The Checklist You’ll Need after You Sell a House

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Selling a home in a no agent property set-up has its perks but it can be a bittersweet affair. Even though deciding to sell a house in Australia is the crucial part of the process, note that you also have to go through a rundown of tasks to ensure your property’s new owner doesn’t regret the investment. This is especially true in a for sale by owner real estate deal.

Prepare a thorough list that includes fixing all the quirks you think buyers wouldn’t notice, or wouldn’t mind. Here’s a checklist to get you through the ordeal.

1. Clean The House Like Crazy. Once you accept the house isn’t yours to keep, it’s time to clean every nook and cranny of the property. You have to sort through all your stuff–most of these end up at your new place, many have to be discarded.

Make sure you also set aside the items that ease the transition for the house’s new owners:

  • Keys to every door in the house, as well as keys to the gate and mailbox
  • Remote controls for the garage, security system, lights, ceiling fans, and air conditioning unit
  • Manuals, purchase receipts, and warranties for the air conditioning, security and sprinkler systems
  • Copies of receipts to recent repair and maintenance service.

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It’s understandable if you’re leaving heirlooms as a treat to the next owner, but you’re better off taking these out or tucked in boxes. The garden gnomes and cacti collection on your front yard aren’t essential fixtures (these may even turn off potential buyers), so spare them the anxiety.

2. Shut Off The Valves. So you’ve reached the goal of “sell my house fast”, what’s next? Once the house is stripped to the bare necessities (and ready for occupancy), it will have to hibernate until the new owner moves in. Turn off the gas and water supply at the main valves. Leave a note for the new owner so they’re aware you’ve shut down the utilities.

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3. Be There for the Final Walkthrough. You may not have to be present every time a potential buyer decides to visit, but you should assist in the last walkthrough of the property. The buyer wants you to confide quirks that make the house tick:

  • How are the light switches assigned?
  • Where are the main valves to utilities located?
  • How long does it take to achieve optimal indoor temperature?
  • What are the settings of security alarms and timers?
  • Are there any tweaks you’ve made to improve on creature comforts?
  • Are there any quirks in the plumbing, air conditioning and heating, etc., that the buyer needs to know?

4. Sever Ties, Starting With The Insurance. It’s time to claim your refund for the policy when you’ve ensured the sale is final and the title has transferred. Ideally you should have everything settled before the new owner moves into the property.

5. Cancel Subscriptions, Transfer Utilities Service. Cancel all of the repeating subscriptions and services you have, or transfer these to your new address when applicable. Note that you have to cancel or transfer your magazine subscription weeks before you move out. The new homeowner isn’t responsible for your mail, so spare them the trouble of picking up your pulp on their doorstep.

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6. Leave Keys and Manuals Behind. Don’t forget to leave items the new homeowner will use to get settled. The locks and appliances will likely be replaced, but you should still offer the option to retain everything.

7. Check the House for Sundries Left Behind. It’s not uncommon for anyone to leave personal belongings behind. Did you really scour the entire house for the last marble, the last paper clip?

Forgetting odds and ends may seem harmless, but it’s your responsibility to leave the house in a condition you’d like to find it if you’re the buyer. You should go for one last look-see just the same (here’s where being obsessive-compulsive provides an advantage).

Remember that the new owner isn’t obligated to keep anything they find in the house. Sift through drawers in case stamps in your precious collection slipped through the cracks.

8. Lock down and Lock up. The house will be empty until the new homeowner moves in, but it shouldn’t appear abandoned to outsiders. Draw the shades and curtains, close and fasten the windows, and lock the doors before you leave.

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Leave the keys to the front door in your special hiding place and inform the buyer of its location (not under the doormat or anything that sticks out like a sore thumb, such as a garden gnome). Also, consider leaving a lamp on timer for good measure.

The new owner should appreciate what you’ve done with the place when they move in. Aside from updating on repairs and maintenance in a for sale by owner real estate deal, you should also leave the house empty and bare enough to foster a new home.

