Things to Know

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Up-Scale Home

If you are selling an above-average-priced property in an upscale neighborhood, you know your home is unique. You expect an upscale property to be marketed with the same professionalism you demand in every aspect of your life. That's where our experience selling homes like yours pays off.

Keep in mind, buyers who can afford your home lead busy lives like you and look for a hassle-free sale. Move-up buyers don't need to buy now, so they wait and watch for the home that's just right. It might be yours.

Unfortunately, even sophisticated homeowners sometimes make mistakes when they go to sell their upscale homes, netting less than the top-dollar price it's worth. Or worse, the home just doesn't sell at all.

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Here are 7 common pitfalls to avoid when selling this type of property.

1. Underestimating the Competition. Even though your property may be one-of-a-kind, there are other homes on the market being shown to the same potential buyers. Before you list your home, we'll give you an "armchair tour" of comparable properties listed for sale in your price range. We'll share our inside observations on how each home compares to yours and what special features stand out.

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2. Overestimating the Value. When we tour the competition, you'll notice how similar homes are priced. Features of interest to today's buyers include location, house design and size, privacy afforded by the lot and acreage, special amenities, type of community and quality of local schools and facilities. Together, we'll help position your home at the right price. By avoiding the over-pricing trap, which often results in repeated price reductions making the property seem distressed, we'll save time and net the full value of your home.

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3. Relying on Location. Homes in the higher price range need to look magazine-perfect when shown to potential buyers. Today's market demands that everything—doors to floors, fixtures to walls—be sparkling clean. Even minor faults loom large in what is expected to be a perfect home. In short, fix up, repair and polish like never before.

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4. Over-Improving. Also, avoid over-individualizing the house or grounds. People tend to buy homes they see as an image of themselves. A home that's too individualized with strong, personalized decorating won't sell quickly. Avoid dramatic custom flourishes that may not suit other people. Some buyers will mentally calculate the cost of removing the customization and deduct the cost from their offer.

Although you want your home to look its best, spending thousands of dollars to redecorate will not likely help it sell at a higher price—it may sell more quickly, though.

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5. Making Your Own Marketing Decisions. The marketing plan for your home needs to reach out to the right potential buyers. We offer a first-class marketing campaign that requires careful advanced planning to allow time for reserving appropriate advertising space, top-notch photography, brochure production and even special events, such as a broker open house.

Many homeowners overestimate the value of one-shot marketing such as newspaper or TV spot ads. What typically works better is advertising with a longer "shelf life," in upscale publications, for example, where ads are directed at an ideal niche.

Let us help you decide whether your house could benefit from an open house or if it would be better shown by appointment only.

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6. Playing Hard to Get. No home sells sight unseen. Working together, we can create a plan to show the house to qualified prospects without disturbing your schedule. Details, such as the security system or guard dogs, may need to be worked out.

Rest assured, all buyers will be financially qualified, perhaps requiring an approval letter from an attorney or banker, before we will bring them to see your property.

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7. Being Inflexible. You have a unique home, and you're looking for a unique buyer. Chances are that buyer will have special needs and concerns. The most likely buyer will probably need to sell a current home to buy yours. Flexible terms, possibly including some extra time to settle on the old home, will help sell your home quickly at the right price.

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