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5 Common Mistakes Sellers Tend To Make (And You Should Avoid)

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Now that you have decided that you will leverage on your HDB as your springboard to a Private Condo, it’s time to plan for the sale of your HDB.

We’ve have met hundreds of sellers in our years of experience and there are always that few things that sellers tend to do, or don’t do, which affect the result of the sale of their property (in a negative way).

If you are at this stage in upgrading, we hope this article will serve as a good checklist for you.

#1: Setting unrealistic asking price

Yes, we understand many of you guys out there have put in a lot of effort in renovating your first home, and you feel that this is the best unit that will justify a higher price as compared to the rest of your neighbors. But, do you know that setting an unrealistic high price (way above market price) will not do any good to the sale of your property.

Firstly, you will agree with us that with the technology and transparency of information these days, many buyers are savvy enough to check their budget as well as the transacted prices in the neighborhood. So, when you set an unrealistic high asking price, these are the potential responses you get:

  1. Buyer skip your unit and not want to view because they think that you are just testing the market and not sincere in wanting to sell your place.

  2. Agents will purposely show their buyer your unit, using it as a showflat, and push their buyer to other units that are marketed at a more reasonable price.

  3. You may receive lowball offers and that can be quite upsetting.

  4. Waste of time if buyer backs out from the deal because valuation price is way below the agreed closing price. Although the option fee gets forfeited, you will need to wait out 21 days before you can issue another Option to Purchase.

Hence, if you guys are genuinely planning to upgrade, do some homework yourself. Check out HDB website for the recent transaction prices or do up an estimate on the valuation of your HDB . By setting a realistic market price, this will make the negotiation process smoother and less frustrating.

#2: You can’t be bothered to touch up your house

Some sellers we met didn’t find it is necessary to spend money to touch up the house as they are going to sell it anyway. Worse still when some are amid moving, they just leave cartons and boxes everywhere, clearing just a narrow pathway for buyer to walk around the house.

How will the buyer feel when they enter the unit?

We all know that first impression is important. But with the yellow stained walls, bad odour, blown light bulbs, or rusty pipes, the entire viewing experience for the buyers may not be a pleasant one. Furthermore, this may discourage them from making an offer or may even be a convenient excuse for buyers to put in a low offer.

#3: Forgoing the very first offer thinking you still have time

At times, the first offer may turn out to be your best offer.

We understand that sellers want to sell their place at a higher price. A lot of times when sellers receive an offer, although it is a reasonable offer, they will not accept straightaway. They felt that the buyer could be offering a lower price, so as to get a good deal out of it. They will throw back a counteroffer, sometimes just a few thousand higher. At this point in time, if the buyer really likes the place, and have the budget to increase their offer, they may. And congrats, your house is sold.

On the other hand, what if the buyer is really sincere, have been looking around for a long time, and is really ALREADY giving the best that they could offer. They may have to give up because they could not take out that few more thousands.

You continue to market your property, set aside your precious time on the weekend to stay at home just to allow more buyers to come by for viewing, thinking that since you can get an offer in such an early stage, you will get another and even better offer! However as time goes by, no other buyer puts in an offer, or even if there is, it might be a lower offer than the initial which you have bench marked on. Or some buyers may even think that this unit is not a good unit as it is on the market for so long. As months go by, you may ask yourself, did I make the wrong decision to let the first offer slip by?

#4: Getting too eager and emotional

All sellers will feel the attachment to their house, especially it is their first home. At the same time, you know that how the sellers feel about their house, may be vastly different as compared to how a buyer judge the house.

During a viewing, some buyers may be insensitive and pass certain comments about the house. If the seller replies with some unnecessary response, the viewing may not turn out well.

Another example we have seen many times is when we have a very eager and enthusiastic owner following the buyer throughout the whole viewing process. Instead of letting the agent present the house, the owner keeps singing praises about everything in the house. This will send a message to the buyer that the seller is quite boastful and desperate. Or who knows, you may unknowingly say something wrong that blows up the deal.

#5: You think it is better to DIY and save on the commission

Think about this, if your child is poor in his math, will you send him to a tuition class to get professional help or will you go through the trouble to find out how to teach him math and hopes that he will excel in it? More likely the former, yes?

While there are sellers who manage to sell their houses themselves, do you want to face the unforeseen consequences if you carelessly make any mistake throughout the entire process?

It may look easy, just take some photos, advertise and get buyers to view, negotiate price, and sign some paperwork. But do you have the time and energy, after work or after settling your kids, to do the background study on the prices, coordinating viewings, understanding the tedious paperwork? Also, are you able to be unbiased when handling nasty comments from buyers?

To make life easier, engage a professional real estate consultant whom you trust to handle this part for you. One thing for sure, they have more selling/buying experiences, and will not allow emotions to be in the way during negotiation, providing you sound advices and market updates.

We hope the above have given you better insights on what to prepare when selling your flat. While these are just 5 common mistakes we’ve witnessed ourselves, there are so much more to how a property sale can be carried out.

If you’re uncertain whether you are able to do a good job in selling your property or you’re still undecided if you should sell or not, drop us a call and we’ll be glad to give you more clarity.


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