It can be extremely difficult to remain objective when selling your home. It is important to understand, that you must. If you don’t, it can cost you dearly in the end. This is not an easy thing to do, but realize that this is a very big deal as a lot of money is at stake. By understanding what the potential emotional traps are, you can recognize and correct those mistakes before they sabotage your ability to sell your home.
Here are the top ten emotional mistakes sellers should avoid:
1. Shooting too high – The first mistake that sellers are notorious for making is coming up with a number they want to sell their home for, strictly based on what they want to get out of it. Ignoring the home’s true market value is deliberately setting yourself up for failure.
A buyer doesn’t care what you need to get out of the home. They are not going to pay over market value. The truth always comes out, and usually it is in the form of the appraisal. Either way, you are going to be forced to lower your price if you want to sell it. Or, you can sit on it for a very, very long time until you get what you want (hopefully).
2. Previous Market Value – Sellers’ first instinct is to set their listing price at what they bought it for. Your buyer does not care if you spent $20,000 over what the value is now. Market value is market value. Unfortunately, your home may not be worth what it was ten years ago. Different times, different markets.
3. Days on the Market — The more days your house is listed, the more likely you are to be low-balled. Many buyers looking for a steal pay close attention to properties with days on the market. They figure these sellers must be getting desperate. They also figure that something must be wrong with the house.
Countless studies show that homes priced competitively sell quicker and for more than homes priced high, which then languish on the market, rack up days on market, and then finally lower their price to market value. And, by that point, the buyer will again assume you are desperate, and lowball you.
4. Not Re-Evaluating the Price – Sellers who found they were maybe overconfident about their home’s prospects of selling need to learn to fail fast, recognize the mistake, and remedy it before racking up additional days on market. Some sellers are afraid that once they lower their price to market value, they are going to start a snowball effect that will encourage low-ball offers. This is not true.
5. Being Emotionally Attached – It is understandable that as a seller you would have an emotional attachment to your home. But once you decide you are committed to getting it sold, you have to look at your home as an asset in a business transaction. Sellers who are overly attached to their homes tend to:
- Price too high;
- Ignore the comparable properties;
- Ignore their agent’s advice regarding staging and preparing their home for sale;
- Become emotional during negotiating price, repairs, and other contract details;
- Refuse to re-evaluate their position when all data shows they should re-evaluate the listing price.
6. Taking it Personal – You must face that you are most likely not going to get everything you want when you sell. By the same token, neither is the buyer. For a successful sale, you will have to find common ground where you both get most of what you want. That doesn’t mean you have to just agree to all of the buyers’ demands, but try to approach negotiations as objectively as possible.
7. Not Taking a Different Perspective – Sellers need to discipline themselves to see things from the buyers’ perspective. When you are the one in the position of buying, what do you expect in terms of price, condition of the home, cleanliness, flexibility of the seller, etc? Are you willing to take these same things into consideration as the seller? If you are, you’re much more likely to sell your home quicker and for the price you want. It is true that you have to give something to get something.
8. Incompetence – There is an attitude among some emotionally-driven sellers that they want to sell, but they aren’t willing to do anything. A seller who from the outset shows unwillingness to clean up, price objectively, or be willing to compromise, is not doing themselves any favors. And, as a realtor, you are doing a disservice by listing a home whose owner is not emotionally prepared to do what it takes to sell.
9. Listing the Home to “See What Happens” – Sellers who want to dip their toes in the market to feel it out or who want to list their house for the fun of it to see what happens are not emotionally prepared in the current market environment to sell. If you’re not serious about selling, find another hobby.
10. Don’t Get Too Excited – No real estate transaction is done until it funds and records. Be cautiously optimistic when an offer is accepted. There are still a lot of obstacles to overcome.