Thursday, October 18, 2007

10 Ways to Blow A Real Estate Sale

by Osman Parvez
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So you're thinking about selling your house. Of course, you've probably read a few articles about real estate. Time to to get to work.

Here are 10 Ways to Blow a Real Estate Sale, Inspired by Ben Stein.

1. Leave everything as it is. Don't clean anything. Everyone knows that buyers actually want to see what things look like in a natural state. Dirty dishes in the sink? No problem. Funny smells, dirty carpets, walls, and bathrooms? Even better!

2. Don't disclose any problems with the house. Although you may be required to disclose known issues, just pretend like you didn't know. It's not illegal unless you knew it was against the law beforehand. If they find that obvious problem later, don't worry about appearing deceptive. You'll just deal with it during inspection. If the buyer wants the house, they'll just accept it with the problems.

3. There's only one way to negotiate. You win, they lose. If a buyer offers a lower price than you're asking, even if it's close, don't bother with a counter offer. Just turn it down flat. Likewise, if you're in the middle of the inspection period and the buyer presents a list of items to remedy, it doesn't matter whether they are big or small. Tell the buyer to "take it or leave it." Don't bother with respect or politeness. They're obviously idiots and incompetent. If they walk away, there's plenty of other buyers out there.

4. List your house with the highest price you think it's worth. Don't do any market research. Don't study the neighborhood sales history. Don't walk through the comparables or ask for a professional opinion. If your home doesn't sell, you can always drop the price later. No harm, no foul.

5. Don't do any repairs or finish any home improvement projects. Since you're moving anyway, there's no sense throwing away good money after bad. If you've got holes in the walls, loose steps, or other easily repaired problems just ignore them. Buyers will look past this stuff.

6. If a buyer comes to see the home, don't ever leave during the showing. Greet them at the door and never leave their side. Everyone knows that standing very close to a person shows your dominance and this will help you get your deal closed. So go ahead and step in close and tell the buyer repeatedly (and in excessive detail) how great your house is. If they try to ask you a question, interrupt and start over again on how great the house is. It's very important that the buyer doesn't get the wrong impression.

7. Ignore feedback. If potential buyers or their agents have comments for you, dump them in the trash. They don't know what they're talking about. How could they? You're the expert on your house.

8. When you get an offer, don't bother qualifying the potential buyer. If they can write a check for the security deposit, they must be able to afford the loan. It won't cost you anything to take your home off the market. Go ahead, accept that offer without a loan qualification. You've got nothing to lose.

9. It's not important to understand the real estate contract or any of its provisions. It's a standard form, right? There's no harm that could come from not reading the fine print or by sloppy paperwork.

10. Don't bother with a professional. Just go buy a "For Sale by Owner" sign at the hardware store and fill it in with a black magic marker. Don't bother listing it on the MLS or any popular real estate websites. All you need is that sign in the front yard and it's as good as sold!

Although I would hope it's obvious, please know that this article is intended to be humor. Following any of the rules above will likely be detrimental to your mental health and financial well being. The advice above will likely make it harder to sell your home. It's sarcasm people, i.e., a joke.
image: mahalie

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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 
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