How to Avoid Leaving Money On The Table When Selling Your House

Don’t Leave Money on the Table—Strategies for Your Home Sale

1. Avoid pressuring the agent to overprice your home.

Wanting to price your home higher than your agent recommends is commonplace, but in many instances misguided all the same. Of course, you want to set the price high. The higher you set the price, the more money you make, right? Wrong!

Overpricing a house will backfire, making it harder or impossible to sell the home. When you finally do lower the price, you will probably have to lower it to the point where you make less money than you would have if you’d priced it reasonably in the first place. Homes priced correctly from day one always sell for more money.

Homes that are overpriced languish on the market. Ramping up the days on the market is a sure fire way to take less money on your home. Pricing a home accurately is how you’ll end up with more money in your pocket.

Overpricing in real estate sales often comes from some popular pricing misconceptions including the following:

  • We need to price our home with a certain amount of negotiating room.
  • If we wait, longer a higher offer will appear.
  • A quick offer means we priced our home too low.
  • We just need the right buyer who will pay more.
  • Zillow says my house is worth more.

Deferred Showings Help Prevent Leaving Money on The Table

How deferred showings work.

Getting your first interested buyer through the door can be incredibly exciting. Maybe they will make an offer. Perhaps it will sell right away! Well, it may. Especially if you are are in a strong seller’s market. There is a good chance a buyer will take a look at the home and make an offer that works for you.

When this happens, it can be challenging to say no. You have an offer, and you are on the cusp of having the whole situation—all the stress of the sales process—over with.

But by taking that first offer, you may be missing out on a better offer that could come after. Remember that fear of leaving money on the table?

Deferred showings provide an alternative to the standard sales process. Instead of listing and showing as buyers trickle in, you put up the listing in MLS and wait a certain period before showings can happen.

What you’re doing is letting a significant amount of people salivate at the chance to purchase your home. But they can’t see it just yet.

What I like to do is list my properties on a Monday and not let anyone in the door until Saturday. There are five full days of buyers being able to see a home on the multiple listing services before they can view the property. In a healthy seller’s market, your home should be flooded with buyers that first weekend.

When you follow this deferred showings strategy, the odds that you will get multiple offers for your property skyrocket! If you do get multiple offers, you may begin a bidding war that will result in a significantly higher offer for your home. A bidding war is especially likely if you are selling in a price point with limited inventory.

You might even see a buyer who puts an escalation clause in their contract saying they will bid a certain amount of money over the highest bidder. All good for you!

Deferred showings do not need to be drawn out excessively, either. Most deferred showings only wait 5 – 7 days before showing the property. By stalling showings by no more than a week, you can often get more money from your home.

By have deferred showings the risk of leaving money on the table is mitigated.

A side perk of deferred showings is you can do any of those last minute fixes you would like to make before the first showings happen.

3. Avoid an open house by deferring showings.

While open houses may seem to be an integral part of selling, they have a lot of drawbacks that sellers are not aware of. By deferring showings, you should be able to avoid an open house and all the negatives that come along with them.

What are the problems with an open house? Well, to begin with, they are entirely unnecessary to sell a home. In spite of their popularity among real estate agents, open houses more often than not, don’t attract real buyers. Instead, they bring in hoards of people who are not going to buy your home.

The people that show up during the open house will include window shoppers without the financial means to buy the home, neighbors who are just curious, and possibly burglars. An open house offers an excellent opportunity to look around, find security vulnerabilities, and even create vulnerabilities—like unlocking a window to enter later.

What many sellers don’t realize is that open houses increase the odds of a robbery.

Realtors like open houses because they are great for prospecting future business. Agents often find new clients through open houses. It could be a buyer who hasn’t started working with a real estate agent yet or a neighbor who is thinking of selling their home. But they rarely sell the home to those who come to the open house.

Open houses also create the opportunity to double side a sale, often forming a dual agency relationship. Something you never should agree to as a seller!

Deferred showings make it possible to bring in multiple potential buyers who are willing to make an offer, without opening your home to the dangers of an open house. Everyone who comes through a showing will be vetted, while those coming to an open house will not be.

The words “Open House” mean just that – open to anyone whether they are qualified or even don’t belong in your home.

4. Remember that selling an overpriced home is next to impossible.

Overpriced homes do not sell regardless of what you do. Deferring showings is a powerful strategy in many instances, but it will not make a difference if you price the home too high.

Buyers and Realtors are well-aware of the current market and are not going to be taken in by an overpriced property. Even if you somehow managed to get an offer for your overpriced home, the buyer’s lender will not loan money on a home that is priced too high. You’ll end up fighting the appraiser and probably won’t win. There is no way to trick or cheat the system here. The home must be competitively priced to sell.

By the way in hot seller’s markets where homes are selling over the asking price, real estate appraisals are often a challenge. Appraisers in many areas of the country are having a difficult time appraising properties due to limited comparable sales.

Quite often the sales data is lagging what is going on in the market. Sometimes the prices being accepted for properties is much higher than what the comparable sales data suggests.

5. Hire a Realtor you trust, and follow your Realtor’s advice.

It is hard to overstate the importance of hiring a good real estate agent. No matter how much you research real estate advice, it is essential to recognize that every strategy has its weaknesses. The person best qualified to decide your approach is your agent.

Even deferred showings are not a fix-all in every situation. For example, relocation buyers may miss out on your property due to deferred showings.

Relocation buyers have only a short time period to make an offer before they have to leave the area. If they are just here for a day and it falls before they the showings start, they will miss out on the home.

These buyers, because of their unique circumstances, may make an excellent offer that you will miss out on. Is this possibility worth not considering deferred showings? No, but it’s worth understanding.

Deferred showings also amp up the stress of the sales process in some cases for your agent, such as in a highly competitive market.

You may have multiple buyers developing an emotional attachment to the home that must now be managed and you are guaranteed to disappoint all but one of them. A skilled real estate agent should be able to manage the stress though.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of deferred showings for your home with your agent. As long as you hired an agent that you feel you can trust, it is best to listen to his or her advice.

6. Make Sure The Marketing on Your Home is Exceptional.

When selling a home, there are some things that are an absolute must if you want to get top dollar for your property. Make sure you do all of these things to maximize your net proceeds.

You can see how to market your home which is summarized below.

  • Have the home looking it’s absolute best both inside and out. It goes without saying that selling a home starts with curb appeal and ends with an interior that sparkles.
  • Make sure the photography on your home is outstanding. Remember this – 90 percent of all buyers find their home from an online search. Photography is of the utmost importance.
  • The description for your home should be well thought out and detailed. Lots of real estate agents don’t take the time to craft compelling real estate descriptions.
  • Listing details should be enhanced on the three most visited websites  – Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com.
  • Provide a professional video tour or slideshow presentation.
  • Provide drone photography if warranted.
  • Have color brochures a buyer can take with them that show off all the best features of your property both inside and out.
  • Make sure the real estate agent is following up with all inquiries and you are given showing feedback.

Final Thoughts

While having deferred showings is a smart move it will be all for naught if you pick a lousy real estate agent who overprices your home and provides little to no marketing. Don’t make the same mistake, so many other sellers do all the time. Take the time and conduct a thorough interview process of a least three real estate agents.

Additional Helpful Home Selling Resources

Want more great home selling advice? Take a look at the above articles for expert advice from other real estate agents around the country.

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