Tales from the Other Side: How Selling Your Own Home Can Become a Horror Story

Posted by Rick Clarke on Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 8:44am.

New homebuyers understandably proceed with great trepidation when seriously considering a new property. The internet is rife with horror stories of scamming developers, thoughtless real estate agents, unqualified inspectors and deceiving 'fixer uppers' in utter shambles. But selling homes in Vancouver can be equally terrifying and heartbreaking. If you're selling a home independently or for another homeowner, you may want to consider some dangerous actions that could turn a great sale into a horrible tale. Any of the following situations can turn your dream of selling a home into a nightmare.

 

When You Don't Have the Right to Sell The Home

It may sound obvious, but if you're asked to list, show and ultimately sell a home, make sure the person asking you to do so actually has the authority to sign over the deed, and that you have the authority to act as a middleman. Even if the current occupant is the original homeowner, that person’s standing with a financial institution, court of law or government entity could compromise their legal right of possession of the property. Getting in the middle of such debate is a sure-fire way to turn your selling experience sour.

 

When You Don't Arrange Viewings Ahead of Time

This one also applies to anyone selling a property on behalf of another homeowner. There are plenty of stories of prospective buyers who are thrilled by private viewings or open houses, until they awkwardly walk in on the current residents, perhaps during an intimate moment or in a private space such as the bathroom. Even if the viewing is arranged before-hand, it never hurts to show up early and loudly announce your arrival to avoid any embarrassing situations.

 

When You're Not Wary of Who's Viewing the Home

Whether through an open house or a private showing, don't always assume the best intentions of would-be buyers. Theft from homes for sale is a common occurrence, and it might happen right under your nose. For your own safety, you may want to arrange for someone else to show the home with you. If that's not an option, make sure you have a cell phone in your pocket and proceed with caution, no matter how 'safe' the browsers may seem. Keep valuables out of view and - ideally - locked away during open houses, or encourage the homeowners to store smaller valuables off-site through the sales process.

 

When You List the Home Incorrectly

There's no better way to get in a quarrel with potential buyers than making errors - glaring or otherwise - in your original listings. Simple errors like uploading photos from an incorrect listing, omitting important details like the proximity to major roads or developments or misquoting the assessed value could cause major headaches down the road when you start negotiating with potential buyers. Errors that may seem obvious - like an extra zero in the price - could seriously confuse or mislead prospective clients, and you could lose more than a potential sale; bad reviews will follow serious errors in online and print listings.

 

Selling a home in Vancouver is no easy task. At the best of times, it can be stressful and complicated, while at the worst of times it can resemble a horrific nightmare. It can be a rewarding experience, as long as you know ahead of time what you’re getting yourself into. Many independent sellers, though, don’t have the intricate knowledge and experience needed to make the process go smoothly. A professional real estate agent will know how to write a happy ending for your home-selling story and get you the best possible offer.

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