Selling Your Home Via Short Sale? Four Mistakes to Avoid

Short sales can be complicated, something that many sellers are finding out the hard way. If not handled properly, they can fall through, backfire, and even end in foreclosure proceedings.

Here are four of the most common short sale mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Pricing Problems

For a short sale to be successful, the property needs to be priced in a way that satisfies everyone involved: the bank, the buyer and their agent, and the seller and their agent. Despite the old maxim “You can’t please everyone,” it is possible to arrive at a price that appeals to all three parties. Pricing a short sale is an art that involves some give and take, as well as a willingness to compromise.

Mistake #2: Substandard Marketing

Some agents persuade sellers that pricing is the only thing that attracts buyers to a short sale. Not true. These properties need the same level of marketing treatment that regular listings receive, so they can be exposed to the widest possible range of buyers. This includes web listings, print ads, direct mail marketing, and other mediums for spreading awareness.

Mistake #3: No Photographs

Submitting a listing to MLS without good quality photographs is a major faux pas. Don’t do it! A listing without pictures sends the message that there’s probably something wrong with the property, and buyers will be turned off. On the top realtor sites, listings with more photos get the lion’s share of pageviews and, one can safely assume, sales.

Mistake #4: Substandard Property Condition

Like all listed properties, short sales need to be staged in a way that appeals to buyers. Beds need to be made, kitchen sinks emptied of dishes, toys put away, and furniture arranged to show off each room’s assets. Eliminate any cooking or pet odors by burning candles or using air freshening sprays. Homes left in a careless condition for a showing will make buyers wonder what state the home will be in after the seller vacates. Will the roof leak? Will the air conditioner and furnace be left in good condition?

Short sales can be a great deal all around. The seller gets out of a mortgage and avoids foreclosure proceedings, giving them a chance to repair their credit. The bank doesn’t have to worry about temporarily becoming a landlord or property manager. The buyer gets a new home for a lower price than in a regular sale. To ensure such a happy ending, market the short sale property with the dedication and creativity that normal listings receive. Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more about the short sale process!