Top 10 Challenges When Selling A Home

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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Challenges to selling a home

Top 10 Challenges When Selling A Home

One of the greatest things about being a real estate agent is the fact that no two transactions are the same.  This means that every day there are different things that arise with different transactions which makes it virtually impossible that a “dull” day exists in the real estate profession.  While this is one of the greatest things about being a real estate agent, that does not mean this is great for buyers and sellers.

The fact is that because no two transactions are the same, there are different challenges that must be overcome.  When selling a home, there are many different challenges that can arise throughout the transaction and even before you’ve listed your home for sale.  There are many challenges when selling a home that are more common than others.  Challenges such as handling unrealistic home buyers and handling the emotions of selling a home are just a couple of the top challenges.

Below are the top 10 challenges that home owners face when selling their home.

Local Market Conditions

Before you have signed an agreement with a local real estate broker or decided to sell your home “by owner” there are challenges that need to be overcome.  The local real estate market conditions can play a huge role in whether a home sells or not.  Before deciding to sell your home there are many local real estate market challenges that you should consider.

Buyer’s Market, Seller’s Market, or Neither?

Most have heard the terms “buyer’s market” or “seller’s market.”  If not, a buyer’s real estate market is one in which the home buyer’s who are in the marketplace have an advantage over the seller’s.  A seller’s real estate market is the opposite.

When selling a home, you should know what type of real estate market place exists in your area.  If your local real estate market is flooded with listings, also known as your competition, the probability is that your area is experiencing a buyer’s market.  This gives the home buyers in the market place the opportunity to be more selective of the homes they want to look at which means there is a greater probability that your home will not be looked at.  This obviously is not the goal when selling a home.

The possibility also exists that neither a buyer’s or seller’s market exists.  This is when the supply and demand for housing is relatively balanced with one another.  This means there are a good amount of homes available for sale and also a good amount of buyer’s in the marketplace.

Time Of Year

Every local real estate market is different.  The time of the year when a home is listed can make a huge difference.  When investigating the local market conditions, the time of the year you decide to sell your home is one challenge that needs to be overcome.

For example, generally speaking, the best time of the year to sell a home in the Webster, NY real estate market are the spring months (March, April, and May).  While the spring months maybe best for the Webster NY real estate market, these same months could be a poor time to sell a home in other states and real estate markets.

The challenge of deciding when the best time to sell your home is one that is greatly impacted by your local real estate market.  There are some situations that exist where it maybe the best to sell your home during the fall and winter months and not wait until spring.  Bottom line, a challenge you may face when selling a home is your local real estate market.

Handling Emotions

If you didn’t know that selling a home can be emotional, now you’ve been forewarned.  There are many emotions that can come with selling a home.  Excitement, uncertainty, nervousness, and stress are just a handful of emotions that challenge home owners when selling a home.

Knowing how to handle the many emotions that come with selling a home is one of the top 10 challenges that you will need to overcome.  One tip to handling emotions when selling a home is that you are certain that you truly want to sell your home.  It isn’t uncommon for a home owner to have seller’s remorse when selling their home.  It’s important to keep in mind when selling a home that it’s a business decision and that keeping emotions out of any decisions is for the best.

Choosing a Realtor and correctly pricing a home are two of the top 10 challenges faced when selling a home

Choosing a Realtor and correctly pricing a home are two of the top 10 challenges faced when selling a home

Choosing A Realtor

In every real estate market there are hundreds or thousands of real estate agents.  A challenge that home owners face when selling their home is choosing a Realtor.  In every real estate market there are lots of real estate agents who are average, some that are terrible, and usually only a handful of top real estate agents.  In many real estate markets the statistic is that 85-90% of the business is done by 10-15% of the real estate agents.  That is a lot of business being done by a small number of professionals.