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5 Signs Your Home for Sale is Overpriced

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If you’ve ever placed bids on items at auction sites like eBay, you’ll notice there’s a point of no return in the bidding process. Once an item is overpriced, bids start to taper off, and the seller has to consider the most appealing bid. Sellers can’t hold on to an auctioned item forever; something’s got to give. The same goes in real estate, whether you’re trying to sell with an agent or in a for sale by owner deal.

Now, think of the house you’re selling as an auctioned item: how do you set the asking price so bidders flock around it like bees on honey? If people in the neighbourhood caution their kids to “stay away from that creepy house on Parklane Street,” that’s proof your home is up on the market for far too long.

Oftentimes, prospects turn stale because you’ve set the price so high, it’s as if you really don’t want the property sold; the following are five tell-tale signs your property is overpriced.

  1. Your asking price is not trend-competitive

Calculating a competitive figure compared to other properties in your area requires some legwork but it’s vital you get a good grasp of the median value. Price your lemonade so passers-by seriously consider buying a glass, instead of squinting at the next lemonade stand around the bend.

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If your property has been sitting for months without an offer, rethink your asking price. Make sure it falls within the price range in your neighbourhood.

  1. You’ve invested too much to consider a markdown

You’re probably itching to protest at this point. “I want to sell my house fast so I spent a fortune on my property and I’m going to sell it at a bargain? That’s highway robbery!” Sure, you might have gone out of your way to build a Zen garden on your back yard, but not everyone is into that kind of thing. Your property should appeal to the greatest common denominator, in price and construction.

Consider loss as collateral damage, at the very least. There’s always risk of compromise when there’s competition involved.

  1. It’s a schoolyard pick and your property is always left out

It’s a cause for concern when the property is up on the market for a while. The time your house sits on the market varies between areas and is dependent on market weather. If your property has become a staple of published listings, neglected or overlooked, your house may be considered stale on the market.

Don’t fret–stale bread is still edible; it’s just that everyone eventually prefers to eat from a fresh loaf. Stay on top of listings in the area, and adjust your price to stay competitive.

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Don’t hold on to your asking price if everything else is marked down, it might hurt you in the long run.

  1. Ballpark estimates aren’t what you anticipated

Consider ballpark appraisals if you’re hiring help in the process, but you need as accurate an estimate as possible. Hired help steps your pricing strategy up a notch, but note the trend of advice you’re receiving. It’s possible you’ll be advised ballpark estimates lower than your expectations.

Consider advice with a grain of salt, and listen to counsel of an appraiser. Accept the possibility you’ll compromise more than you have to, but the sooner you sell the property, the better off you’ll be. You can’t go wrong if the real estate appraiser has a credible, reliable reputation in the industry.

  1. Your property is trimmed off Buyers’ Affordable Options

It’s likely the property has piqued the interest of potential buyers, but it doesn’t translate to visits and showings. Your prices may be reasonable, but potential buyers prefer to prioritize the five more affordable properties on their shortlists. In a sense, your house has become the runt of the litter just because your asking price isn’t competitive enough.

You need to stay on your toes and adjust to the trend. Be aware of current and new competition. Consider adjusting your asking price even if you’re compromised. It’s all about making that sale.

You might have to get down and dirty when you’re selling a property in Australia, especially in a competitive market. Things can get brutal, so it’s best you consider hiring the best help to get the job done for you.

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We can help! For a nominal fee, Zero Commission will place your listing on the top real estate portals in the country while providing support along the selling process. Want to learn more about no agent property listings? Click here and save thousands of dollars in commission.

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5 Things You Do That Scare Buyers Away

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Do you have a nagging feeling it’s your fault your house remains unsold? This is valid if properties in your area are closing on deals, whether they’re real estate agent-related or for sale by owner deals, and your home is still up for some twisted foster care. The reason may involve factors beyond your control, but you still need to assess your house from a buyer’s perspective–is there something you failed to improve, like renovations to enhance curb appeal?

Consider these 5 common blunders that keep your property from impressing buyers in Australia.

