Selling your home is a major life milestone. It can be complicated when you consider all the steps involved. Repairs, preparing the home to list, finding a buyer, home inspections, the closing process, and finally the move. The process is like no other financial transaction. But too often, sellers sabotage the sale of their homes by making avoidable mistakes.
Listing and selling your home is time-consuming and stressful. It may feel like an invasion of privacy. Strangers will come in and out of your home and poke around. They will criticize and make unnecessary comments in your presence. To top it all off, they will offer you less money than what you are asking for and ask for closing costs.
Listing mistakes can impact your finances and most importantly, the sale of your home. Little improvements can go a long way. A well-maintained exterior signals to buyers that the interior has been well maintained as well. Trim the trees, lay fresh mulch, hose down the walkways, pressure-wash the sidewalk, upgrade old light fixtures, or paint the front door.
These are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when selling a home:
1. Not Hiring an Agent
Your Real Estate Agent will be a valuable resource in your quest to get the best possible price for your home. Helping you set a fair listing price, offer suggestions about staging, repairs, cleaning, and curb appeal that will pay off. Some choose to go the For Sale by Owner route to avoid paying commissions but don’t realize the support and guidance we offer.
A great agent has your best interests at heart. They will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for a quick sale. An agent can also help with the emotional part of the process. We interact with potential buyers and eliminate showings to those who only want to look at your property but have no interest in buying a home. Selling looks easy, but you need someone that understands the process forwards and backward.
Your agent will have more experience negotiating home sales. You will get more money than you could on your own. If any problems occur during the process, and usually do, an experienced agent will be there to handle them for you. We are familiar with all the paperwork involved in real estate transactions and make sure the process goes smoothly.
2. Setting an unrealistic price
You might have an idea of how much your home could be worth based on home sales in your community. Homes of similar size and features that have sold near you. These comparable sales referred to as “comps”, are what real estate agents use to recommend a listing price.
The challenge is that no two homes are ever the same. As agents, we need to account for each difference between homes to be accurate. This is called adjusting. Pricing your home too high can cause the listing to suffer.
The price you want and what the market will bring can be two very different things.
Whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend not just on your pricing approach, but also on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.
In today’s market, Buyers are extremely well educated. They have all the historical data. Access to tax records. What you paid for the property and many times what you owe. A seller needs to understand they are dealing with a very educated party in the negotiation.
Over-pricing a home and having a listing on the market for several months, is never good. This might make a buyer think there is something wrong with the property.
3. Failing to make the necessary repairs
A long list of repairs can turn buyers off and potentially decrease the value of your home. Buyers expect the condition of your home to match the description on your listing.
Whatever improvements or upgrades are completed, make sure these are done right and by a professional. The objective here is to address evident issues, especially those that are likely to turn up during a home inspection.
Look for items that are broken, in poor condition, or can affect the safety, structure, or functionality of the home. Pay attention to things like appliances, carpet, light fixtures, dents, and scrapes on walls and doors.
4. Skimping on listing photos
Photos are one of the best marketing tools online. Professional photos create more interest in a property, more interest leads to more buyers.
If possible, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top-quality results. Don’t allow your agent to take a few snapshots on a phone. Good quality photos should be clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light out.
Showcase your home’s best assets. Many buyers are looking for homes online these days and make their decision to fall in love with your home with pictures. Good quality photos will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest.
5. Not staging your home
Sellers often take lightly the power of furnishing and staging. All homes benefit from staging, whether they are studio condos, single-family homes, or lavish mansions. Staging is not decorating; it is placing neutral yet tasteful furnishings to draw attention to the features of your home. In some cases, you can get away with moving furniture around or adding a curtain or a painting. But sometimes, you may need to stage your home.
Have your agent, point out areas of your home that need attention. Declutter, clean thoroughly, add a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and get rid of any odors. This will help you make a good impression on buyers.
Generally speaking, the cleaner, less cluttered, your home is, the more appeal it can have. Even if you’re not hiring professionals, there’s plenty you can do yourself. Hide personal photos, knickknacks, and memorabilia. Tone down distracting decor and bright colors. Move anything that would divert attention from the most important thing a buyer should be focusing on, the Home.
Be a wise seller, call a professional!