So how can you overcome the challenge of choosing a top Realtor when selling a home?  One of the most important things you are educated on before choosing a Realtor are the common mistakes that seller’s make when choosing a Realtor.  Knowing the importance of avoiding a “YES” man/woman, not choosing a Realtor who offers to list your home for the most amount of money, or because the real estate agent claims they will sell your home because of an open house is very important in the process of overcoming the challenge of choosing a Realtor.

Another key to help overcome the challenge of choosing a Realtor who is a superstar is knowing how to properly interview prospective agents.  The fact is that some seller’s will skip this step all together, which can truly be a mistake.  There are other home owners who do not know how to interview a Realtor when selling a home.  If you’re properly educated on how to interview prospective Realtors when selling your home, this home selling challenge will be an easy one to overcome.

Choosing a Realtor who is a “dud” can make the home selling process a monumental task.  Choosing a top notch Realtor and taking their advice and guidance can make the other 9 challenges seem extremely easy to overcome and may not be challenges at all throughout the home selling process.

Pricing The Home

Pricing real estate is a science that takes experience and practice to “master,” even though it never can be truly “mastered.”  Unfortunately when selling a home there is no crystal ball that can tell you what your home will sell for.  The pricing of a home is one of the challenges many home owners face when selling.

Overpricing a home can lead to some devastating consequences.  The price that a home enters the market at is very important.  A home that is overpriced when entering the market generally will not receive many inquiries and/or showings.  The longer a home sits on the market the more and more a buyer begins to wonder what is wrong with the home.  There maybe nothing wrong with the home, but a home that lingers on the market begins to obtain a “stigma” that something is wrong with it.

A home that is priced right from the beginning should get lots of activity and showings the first week or two it has been listed and possibly sold in that time frame as well.  Every home owner will face the challenge of pricing their home for sale.  Choosing a top Realtor who has experience and a strong record of success when it comes to pricing homes can make this challenge less strenuous.

Getting The Home Ready To Sell

A challenge the home owners face when selling their home is preparing it for sale.  There are many things that come to mind when getting a home ready to sell.  Depending on the condition of a home and the desire of the home owner, there maybe some items that need to be repaired or fixed prior to listing a home.  Just a few common items that home owners repair or fix prior to selling their home include peeling paint, roof leaks, and plumbing issues.

Another challenge for home owners face when getting their home ready for sale is whether they should remodel or just move.  There are certain projects, like a $20,000 kitchen remodel that wouldn’t make much sense to complete if you’re planning on selling in a few months.  There are certain projects though that sometimes may make sense to complete prior to selling such as freshly painting the interior or exterior, swapping out some outdated light fixtures, or removing wallpaper.  These cheap, quick, and easy “improvements” can really make a home look better to potential buyers and possibly lead to a quicker sale.

Nobody enjoys a foul odor, period.  Foul odors do challenge some home owners however.  When getting a home ready to sell it’s important that you address any foul odors in your home.  One of the best ways to identify a foul odor is by asking the opinion of someone who is going to give an non-bias evaluation.  It’s very common that a smoke odor or pet odor can deter a potential buyer from purchasing a home.

Maintaining A Show-Ready Home Can Be Challenging

Maintaining A “Show-Ready” Home Can Be Challenging

Maintaining A “Show Ready” Home

Ask anyone who has recently sold their home if they enjoyed keeping their home in “show ready” condition.  The answer is going to be NO!  Preparing a home for showings is a time consuming project and is a challenge for any home owner who is selling their home.  Tasks such as keeping the rooms de-cluttered or making sure the counter tops are clean may seem easy, but after weeks of having to do so, it can really wear down a home owner.

In addition to keeping the home de-cluttered and counter tops clean, many homes are staged to help minimize the time on the market.  The staging of a home in many cases can mean removing many items that you may use on a daily basis.  For example, that lounging recliner you like to read your favorite book in may now be in storage so that the living room space is maximized.  After a while this can be very annoying and frustrating.

