Put the Duct Tape Away: Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

Put the Duct Tape Away: Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

A lot of people are shocked at the amount of work it actually takes to sell a house. The real estate agent comes in and starts talking about repairs and staging and suddenly your world is spinning. Some might try to cut corners, making simple fixes that aren’t designed to last, but that’s not the way to go. Here are some mistakes you’ll want to avoid during the home sale process.

Testing the Market without Making Repairs

Sometimes sellers think they can “test” the market by putting the house up right away. They think they’re testing, but they’re really trying to figure out if they can sell the house as-is. They probably can’t, and you can’t, so don’t bother. Make sure the home is properly cleaned, make sure any needed repairs are done completely (no duct tape or temporary fixes), and clear out the clutter. Take the process seriously from day one.

Cleaning the Inside but Not the Outside

Spending hours inside your home while ignoring the outside is a complete waste of time. Pull the weeds from your garden, mow the lawn, and spruce up your gardens. Make sure the front door is painted, the trim isn’t flaking, and that the gutters are in good repair. And please – please, please – clean up after your pets.

Not Monitoring Pets and Children

Speaking of pets, make sure they are off-premises (or at least crated) during home visits. Make sure your kids are away or quiet as well. Potential buyers need to visualize themselves in your home and screaming children, messy playrooms, and animals don’t help the situation – especially if your potential buyer has a pet fear or allergy.

Keeping Secrets

Secrets are bad in the world of real estate. Tell your real estate agent if your faucet is dripping or if one of your walls just showed signs of a leak somewhere. Better safe than sorry. You can make a repair, but you might not be able to handle a lawsuit if a buyer comes after you later for withholding important information.

Setting Poor Price Points

Be realistic when pricing your home. There is a lot of competition out there and your home will need to have some very special features to compete. Talk to your real estate agent about appraising your home to find the actual sale price. She’ll also be able to give you information about the pricing on comparable homes in your area.

Lacking Patience

Not every person or couple who walks through your door is “the one.” They may seem really excited about your home and then go to the next one, which they think is even more exciting. Patience means trusting your real estate agent’s process, being willing to leave your home during showings, and having realistic expectations.

The process of selling a home is full of intricate details and isn’t one to take lightly. Talk to your agent if you aren’t sure where to start, or how to avoid mistakes that will cost you a sale.

Vampire and Zombie Homes Continue to Grow in NJ

Just because it isn’t Halloween season it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of zombies and vampires. A real estate firm coined the term “vampire houses” to represent the many homes that have gone into foreclosure, but the original owners continue to live there. Vampire homes are slightly different from zombie homes in which no one lives in. These homes are going through the foreclosure process, but they have been abandoned by the owners. Which one is worse? It’s hard to say. All we know is that both vampire and zombie homes continue to grow in NJ.

Why So Many Foreclosures in NJ?

It’s no secret that the Garden State has been hit hard by foreclosures. In fact, as much of the country is seeing a reduced rate of foreclosures, the number of foreclosed properties is still increasing in NJ. This is largely due to the fact that New Jersey is one of 17 states that requires foreclosures to go through the court system. With so many homes in foreclosure, the state has a lot of paperwork to process, and foreclosed homes keep piling up.

In the meantime, zombie homes continue to sit, and more homes turn into vampire lots where the family continues to live in the home until they are forced out. Currently, there are more zombie homes than vampire homes, with a staggering 14,000 homes sitting empty, accounting for 17 percent of the NJ population. The vast majority of these homes come from Cape May, Hudson County, Camden, Gloucester and Somerset.

Will Any Good Come out of Vampire and Zombie Properties?

Of course, no homeowner who pays their bills and mortgage on time wants to hear that they have zombies and vampires for neighbors. But, is there any good that could result from this?

Hopefully, yes. As New Jersey deals with more paperwork and processing, the banks are going to want to sell homes sooner. This leaves a good opportunity for buyers to purchase a home that they want, in an area that they want and for a price that they want. With so many homes in the foreclosure process, buyers will have the upper hand, because at the end of the day, these homes are better off being sold and having real owners live in them rather than sitting vacant or with “vampires.”