  1. An Unappealing Price Tag

The sky’s the limit if money isn’t an issue. It’s almost always about the money, though. Did you strike the balance in pricing your property? Is the estimate reasonable, competitive, and appealing?

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One way to gauge if you’ve priced your house right is to consider other properties in your area. There’s a good reason why you need to set within a price range: you don’t want your home to be that one real estate property people pass off because the price is just too high.

On a side note, don’t undervalue your property in the hopes of being too competitive. Stay within the average range, and make sure your home stands out from the rest when prospective buyers visit.

  1. Photos Don’t Justify Your Property’s Merits

Prospective buyers need previews of properties before they even consider visiting, so make sure the photos you publish catch their attention.

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Frame your property in bite-sized pieces, making the most out of perspective and lighting to showcase the best features. Leave out details which put the property in a bad light, such as an unattractive view of the neighbour’s back yard from the kitchen window, or that fresh tree stump left on the front lawn.

Let prospects sort things out when they come. First impressions last, but it’s hardly a deciding factor. Tease buyers with a taste, but follow it up with a hearty helping when they commit to a visit.

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  1. Neglecting Important Renovations

You don’t have to bend over backwards in renovations and borrow heaps from the bank, but do invest just enough so your property meets buyers’ expectations.

Aside from improving your home’s curb appeal, ensure the important renovations are covered–such as the kitchen, bathroom, cupboards and paint jobs. Ensure that expected essentials, like pest control and plumbing repairs, are accomplished.

Buyers should have the impression the house is ready for occupancy. Small flaws like leaking taps or cracked bathroom tiles hurt your chances of making that sale.

  1. Customisation Can Hurt

Stomp out the nagging idea of leaving buyers your favourite fixtures and pre-owned furniture as a gesture of goodwill and to sweeten the deal. How can anyone pass up on a perfectly good bean bag, right? Wrong.

As it turns out in most cases, belongings are red flags to potential buyers. These hint on your unwillingness to turn over your property. Even if you think leaving that piano in the living room would be a great house-warming gift, the truth is, you have all your memories smeared over the ivory keys, which can leave impressions ranging between thoughtful to creepy/weird.

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Play it safe and don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to furniture and other belongings. Repeat until your red in the face: less is more.

  1. Being Too Hands-On during House Visits

If your marketing efforts are yielding the visits you desire in a for sale by owner deal, the next question is how you should play host every time a prospect visits. It’s a noble idea to be accommodating and it seems to make sense, but it’s a task that can pester buyers.

Spare buyers from your emotional attachments. You may hard-sell your property’s merits and scare people in the process when you breathe down their necks. We all want to meet the goal of “sell my house privately” but tightening the noose can scare off prospects.

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Your patience will pay off in the long run. Make sure your property is priced right and always ready for occupancy. Also, never shrink away from a reasonable compromise. Reconsider terms if an offer is reasonable, especially if you need the property sold immediately.

Are you one of the millions of people who view real estate agents with serious scepticism? They’re essentially middlemen you can do without, and you should opt for a better, direct alternative. For a nominal fee, Zero Commission will help you sell your house in Australia and you get to keep the commission (typically worth $14,000) all to yourself. Learn more here.

5 Feng Shui Tips to Sell Your House

Feng Shui Tips to Sell Your House title

We understand the emotional baggage that comes with selling your house in a no agent property deal, but now that you’ve decided to let it go we’ll leave it at that. An exciting adventure awaits anyone who’s open to the goal of “sell my house fast”!

Sure, it can be difficult to sell a house privately in Australia when you have memories invested in yours. No matter what feelings are involved, you’ll have to sell your house like it’s the best cake at the bake fair, with knockout icing slathered on every slice. We offer 5 Feng Shui tips to consider before you put a home up for sale. Potential buyers should see themselves settling in your abode before they’ll ever consider owning it.

Tip #1: Get a Fresh Perspective

The first step is to step back, literally. First impressions last, and buyers are keen on appearances, among other things. You need to step out and conduct an honest survey of your property.

