- Selling a home can be a complicated process that stirs up numerous fears for sellers.
- Although sellers select the offers, once under contract, buyers tend to control the transaction through their contingencies and required conditions to close.
- Selling fears are both tangible and intangible, some driven by concrete challenges (property condition, lot, location or layout) and others unknown until the property comes on the market.
What could homesellers possibly be scared of? After all, they’re the ones holding the cards, right?
They decide which offers to work with and what to turn down. A buyer’s fate is in their hands as they call the shots during a transaction.
Newsflash: A seller is not in as much control as you (or they) might think.
Here are the top five things that homeowners fear when selling their biggest financial asset:
1. Selling too low
Just like buyers fear paying too much, sellers often worry over whether they could have gotten a higher price when they accept an offer.
This can be particularly true when a home sells fast — within the first day or a few days after hitting the market.
Real estate professionals know that when this happens, it’s most likely because the home was priced right, but a seller often has lingering thoughts about “what if” they could have asked for more.
2. How will the market respond to my home?
What if buyers don’t run to the front door the minute a home comes on the market, or the features that a seller thought buyers would gush over simply get a lukewarm “that’s nice” reaction?
What if a buyer isn’t willing to pay top dollar for the blood, sweat and money a seller has put into the house?
3. What if the buyer can’t move forward?
As exciting as it can be to work out an accepted offer for both parties, a seller fears that once their home is under contract, something will arise that prevents a buyer from being able to close — a job loss or financing troubles.
In most cases, sellers are already in the process planning, packing and purchasing another property. The stress of a potential domino effect can be overwhelming.
4. What will the buyer’s inspection find?
Whether you’re a first- or fifth-time seller, having a slew of inspectors crawling around a home looking for problems can be scary.
The fear of the unknown with this kind of fishing expedition is nerve-wracking.
Even if the sellers have taken meticulous care of their property, they know that inspectors always seem to find something.
5. Showings, but no offers
How many showings will it take to get an offer? Some homes see a lot of foot traffic and then — silence.
A seller fears this in addition to offers that are much lower than anticipated.
Assuming a seller has properly prepped the home for sale and it is priced within range, it can be difficult to compete, depending on the other options in the marketplace that buyers are considering.
Selling a home is a stressful experience, as it can feel as though little is under a seller’s control.
That’s why agents well-versed in handling listings can be a huge asset in being as proactive (rather than reactive) as possible.
A good listing agent expects and heads off potential problems before they become major issues.
Cara Ameer is a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.