35 Home-Selling Mistakes To Avoid

Did you know there are 35 Reasons Why a Property Doesn’t Sell?

It’s pretty annoying when your listing expires. All of these agents are calling to tell you how great they are, yet they really just want to get your listing and reduce the price.

They don’t even care what the real problem is. The only solution they have is the one that costs you the most money.

But – price is only one of the 35 reasons!

It’s easy for the agents because no matter what the real reason is, if you price it low enough, it will sell.

But that costs you money! Wouldn’t it be better to find out what the real reason is and address that? Sellers want to blame the agent, or the advertising. Agents want to blame the price or the market.

Don’t throw your money away! Find out what the Real Problem is, and then you can make decisions based on reality, and keep more money in your pocket!

35 Home-Selling Mistakes To Avoid

 Process of Elimination:

Buyers don’t look for a home to buy; they look for reasons NOT to buy this home! Before they even look at homes in person, they are looking online for reasons not to go see your home at all. Every step along the journey offers opportunities to capture and hold the buyer’s attention, or lose them forever.

Review this list to maximize your prospects and reduce the pitfalls.

35 Reasons why properties don’t sell:

    1. Not enough photographs: Buyers assume that if you don’t show pictures of the home, it must be ugly and there is no reason to come see it (unless they want a fixer-upper!). Photos also boost online ranking.
    2. Poorly shot photos: Photos taken “into the light” or very dark; Listings that lack a full complement of photos, compelling narrative, robust descriptions and no calls to action are “web white noise”. No one sees or cares about them. Both the photos and the description are vital to sell your home. It’s the image your visitors will see once they begin their search online. The first impression matters!
    3. Missed Target Market. The most likely buyer must be identified and the property should be positioned to attract them. This is a huge issue!
    4. Incorrect data or information: Subdivision names misspelled; Tax IDs that are incorrect; Data entry errors in the databases reduce buyers and agents finding the home in their searches. Beds, baths, price, location, square footage etc… online search is data-driven.
    5. Lost in the shuffle: Some agents carry huge listing inventories of unsold homes. You want a Realtor with the experience to get the job done, and the time to give your sale the attention you deserve.
    6. Secret listings: Pocket listings, in-house, off-market and “coming soon” listings cost sellers money and sales! Restrictions of advertising to other REALTORS or the public reduce the number of potential buyers for your home. Only full market exposure brings full market value! I offer a Full Market Exposure Guarantee.
    7. Extravagant decorating or unusual floor plan. The costs to remedy must be reflected in the pricing strategy.
    8. Poorly written marketing/advertising materials: Words and pictures combine to attract the right buyers for your house. Marketing Matters!
    9. Agent skill set lacking. Ineffective or undeveloped communication, negotiation or networking skills; 70-75% of agents in Florida are part-time, doing real estate on the side or as a hobby to supplement their retirement.
    10. Key features not highlighted effectively. I utilize a simple strategy to capitalize on every showing, regardless of experience and skill of the agent.
    11. Listing isn’t found where 90% of the buyers are. We utilize syndication agreements, IDX internet data exchanges, and VOW virtual office websites to obtain worldwide internet exposure on thousands of websites!
    12. Agent is not technologically savvy. Technology is a blessing and a curse! We are combining the best of today’s technology with enhanced listings on the most popular websites, and good old fashioned customer service.
    13. Incentives are not properly structured to enhance the success of the listing.
    14. Ineffective timeframe of listing agreement: Not researched well enough to allow the proper time to market the property.
    15. Agent didn’t discuss absorption rate with the Seller. The majority of homes do not sell during the first listing period. Do you want to list your home, or sell it? Don’t be another statistic.
