As a real estate professional, you’re probably accustomed to giving clients advice about what to do before listing their homes. In some cases, it can be just as important for clients to know what they shouldn’t do before selling. If a client lets you know they are thinking about putting their home on the market, here are some reminders of things they should avoid doing:
Procrastinating on maintenance tasks.
Now is not the time to put off needed property care and upkeep. Tell your clients to tackle any delayed maintenance projects such as painting, roof repair, landscaping, gutter cleaning, window washing, and other upkeep.
Painting with bold colors.
If the interior or exterior of the home needs painting before the home is listed, advise clients to choose neutral, conservative shades that will appeal to a broad spectrum of potential buyers. Trendy, bright, or dark colors can be controversial and may make rooms look smaller.
Making expensive improvements that you won’t have time to enjoy.
It’s never a guarantee that a homeowner will get their entire home improvement investment back when they sell the home. Instead of sinking a lot of money and time into a big improvement project right before listing, it’s often more advantageous to adjust the asking price to reflect any deficiencies.
Overestimating what the house is worth.
Especially in sellers’ or low inventory markets, it’s tempting to see local home sale prices and start projecting potential profits. Remind your clients that many factors come into play when setting asking prices, and it’s best to let you analyze comparables, square footage, and the market outlook before getting a firm number in mind.
Buying a lot of furniture.
Purchasing new furniture right before selling may not be a good strategy. Your clients will just have to pay to move it when the house sells, and filling rooms with too many new pieces can make spaces look cramped and smaller. In addition, the furniture your clients choose may not fit as well in their new location.
Even if potential buyers don’t notice issues, system and structural issues can be discovered at inspection time. In fact, qualified home inspectors are often good at spotting cover-ups. Rather than trying to hide issues, it makes better sense to go ahead and address them by making the needed repairs. Tell your clients to be sure to keep copies of contractor invoices or home center receipts in case any questions arise during the transaction process.
Neglecting to have home warranty coverage.
An American Home Shield® home warranty can provide a marketing boost for listings while protecting sellers from out-of-pocket expenses for unexpected home repair or replacements for covered items during the listing period, subject to contract limitations and exclusions. American Home Shield coverage also offers sellers a solution for finding reliable service professionals to diagnose covered malfunctions, helping to keep showings on schedule. Ask your American Home Shield Account Manager for marketing materials that you can use to help explain the benefits of home warranty coverage to your clients.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your sellers can help the real estate transaction process go more smoothly. They’ll appreciate your guidance and advice and will feel comfortable asking you questions along the way.