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Better yet, ask neighbours to help you in the assessment. Have you lived in your property long enough to overlook the chipping paint and broken window panes? Trade notes with an impartial other to ensure you have everything covered, and take criticisms in stride. This is one of those occasions when hearing a neighbour rant on your overgrown lawn is a good thing!

Tip #2: Ensure Your House Promotes Zen

Maintaining the positive energy throughout your house is a tricky feat, so it’s best if you attempt this when you have unnecessary fixtures and furniture removed. You’ll have unbiased assessment of your interior when it’s left to the bare essentials.

What would potential buyers consider as cold or hot spots? Your favourite nook may not be as special as you think, and neglected spots may look more appealing without cumbersome furniture hogging the space. Renovate if you decide the layout is in need of a do-over.

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Tip #3: Check Out the Competition

Check out houses for sale in your area, both those sold by agents and for sale by owner real estate deals. Notice the balance between personalization and anonymity.

Note any property which feels cosy, not because the previous owner left the couch in the living room, but because you can see yourself settling there. It’s that inexplicable quality which sells houses: bare but homely.

The rule of thumb is to leave no trace of your existence. With this in mind, you’ll have to do something about the cute notches you left on your kitchen’s door frame to mark your kids’ heights growing up.

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Tip #4: Renovate To Compete

Ask yourself: “If I’m going to sell my house privately, how can I ensure it stands above everything else on the market?”

The answer often involves investing in renovations to boost market value. It’s all about building on your house’s vibrant Chi (energy), which is also achieved with redecoration. Landscaped properties fetch better prices, especially if you’ve also improved on the interior design.

There are plenty of online resources you can check out for design tips; the goal is to lure your potential buyers in with positive vibes, as soon as they see your property.

Tip #5: Release What Must Go

Once you’ve done everything you can to improve your house for sale, you need to deal with separation anxiety. This is easier said than done, especially for a house that used to be a home.

Buyers may catch on the subtle vibe you’re not really willing to let go, though, and may back out of a done deal at the last minute. The sooner you accept the fact your house isn’t yours to keep, the sooner you’ll find the best deal for it.

With the right mindset, saying goodbye to your home shouldn't be this bad.

With the right mindset, saying goodbye to your home shouldn’t be this bad.

There’s plenty of for sale by owner real estate in Australia, properties leased, bought, or flipped. You need to get ahead in the game if you want yours sold! We can help you. For a nominal fee and zero commission, you get to skip the middle man and save on average $14,000. Click here to learn more.

Read these other blog posts we lovingly created for you to help you sell a house privately:

How to Sell a House during Winter

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Winter months are coming in Australia! Are you ready? The season comes with specific challenges so if you’re wondering “how to sell my home privately” then this guide is for you.

In most for sale by owner real estate deals, winter is usually not the best of times to show a property to buyers. The cold and the rain or snow can dampen spirits but, don’t worry, there are ways you can brighten a house and impress those picky buyers.

Tip #1: Let there be light

Gloomy skies are coming. Your home doesn’t have to be dreary. Try these tips:

  • Open windows, pull up all blinds and draw back curtains in every window in your house.
  • Do turn on each light in the house. This step is more critical during winter months than any other time of the year.
  • A good way to add more lights to dark places is by using spotlights. Put them on the floor behind your furniture.

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Tip #2: Clear the way

If you live in an area that gets snow, make sure to be diligent about shovelling the path. This is even more crucial when you see snowflakes continuing to fall.

  • Did you know that footprints made on fresh snow can easily turn to ice? Scrape the path to avoid a slippery walkway.
  • A nasty fall will be sure to keep buyers from purchasing your property. Help avoid this mishap by sprinkling a layer of sand on the pavement and all the outdoor steps.
  • Be sure there’s an available path for visitors from the street to the pavement.
  • In case there’s rain, place a rubber mat outside the main entrance.
  • Have a spot outside the front door to keep wet shoes and umbrellas.