    16. Agent isn’t skilled in the type of property that they listed. Qualifications matter.
    17. Poor planning, poor systems, poor execution, poor Sellers!
    18. Hope as a strategy. When a REALTOR rests on their laurels, the result is a seller with a languishing listing. It’s just lying around, too. Get Action.
    19. The house wasn’t presented in the best light. Property is not staged for a quick sale. Personal items should be packed up and the property must be depersonalized. Make it as easy as possible for your visitor to visualize himself/herself living there.
    20. The home has incurable defects. “There’s a buyer for every home, but at the buyer’s price” is an old but very true real estate motto. Some residences have incurable defects that cannot be corrected, and these defects must be considered when setting the asking price.
    21. Ineffective use of Virtual Tours. Some tours discourage showings.
    22. No feedback from agents and buyers, or a failure to act on market perceptions and realities.
    23. The curb appeal needs help. If buyers don’t like the state of your house from the outside, they’re not as likely to come inside to see the rest of it. Many times a buyer has decided against a home before they get in the door. It can even be difficult to complete a scheduled showing if they are turned off when the agent pulls into the driveway.
    24. You’re trying to go it alone. Real estate agents’ fees can take a decent amount out of your total sale proceeds, it’s true. But if you go the DIY home-selling route, you run the risk of getting zero proceeds when it doesn’t sell at all. If you’re having trouble selling your home on your own, it may be time to call in a qualified pro.
    25. You’re smothering buyers. As much as you may want to see “how things are going” or be around to answer questions or offer insights, you need to let your real estate agent handle things. Go out for coffee, go see a movie, go do anything that gets you out of the house (and out of buyers’ hair!) when your home is being shown. Not only will this put less pressure on buyers; it will enable them to feel free to voice their real opinions – which can help your agent identify sticking points you need to work on to make your home more appealing.
    26. Mapping problems: Property doesn’t appear in the proper location online.
    27. Low commission splits to agents? They are only humans trying to make a living.
    28. Is the home Clean, Uncluttered, Tidy, and Smelling nice? – C.U.T.S. There is no quicker way to repel a buyer than to present an untidy, cluttered, unloved home. If you don’t show that you love it, the buyer won’t either. If it doesn’t CUTS it, you are definitely handicapping the chance of a quick, well-priced sale. Inside and out, it needs to look its absolute best! The seller controls the condition.
    29. Owner doesn’t actually want to sell. Is the owner clear on the benefits of selling now, or just fishing? Unrealistic expectations hinder sales.
    30. The listing agent is the obstacle.  As in any profession, there are top-quality people and “others”. To be polite, some agents are “out of touch” and are more of a hurdle to home sales than a help. If an agent is hard to get along with, arrogant, or has otherwise made herself unpopular, well… It’s just human nature to tend to skip over someone you don’t like when scheduling showings. You want a knowledgeable, likeable, full-time professional representing you and managing your sale.
    31. Agent doesn’t want the home to sell; it is “Buyer Bait”. Overpriced listings and discounted commissions may indicate the agent is more interested in generating buyers to sell other homes to.
    32. It is difficult to show your house to your audience: “If the house isn’t getting shown, it isn’t going to get sold.” Make every effort to accommodate showing requests.
    33. Seller interference in the selling process. Hire someone you trust and then let your agent do his/her job.
    34. Market conditions and external forces. Sometimes this is just an excuse. If legitimate, then marketing and positioning strategies must be utilized.
    35. The last possible reason why: The house wasn’t priced correctly. Price point must be clearly determined and communicated to the right buyer pool.

