered and bright. If you happen to have a home with few windows, make sure on the days of showing that you turn on the lights as you can count on the buyer’s agent to turn on the lights. Take the time everyday to make sure everything is cleaned up inside and outside. Whatever it takes to improve will result in a good first and lasting impression to potential buyers.
Real Estate Pro & Marketing
An experienced real estate agent knows how to avoid all the aforementioned biggest 55+community home sellers mistakes very well. A Real Estate Pro knows how to market in a strong and a weak market. Hiring the wrong agent happens all too often. Sellers are too eager to get their home listed and instead of doing their due diligence, they call a big brand real estate company and take whomever is available. They may even use a family friend who just got a real estate license. With any profession, there are good and there are bad real estate agents. Go online research potential real estate agents, check out their reviews, how they utilize the Web as part of the marketing. Good internet marketing is a must as this is where buyers will be looking at your home first. Don’t be afraid to interview a few real estate agents. Click on the following underlined link, it is a list of questions to ask a Realtor.
The most important thing when hiring a Real Estate Agent is that you are most comfortable with and that him/her meets all of your criteria you are looking for in an agent.
Inadequate Marketing & Photos
The image is everything! It takes less than 3 second to make an impression online. You may think that all you or an agent have to do is to take a photo of the house, add the listing in the MLS, stick a yard sale and pray your house will sell fast. Whenever I see a badly taken photograph in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and it may be the only picture, I want to shake the agent and scream: “What are you thinking?”
More than 90% of buyers begin their home search online. The only way to guarantee that you are going to get the highest price is to take advantage of all the marketing options available to you. This means taking at least 25-50 high quality professional photographs of your home and also the 55+ active adult community you live in. A great real estate pro will have an exceptional presentation of your home. Your home may be a good candidate for drone photography. A well written description featuring your home’s special characters and amenities is a must.
A knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent will create a comprehensive marketing plan that will effectively reach your target market. It is therefore important to discuss marketing strategies, such as online and offline marketing with potential real estate agents before signing a listing agreement.