Tip #3: Heat Things Up

If you want to sell your house in a for sale by owner set-up, now isn’t the time to be a Scrooge about the electricity bill. Turn on the thermostat in your house.

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If you’re expecting visits from potential buyers, your safest option is to heat the indoors about a degree or two hotter than you normally would, this way your heating system won’t have to power on when the buyer is around. These things can be quite loud.

  • Aim for temperature that is very cosy, providing buyers more reason to inspect and enjoy the property.
  • If you have a fireplace, by all means light it up to create a lovely mood. Make sure to keep the damper open and put a grate in front of the fireplace.

Tip #4: Use the Power of Music

Nothing can drive away gloomy moods than beautiful notes floating through the air. Play soft music like classical or jazz.

We don’t suggest tuning into a commercial radio station – you never know what annoying ad might play. Instead, have a playlist ready by either playing from a hard drive, a music device or you can also stream music from services like Spotify.

Tip #5: Paint a Lovely Mood

Just because February was months ago doesn’t mean romance can’t be in the air when you’re trying to sell a house privately.

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  • If you’re expecting a visit from buyers who happen to be a couple, add a soothing vibe by setting up a couple of champagne glasses next to a champagne bucket in the living room.
  • Place throws and a pretty afghan on your couch.
  • Give bathrooms a spa-like vibe by putting up plush bathrobes. Take plain white wash cloths and roll them up. Tie them with a simple ribbon and put in a basket.
  • Put shampoos and other toiletries you’ve grabbed from hotels to good use. Position them as a group and display as you wish.
  • Flowers add a touch of magic in an instant. Put a vase filled with winter flowers all over your home.
  • Make your bedroom more inviting by setting up a breakfast tray on the bed. Add a cup, saucer and rolled-up newspaper to the mix.

Tip #6: Serve the right winter food

The goal is to keep the buyers around for as long as possible, allowing them to enjoy their time as they inspect your house for sale. Foods that can be swiftly eaten aren’t your best bet. You want buyers to savour the snack and linger.

  • Hot soups like tomato, squash and potato are excellent choices during winter.
  • Serve cups of hot cocoa.

The challenges of for sale by owner real estate are nothing compared to the benefits of skipping the middleman. You end up saving thousands of dollars by selling a no agent property.

For a nominal fee, Zero Commission will help you sell a house in Australia. Learn more here.

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Top Reasons You Need a For Sale by Owner Real Estate Sign

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You won’t believe the number of enquiries home sellers get thanks to real estate For Sale signs. Yes, even in this period of Facebook, Google and smartphone apps that can do magical things. This is as true for for sale by owner deals as it is for agent-assisted ones.

In certain neighbourhoods, home buyers will drive by a house and immediately stop in front of one with a For Sale sign. If your thinking “how do I sell my house fast” in a no agent property deal then you’re not doing yourself a favour if you don’t have one of these babies up in front of your home.

Interested parties will call asking for more details about the real estate property for sale. When you’re selling a house in a for sale by owner set-up, having a sign will encourage more people to pick up the phone and get in touch with you. You’d be surprised how, even in this digital age, effective a physical sign continues to be.

Getting these calls from buyers is a wonderful opportunity for you talk about the amazing factors of your house, features that won’t be noticeable from curb visuals alone.

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Tip: Your homeowner association might prohibit For Sale signs. Check your HOA agreement to verify.

Question #1: Where Can I Get a For Sale by Owner Sign?

Now, you might be wondering, how will you get or create one of these very useful signs if you’re selling a house in Australia privately. Great news! When you enlist our services, we will mail you an eye-catching design at no extra charge. The sign is just one of the many values we add to our customers.

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For a nominal fee, we will place your listing on the two largest real estate websites in Australia while providing you with other services to sell your house fast. The sign is just one of them. Our blog and customer service team are here to give you information and tips to close that deal.

Click here for more details and find out why customers are raving about us.

Question #2: Where is the Best Spot to Place the Sign?