     Consequences of overpricing:

  • Limits the number of qualified buyers
  • Results in fewer prospects & showings
  • Reduces the number of offers
  • Creates lack of interest in the home
  • Limits financing options
  • Causes appraisal issues
  • Increases the sales time
  • Less net revenue for the seller

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO

Realtor

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

Three Buying Scenarios; One Winning Strategy

There is a lot of advice on how to win a multiple bid scenario (escalation clause, humanize the buyer with a letter to the seller, snipe the competing buyers, etc…).

In this blog post, I am only going to talk about one strategy that you can use effectively without overpaying and even if you don’t have unlimited funds.

1.)  I currently have a sale pending on a listing where the seller accepted an offer lower than I would have guessed.

Buyer offered cash, close in 14 days, no inspection contingency, and put 75% of the sales price down as the earnest money escrow deposit. That convinced the seller this was as close to a done deal as you can get before actually closing, so after a little negotiation, they signed a contract.

A clean offer with strong deposit is an obvious winning strategy.

2.)  Years ago I showed a home that was priced to sell quickly, to a buyer who was philosophically opposed to paying more than list price, even though he admitted it was worth more than asking price. His wife warned him that if he lost this home because of his foolish pride, he was going to regret it.

The other offer was above list price. Our full-price offer included a $50,000 earnest money escrow deposit which was almost 50% of the sales price. Money talks and the seller accepted our lower offer with the big earnest check attached.

What if you are not a cash buyer with the ability to lay down the big money smack?

Do what you can to make your offer stand out.

3.)  I just closed on a home that had competing offers that were almost identical. Both had financing contingencies, low down payment loans, and were full price.

What made one stand out? Offer A had a $500 escrow deposit, offer B had a $3,000 deposit.

Sure, that is only a $2,500 difference, but if you multiply those numbers by ten, it is like comparing $5,000 to $30,000. A significant difference!

Even the $2,500 difference caused the seller to decide, “Buyer B seems more committed, let’s go with that one.”

In the old days, 10% of the sales price was common for the deposit. We went through a period during the easy money boom years where a token $1,000 deposit was common. That might be a serious commitment from a buyer who is going for a ‘no money down’ loan, or 3-5% down payment financing.

However, if you are a cash buyer or getting a conventional 20% down loan, and you offer a token deposit with your offer, you should not expect to be taken seriously.

I send a bi-weekly, digital newsletter with insights into the real estate market, as well as helpful hints, tips and trends for homeowners. If you would like to receive it, just send me a message with your email and I will add you to the next mailing.

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Featured in Scene Magazine’s Men on the Scene 2016 issue

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™”

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

22 Years Experience

What Are Others Saying About Jim Sweat?

“When selling a home with strong sentimental attachments, located over a thousand miles away, having confidence in your Realtor is critical. You earned my confidence through your commitment… and followed through to a very satisfactory completion.”                                                                                                           ~Karen K., Venice, Florida

“Jim not only understands the market conditions and the various neighborhoods he works in but he also understands people. He goes above and beyond to provide superior service by insuring that clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions. Jim treats you like you are important to him, not just another prospect or file to work.”

                                                                                      ~Troy Connor, Port Charlotte, Florida

“Jim brings a variety of excellent qualities to the table in every aspect of his profession. Knowledge, dedication, experience, honesty and professionalism are but a few. The most important quality Jim gives his clients is his time, which these days, is a precious commodity. From a business partner perspective, it is always a pleasure to work with Jim and his clients, knowing that we will have a smooth transaction due to his expertise and hands-on approach. Knowing how he conducts his business, I would certainly hire him personally and refer him to family and friends.”        ~Suzie Scheetz, Sarasota, Florida

“Jim Sweat is an excellent agent. He put his best effort into finding us a home that matched our criteria and showed great patience while we made our decision in choosing our dream house. He helped us through the process of negotiations and home inspections and made the experience painless and satisfactory for all concerned parties with his expertise.”                                                                             ~John M. Venice, Florida

“Jim Sweat is willing to help you find the right home for you according to your specifications. He is always professional and honest. I would, and have, recommended him to many friends and family. Jim has helped them also.”

                                                                                   ~Sue & Allan A. Port Charlotte, Florida

“We think your greatest strength is your patience. You practiced that well with us although at times we may have been a little difficult.  Also, we have to mention your perseverance and determination to find us the house of our dreams in our price range.  We were very happy with your expertise and knowledge of the area, as well as helping us notice the good points in the homes we were touring as well as their shortcomings.”                                                                                                           ~John & Toni Venice, Florida

“We don’t care where you move to, you are our Realtor in Florida!” “I put my full trust in Jim.”                                                                                 ~S. Ahonen, Stevensville, Michigan

“Jim Sweat was fabulous to work with and He did an awesome job with the clients I referred to him. They are very happy with his service and I am confident that any referral that I send to him, will receive top notch customer service.”

