The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make While Selling Your Home
Selling houses is a tough business. Whether you're the realtor or the homeowner, it's always a nerve-racking process. According to realtors, homeowners make a lot of mistakes when they are trying to sell their homes. These can be costly. Your home is not only your biggest investment, but it's also the most important one you'll ever sell. What mistakes can YOU avoid when selling your home? We're here to tell you...maybe we can help you make more money!
Not Doing Repairs
Every house needs a little work, no matter how well it's been kept up. Even small repairs like fixing light fixtures or door hinges can be psychologically helpful for buyers. Buyers want to know that a house has been well taken care of by the previous owners. No one wants to take on a home that might even have a whiff of repairs needed.
Listing At The Wrong Time Of Year
There is actually a pretty set buying season in real estate. It varies a bit from place to place, but there are some general rules. Homes usually sell in the spring and summer, between the months of March and September. It's sunny and nice, so buyers are in a good mood and there's nothing else going on like the holidays or back-to-school.
It's Staged Badly
One thing that you should be getting help with is staging your home. This is the process of making the house look appealing to buyers. It needs to look like what they've seen online or they just won't be interested in it. Good staging will also help hide visual flaws in the house. It can help just about everything during the buying process!
Not Knowing The Cost Of Selling
This really depends on what shape your house is in and who your realtor is. Even though you could stand to make a profit on your home, there is still a high cost to sell it. Your realtor (and the buyer's realtor) will take a 5-6% commission. The real issue is that there is also usually repair needed for any home, so you can expect to pay at least 5% more for that.
Setting The Price Too High
A lot of homeowners have a strong connection to their old house. Most realtors will run comparisons of recently sold homes in the area. These are called "comps" and they're important. You might feel a strong connection to the house, but that doesn't mean that others will. Make sure the home is priced right and give yourself a little bit of negotiating room.
Taking The Highest Offer
So now you've done everything you need to do and you have an offer. It's really high and you're excited. You should take it, right? Maybe, but check the fine print. A lot of high offers have contingencies built into them which means that you won't get paid right away. For example, the contract might say that you don't get paid until the buyer sells their house.
Forgetting About Curb Appeal
A lot of homeowners spend so much time staging the inside of their homes that they forget about the outside! No one will care about the inside of the home if it looks like a wreck on the outside. This is called curb appeal. It's the first impression someone gets from a new home, and it's just as important. So make sure that your grass is mowed and that the house is power washed!
Choosing The Wrong Agent
Not all agents are as good as Phil Dunphy here. Interview any prospective agents to make sure that they have a marketing plan and a timeline for your sales. If they require a contract, find out about the "out" clause and the length of time. You might also be better off selling your home yourself, although that can be difficult.
Limit The Showings
It can be really hard to show a home when you're still living in it. It has to stay super clean all the time. Some sellers like to limit showings of the house to the weekends. This is a big mistake. You can't get enough buyers into the home if it's never available. Even the best agents want a house they are showing to be convenient to show.
Too Much Personal Stuff Left In The House
While you should stage your house nicely, you should try not to leave too many personal items in the house during showings. This would include items like family pictures or paintings. You want your buyers to be able to see themselves in your house, not you.
Trying To Hide Repairs To The Home
This is a pretty stupid idea but some people still try it. Don't ever try to hide the history of your home when you're selling it. All major repairs should be disclosed. If there's even something slightly weird about the home's history, let the buyers know. If you don't, the home inspector will, and that can mean big problems.
Letting Your Emotions Get The Best Of You
We touched on this a little bit before, but let's expand on this point for a minute. A lot of sellers tend to get emotional when dealing with a house. Maybe you've lived there for a long time. As soon as that "For Sale" sign goes up in the front yard, you need to think of your house as a commodity. Otherwise, you might reject otherwise good offers because the buyer made you angry. You might also take too low of an offer if you think the buyers will take care of the house well.
Not Clearing Out Clutter
Many sellers forget to get rid of pots, pans, and any other assorted doodads in their house when selling them. Your buyers will want to have a feeling of spaciousness inside the house, and a lot of clutter is going to create the opposite effect. If it doesn't bring you joy, or in this case, doesn't excite your buyers, get rid of it.
Not Hiring A Photographer
Most agents will include a photographer in their estimated costs for marketing. Some sellers would prefer to do the photography themselves. This is a mistake because the pictures will be the first thing that a prospective buyer will see. In order to give yourself the best chance to attract buyers, hire a photographer.
Showing An Empty House
Most realtors seem to agree on this point. You should never show an empty house. It makes the buyer feel like the house is a bit of a wasteland. It can also make the house feel as if no one wants to live there, or that it's been abandoned. This is why hiring a staging company is important.
Those are some of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling your house. Your house is your biggest investment, and you need to make sure that you sell it the right way. Doing otherwise could cost you some serious money. If you know someone who is selling a house, please share this article with them! You'll be a good friend and can save them some money! Thanks for reading!