Here are the biggest seller blunders I’m seeing in this scorching-hot market.
While there’s no denying that we’re in a strong seller’s market, sellers still need to be prudent when they hit the market. It’s not exactly the Wild West out there; basic principles of supply and demand haven’t gone anywhere, and the rules of financing still apply. As such, there are several things I see sellers doing that will cost them time and money needlessly.
Overpricing your home is the first pitfall. So often, I’m approached by sellers who point to the fact that there’s hardly anything on the market and ask whether it’s their chance to snag $50,000 or $100,000 more for their home. You can absolutely get that much more for your home, but not by overpricing right out of the gate. In our low-inventory, high-demand market, there could be a time where not even one other property is competing against yours. However, you need to remember the difference between cash buyers and loan buyers.
Let’s say a loan buyer comes in and gives you that sky-high price you’re looking for, which ties up the property. Unfortunately, unlike buyers, the bank doesn’t operate on emotions—it crunches numbers. The bank backing your buyer’s home will look at your property and coldly ask, “Why would we pay this much for this home? There’s nothing that has sold this high.” After your property has been tied up for 30 to 45 days, the bank says ‘not so fast,’ and the buyer backs out as a result. Congratulations—all you’ve done is waste time.
Now let’s assume you’re selling against some competition. Even if your competitor was overpriced by as much as $25,000, your decision to then overprice by $50,000 only accomplishes one thing: selling your competitor’s home for them. They might as well write you a thank-you card!
Here’s a better strategy: Price it right out of the gate and focus on getting maximum exposure so you receive multiple offers. From there, you can employ various strategies to optimize your sale (e.g., waving the difference between the appraisal price and the purchase price by coming in with that money).
The second most common pitfall is keeping your home on the market for too long. Many sellers think they’re being wise by staying on the market 30 days before accepting an offer, but they’re failing to read the room. In today’s market, there’s massive demand; if listed appropriately via different platforms, your home will get insane exposure from buyers who are frantically hitting the ‘refresh’ button on their browsers. In that first weekend, you’ll get a ton of offers.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t kept a property on the market for four or five days, but right now the market is blazing. In southeast Portland, we had five offers on one of our properties within five hours, one of which was phenomenal—cash, over asking price, and terms that met every other need. My seller accepted that offer and had no regrets whatsoever. They loved the fact that the whole process could be wrapped up so quickly without sacrificing top dollar. If you hang out on the market for 30 days just to see what you can get, you’ll have people jumping ship left and right.
The third pitfall is going down the ‘For Sale by Owner’ route. If the market’s so hot, why do you even need an agent? Well, allow me to illustrate with a recent example: There was a FSBO property in Wilsonville that only generated two offers (likely due to lack of exposure). We came in and, in one weekend, we were able to generate four different offers, one of which they ultimately accepted for $100,000 over asking (all four offers were in that same ballpark, by the way). Never underestimate our expertise, resources, and negotiating experience.
If you have further questions about any of these selling no-nos, or you’re interested in selling soon and want to learn more about the process, please reach out via phone or email. We’re always here to help. Stay safe, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!