The sign we mail out to you should be placed in a spot that makes it easily seen from the street. Make sure the sign isn’t blocked by trees, cars and other objects. You should definitely drive in front of your house to check that the sign gets high visibility. Put yourself in the shoes of strangers driving by. Most buyers notice these signs from their cars.

We also discovered that it’s far less intrusive to plant the sign closer to the street than to most houses. If you have a house that’s situated on a corner, think about putting up a sign on each street.

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Extra Tip: What about houses that are secluded from traffic? You can request another home owner, one who lives on a busier road, to place an additional For Sale sign. It should come with an arrow pointing to your direction.

Want more marketing tips to help you sell your house fast? Of course you do. Like us on Facebook by clicking here so you find out whenever we post one of our many amazing tips to help our clients sell their house in a no agent property deal.

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For Sale by Owner Tip: Why Pricing Above Market Value is a Bad Idea


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One of the challenges real estate sellers in Australia make in selling their home in a for sale by owner deal is pricing the property correctly. The goal is to sell the house at the highest price, that’s just human nature. But, of course, pricing your listing too high comes with drawbacks. Hitting the sweet spot in pricing is a challenge involved in no agent property listings.

Ask anybody: do you want more cash for an item you’re selling or not? Of course they’re going to want the most return of investment. But keep in mind that when it comes to the real estate market, prices fluctuate plenty. Moreover, the estimated market value of a real estate asset will vary from one party to the next. And this includes professional real estate appraisers. Ask 10 appraisers to appraise your property and chances are great that you’ll get 10 varying values.

This is not to say that a professional appraisal means the value of your property is predetermined. Yet, between all 10 appraisals you receive, there will be a range of prices that are relatively close to one another. You shouldn’t expect any far off number. Despite this, plenty of sellers in homes for sale by owner listings tend to hike up the price of their home way too much.

Reasons that Keep Buyers from Simply Making an Offer

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When people have the goal of ‘sell my house’ in a for sale by owner setup, there is a common trend to assume that buyers will simply make an offer. In cases when a buyer doesn’t provide the offer on a silver platter, plenty of sellers make the wrong assumption that price isn’t the issue. Said sellers think external factors are the root cause of the problem.

Wrong assumptions sellers make may include:

  • They think that buyers don’t comprehend the inherent factors that provide more value to the property.
  • The marketing strategy to reach more buyers isn’t effective.

One tip we’ve learned from real estate experience is that a major factor at play in unsuccessful listings involves something else. Remember, for a buyer to make an offer, they’ll have to see your house in person. No visit = no offer. The majority of buyers will only see properties that are within their budget.

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For instance, if a buyer is searching for a house in a given neighbourhood, they’ll narrow down on a specific price range. If your property is overpriced, it won’t appear within the buyer’s radar. And even if your overpriced house does appear in the buyer’s line of sight, it will fall at the bottom of the priority list. Buyers will check out the most attractive homes in their list first, and price naturally pays a huge role.

The primary reason these buyers won’t simply provide you with an offer is because they won’t even hear about your home to begin with, thanks to the steep price tag you’ve attached to it. If home buyers never find out about your listing, forget about getting a visit from them. No visit = no sale!

Also, the typical buyer won’t visit a property with the hopes of providing a cheap offer and getting the seller to agree. A lot of buyers don’t want to lowball sellers. Buyers don’t want to come off as offensive.

Another reason why overpricing your home is a terrible idea is that buyers and their agents (if any are involved) may assume that an overpriced house involves dealing with a stubborn seller. Nobody wants to negotiate with unreasonable parties. Most people would rather ignore your listing than have to work on difficult negotiations.

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When is Your Home Overpriced?

How does one know a property is overpriced? This will depend on the range of values in a specific location. As a rule of thumb, a house priced over 10% of the market value is overpriced (for homes around a million dollars or less). If your home is priced at 25% higher than the market value, good luck if you want to sell. Grab a rabbit’s foot, a dozen four-leaf clovers and cross all your fingers and toes.

Tip: Set your price at a range of 3% more or less the market value and you’re in the safe zone.

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