                                                                                ~Domenique Lombardo, Orlando, Florida

 “This man has talent–he listens intently to the need–takes the time to research in depth and then watch out because Jim is results oriented! A pleasure to know and an unforgettable business associate.”                  ~Mary Kay Sverid, St. Joseph, Michigan

 “Working with Jim was an absolute pleasure. We had a very difficult sale with a foreclosure. Jim’s years of experience were a blessing, as he knew exactly how to maneuver through all the involved paperwork. His knowledge, connections and professionalism helped us understand the complicated process. If it wasn’t for Jim’s expertise, I’m sure we might have lost our adorable retirement home. Thank you very much Jim!!”                                                                               ~Ken & Mary Jeanne, Florida   

 “Jim Sweat has high customer satisfaction ratings because he takes real estate very seriously. He puts forth the time and effort to constantly improve. Jim attained his numerous designations because of his commitment to his clients and his profession. He seeks to find out what makes sense for his clients and carefully guides them along the path to their goals. I know that his customer care is a priority because I have been married to him for his entire real estate career!”                         ~Marci Sweat, Sarasota, Florida 

 “Jim Sweat should be your top pick for a real estate agent in the Sarasota area. He always has some great comments and answers on Trulia.”

                                                                                   ~Carmen Brodeur, Scottsdale, Arizona     

“Jim Sweat provides a fresh look at real estate. His observations are on target and his blog comments provoke answers to questions overlooked or just plain forgotten by both consumers and even professionals. His logic, if applied to purchase or selling your home, may be of a greater value than you could have ever imagined.”                                                                                                                                 ~Gabriel Palotas, Florida

“Whether you are buying or selling, Jim and Marci are the kind of Realtors who won’t give up until you are satisfied. Plus, they’re just nice people to work with. Now that we’re settled in South Haven, we consider them friends. If we ever put our house up for sale, we wouldn’t trust it to anyone else.”     ~Larry and Linda Barnhart Chicago/South Haven

“Jim and Marci were so helpful in the home buying process. They kept us informed on what was happening in South Haven until we were ready to purchase a home. They helped us find the perfect get-away. They really listened to us when we told them what we wanted in our home. As homes came on the market they let us know and our place is perfect! Thank you!”                                                                        ~M.P., Chicago, IL

 “You should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

~Dave Ramsey, Financial Author

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

American Realty

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

21 Years Experience

Psst… Can You Keep A Secret?

This week, a client called me and asked, “I am going to have a new neighbor, are you working with them?”

I confirmed that I am, without saying who we were talking about. He let me know a mutual friend had told him, and sent him the address. They will be about eight blocks apart when both closings take place this month.

Last month, a couple that I was showing homes to found out that some of their closest friends are also looking for a new home right now. They were initially surprised that I hadn’t told either couple that the other was in the market.

I just chuckled and replied, “It isn’t my news to tell. You should have the privilege of letting your friends know, when you feel the time is right. You were both actually looking at homes with me on the same day!”

Last year I assisted family members in their purchase of a home. They initially expressed concern that other family members would find out before they were ready to make the announcement. I reminded them of when their parents (and in-laws) purchased years ago from me, and no one knew until the deal was done and the news came from the buyer directly.

I will admit it can be a little tricky keeping a secret from other family members. It would be so easy to say something in passing. But it would not be professional.

Marci and I have worked for years knowing confidential information about folks, and it was always understood it would remain confidential.

Many people say they don’t want to do business with friends or family. Often times, they really just don’t want their blabby friends telling everyone their personal business.

Should you do business with friends and family? I cover that question in more detail in my upcoming book Real Estate CSI: Controversy, Secrets, Insight. A Real Estate Agent Exposes Dangers and Dirty Tricks that Cost You Money.

One of the important considerations is: can your friends or family keep their mouth shut?

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

American Realty

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

21 Years Experience

 

All-Time Record-Breaking Home Sales in Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Real estate experts predict that more existing homes will sell in Manatee and Sarasota counties in 2015 than during any other year in history.

And that is in a market with low inventory levels!

On a pace that the president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee calls “historic,” Sarasota County is expected to exceed an all-time high of 11,550 home sales by year-end. In Manatee County, sales need only average 360 per month in November and December to break an 8,004-sales record set in 2013. Nearly twice that number sold in October.

By the end of October, the pace of sales had dropped only modestly during the autumn selling season, which is historically viewed as being “slow.” At the same time, median prices are near a five-year peak and homes are typically staying on the market a little over a month before selling.

Excerpted from article  published November 30, 2015. Written by Matt Johnson, Bradenton Herald business reporter.

Strong demand is pushing prices up substantially. That trajectory may slow as more sellers put their homes on the market, but with the number of homes for sale at or near a half-decade low, some buyers are jumping in while properties are still available where they want them at the prices they want to pay.

