Selling your home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. At times it may feel like an invasion of privacy, because strangers will come into your home, may criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and, to top it all off, they may offer you less money than you think your home is worth.
With a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for home sellers to make lots of mistakes. However, with a little know-how (and the right agent, naturally!) you can avoid many of these pitfalls while getting the highest possible price within a reasonable time frame without losing your mind.
It’s easy to get emotional about selling your home. You spent a great deal of time and effort to find the right one, saved up for your down payment and furniture, and created many memories. People generally have trouble keeping their emotions in check when it comes time to say goodbye.
Think it’s impossible? It’s not. Once you decide to sell your home, start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and salesperson rather than just the homeowner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property.
Also, try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling a piece of property as well as an image and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and doing some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home. These changes in appearance will not only help the sales price; they’ll also help you create emotional distance because your home will look less familiar.
Setting an Unrealistic Price
Setting the right asking price is key. Remember the comparative market analysis your agent provided when you bought your home to determine a fair offering price? Buyers will do this for your home, too, so as a seller you should be one step ahead of them.
You may think your home is worth more, but remember to set a realistic price based on comparable homes in the area. Overpriced homes generally don’t sell. In a survey conducted by the informational home sale website HomeLight.com, 70% of real estate agents said that overpricing is the number one mistake that sellers make. The Schmidt Team has proven strategies on pricing that we will discuss together.
Hiding Major Problems
Think you can get away with hiding major problems with your property? Any problem will be uncovered during the buyer’s inspection. You have three options to deal with any issues. Either fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to account for it, or list the property at a normal price and offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem.
Remember: If you don’t fix the problem in advance, you may eliminate a fair number of buyers who want a turnkey home. Having your home inspected before listing is a good idea if you want to avoid costly surprises once the home is under contract.
Not Preparing for the Sale
Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes will likely throw money down the drain. Don’t worry if you can’t afford to hire a professional. There are many things you can do on your own. Failing to do these things can reduce your sales price and may also prevent you from getting a sale at all. If you haven’t attended to minor issues, such as a broken doorknob or dripping faucet, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has larger, costlier issues that haven’t been addressed either.
As your agent, I can help you and we will discuss the areas of your home that need work. Because of your familiarity with the home, you may be immune to its trouble spots. Decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and getting rid of any odors will also help you make a good impression on buyers.
Not Accommodating Buyers
If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate them, even if it inconveniences you. And yes, you have to clean and tidy the house before every single visit. A buyer won’t know or care if your house was clean last week. It’s a lot of work, but stay focused on the prize.
Not Carrying Proper Insurance
Your lender may have required you to acquire a homeowners insurance policy. If not, you’ll want to make sure you’re insured in case a viewer has an accident on the premises and tries to sue you for damages. You also want to make sure there are no obvious hazards at the property or that you take steps to mitigate them (keeping the children of potential buyers away from your pool and getting your dog out of the house during showings, for example).
The Bottom Line
Learning how to sell a house is crucial, and we will guide and advise you on how to prepare mentally and financially. We can avoid the costly mistakes together and you’ll be a long way toward putting your best foot forward and achieving that seamless sale.