Unrealistic Home Buyers

A top challenge that home owners face when selling a home are unrealistic home buyers.  There are many ways that today’s home buyers are unrealistic and why it is such a common challenge that home seller’s face.  The most common scenario where a potential buyer is being unrealistic has to do with the offering price.  There are many potential buyers in the marketplace, whether a home is priced right or not, will want to offer a home owner significantly less than their home is worth.  Dealing with low ball offers is one of the top challenges seller’s face when selling their home.

Another challenge seller’s face when it comes to unrealistic buyers relates to the condition of a home.  There are many buyer’s who not only want to submit low ball offers but they also want the home to be in mint condition.  Many of today’s buyers aren’t interested in doing any work to the home they purchase.  This includes light cosmetic updating such as painting rooms and replacing carpeting.  This can be very frustrating to seller who prices their home to reflect the need of some minor cosmetic updating.

“Passing” Inspections

A frequently asked question from home buyers is whether or not they are able to have inspections on the home they are looking to purchase.  Buyer’s are entitled to the opportunity to have many different types of inspections such as home inspections, pest inspections, or radon tests.  A top challenge that home seller’s face is “passing” these inspections.

When it comes to a home inspection, there are no guidelines to whether a home “passes” or “fails.”  The buyer is the one who decides whether a home “passes” the inspections or not.  The reasons this is a challenge that home owners face when selling their home is because every buyer has a different opinion on what constitutes an acceptable or “passing” inspection.  Some buyer’s will be alarmed because of a “double-tapped” circuit in the electrical box and others will not.  While this one example is a quick and inexpensive fix, there are some buyer’s who will get scared off by a simple fix such as a “double-tap.”

One great way to overcome the challenge of a “passing” inspection is by having a pre-listing inspection.  Having a pre-listing inspection is only one thing that a seller should consider before listing their home for sale.  This gives a seller the opportunity to correct the items that a home inspector finds and can eliminate alarming the potential buyer of their home.

Receiving A Satisfactory Bank Appraisal

Depending on the financing a buyer will be utilizing to purchase a home, receiving a satisfactory bank appraisal maybe a challenge to overcome when selling a home.  Certainly if the buyer is purchasing a home with cash, this challenge will not exist.

If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage from a lender, the bank must complete their appraisal of the home.  The bank appraisal not only can make a seller nervous but also the buyer and all parties involved in the transaction.  A satisfactory bank appraisal is one in which the appraiser is able to substantiate that the agreed upon purchase price between the buyer and seller of the home is in-line with the market value of the home.

If the bank determines that the home’s value is less than the agreed upon purchase price, this can create problems.  The necessity for a satisfactory appraisal is yet another reason why the pricing of a home is extremely important.  If the bank cannot determine the purchase price is in-line with the value, they are not going to lend the buyer more money than the home is worth.

Closing The Deal

Once all the above 9 challenges are overcome, closing the deal should seem pretty easy, right?  Wrong.  There are many things that can de-rail a real estate closing.

A common issues that can happen prior to the closing is a buyer getting disapproved.  There are many things that a buyer can potentially do that can accidentally disapprove their mortgage.  While this is completely out of the seller’s hands, it is still a possible challenge that must be overcome when selling a home.

Other potential challenges other than a buyer getting disapproved for their mortgage can include items such as title problems or problems discovered from the instrument survey.

Final Thoughts

By having the knowledge that challenges will exist when selling a home can make a world of difference.  While many of the top challenges when selling a home are out of the home owners control, many of them are in their complete control.  The above top 10 challenges are the most common that you can expect, but remember that no two real estate transactions are the same, so it’s possible others may arise.

Other Home Selling Resources

Are you thinking of selling your Rochester, NY home?  These 10 challenges are ones that have a greater probability of arising during the sale.  Knowing what to expect during the sale of your home is critical.  I’d love to share my expertise and knowledge on how to overcome these 10 challenges with you.  Contact me so we can discuss these possible challenges to selling your Rochester, NY home as well as any others that you can possibly expect.

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About the authors:  The above article “Top 10 Challenges When Selling a Home” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock).  With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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