Housing inventory has been well below the six-month level of supply that defines equilibrium between buyers or sellers.

In October, the supply was between 3.5 and 3.9 months across the single family and condo markets in the two counties.

Higher prices, low inventory and rising interest rates may temper the sales pace next year, but all indications are the all time sales record will be broken this year.

 

Landfalling Hurricane Map

Florida has gone over ten years without a hurricane landfall. Wilma was the last one in October, 2005. That is even more incredible when you realize Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline around the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

This map shows some “pockets of concentration” where hurricanes seem to funnel in with regularity.

There are numerous theories as to why Southwest Florida, and Sarasota County in particular, have been so fortunate. Knock wood, throw salt and cross your fingers that I don’t jinx it by mentioning some of them!

One theory is the Continental shelf and depth of the Gulf near Sarasota. Another is the effect of the Jetstream. But the most commonly quoted reason is legendary.

This is an excerpt from a Sarasota Herald Tribune newspaper story June 18, 2007:

The story goes something like this, with the emphasis on “something.”

Sarasota is protected from hurricanes because the American Indians who once lived here knew it was a safe place, which is why they decided to live here.

Or, the American Indians who once lived here blessed this place and made it safe from hurricanes.

Or, the ancient American Indian burial grounds scattered throughout the county are keeping the storms at bay.

Sarasota has not been a bull’s-eye for a major hurricane since reliable records began in 1871.

But it was damaged to varying degrees by hurricanes in 1926, 1944 and 1950, as well as Donna in 1960 and Charley in 2004.

A number of other explanations for the relative safety have surfaced, most of them questionable.

One gives credit to nature’s fortunate placement of dunes off the coast.

Another, to the magic powers of Siesta Key’s white sand beaches and underwater crystals.

Whatever the reason, we are just glad to be fortunate and able to live in such a beautiful place!

I am all for being lucky!

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

Is This Another Real Estate Bubble?

Two questions need to be answered when multiple offers, bidding wars, tight inventory, and Realtors buying properties become the norm.

We have been seeing strong demand and rising prices for the last three years. The real estate market in Southwest Florida was decimated during the real estate crash, so it is not only reasonable, but also smart, to be alert for signs of danger. Values dropped by over fifty percent from the boom prices of 2005 to the depths of despair in 2011.

Many have been asking if the bidding wars we are seeing are leading to another bubble. Multiple offers are a sign of strong demand, which we definitely have.

There is one irrefutable sign when prices are not sustainable. I will get to that in a moment, first you need to know the two most important questions to ask:

  1. Who?
  2. Why?

Who is buying real estate, and why are they buying it? If you pay attention to the answers, you will have a good grasp on the overall health of the real estate market.

During an eight month period of 2014, over half of the agents in my office bought real estate. Now, we have a small office, still you had six agents buy property in a short period of time. Is that a warning sign?

It could be. The first wave of foreclosures during the crash was heavily populated with agent owned properties. I cover that in more depth in my upcoming book, Real Estate CSI: Controversy, Secrets, Insight. A real estate agent exposes dangers and dirty tricks that cost you money.

The second question determines if that is cause for alarm. Why? Answer: We all bought real estate to own it. None of those purchases was for a flip, or an attempt to get into the chain of title for profit. We all wanted to own the properties we bought.

That is a strong indicator of healthy market growth ahead.

During the boom, everyone was buying real estate. Anyone who could fog a mirror was clamoring to grab the next property available, and many times contracts were selling multiple times before the first closing even took place. Properties weren’t even changing hands. Just the contract to purchase was being sold at a profit to someone else.

Who? Everyone.

Why? For fast money. They didn’t want to own the property; they only wanted to get their name on a contract that could be sold tomorrow for more money.

The most important sign among the many:

When “everyone” is buying, but few actually want to own it, that is a bad sign.

So who is buying real estate today, besides half of our office? Baby boomers; early retirees; investors; snowbirds; first time buyers; move up buyers; people who love Florida and want to enjoy it for more than a couple of weeks a year; and the occasional flipper.

These are good people to see spending their money in the marketplace, and a sign that bodes well for the future.

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow