Selling a home is a big milestone for many homeowners, especially if it’s your first time. The process can be long and complex. The different steps in selling a home go from hiring a real estate agent, preparing and listing your property, making repairs, conducting open houses, finding a buyer, negotiating, contract reviews, closing processes, moving, and much more.
One mistake can have a big impact on the whole selling process and sometimes even your finances. But don’t worry, we want to help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes when selling a home. We have compiled a list of mistakes you should avoid when selling your home:
Sell it on your own without an agent
Not hiring a real estate agent to sell your home is a massive mistake one can make when selling their house. You could list your home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO), but you’ll be missing out on a lot more money. A study indicated that FSBOs fetched about 30% less for their owners than agent-listed properties. Real estate agents are experts in this field, they know the market very well and they are experts at negotiating offers. They also know what makes homes sell, and they are trained to navigate the good and the bad markets.
Real estate is a full-time job, so you should consider the amount of time you’d spend by selling it on your own while also working your 9-5 job. Yes, it will save you the 5-6% commission by selling on your own but agents can get broader exposure to your property with their network in the industry. If you are not sure of how to find the best real estate agent, take a look at our article How to pick the right real estate agent!
Pricing it wrong
Pricing a home is a tricky situation to be in! If you don’t wanna miss out on thousands of dollars, don’t price it too low. But also, don’t set an unrealistic price that will make buyers run for the hills. All this while, also leaving some space for negotiation so you get what you are expecting because most buyers will negotiate for a lower price.
Never trust the internet, trust your real estate agent if you have one! Agents have extensive knowledge of the current market and they do this for a living so they know what’s the right asking price in order to get exactly what you deserve. Setting the right price also ensures how fast your home will be sold.
Underestimating the costs of selling a home
If you thought that the total cost of selling a home is just the 5-6% agent commission, then you were wrong. The Total Selling Cost includes various costs like closing costs, renovations, or www. Usually, the total cost comes down to 10% of the selling price.
Not clearing clutter
The best way to show off your beautiful home is to keep it clutter-free. Don’t have anything lying around the house like papers, toys, or unwanted furniture. A house without clutter looks more spacious. A neat, tidy, and organized home attracts more buyers and the pictures will look spectacular!
During the process of selling your home, make sure to clean up all the clutter, get rid of any bad odor and stains, and keep the house organized. Remember, you are part of the marketing team when selling your home so try to keep it clean and organized, this way it will sell faster and you can go back to your normal routine faster too!
Not accommodating buyers
When you put up your house for sale, buyers are basically king (to a certain extent) and you should always try your best to accommodate buyers’ needs particularly during showing times. Remember that the more showings the higher the chances you will find a buyer for your home. Again, to a certain extent!
If you are able to be considerate of the buyers’ needs, you will build some trust between the two parties and the whole selling process may become easier and faster. This is where your real estate agent can help you with accommodating your needs and negotiating them on your behalf to represent your best interest in the negotiation.
Avoiding major house problems
No one wants to buy a broken house for all that money you’re asking for! Any major house repairs can turn off buyers and leave a bad impression on the property. You have to make sure that you are providing the house as described in the listing. You may or may not be able to fix all small issues in the house but you can most certainly start by prioritizing the most glaring issues in the house and work your way down.
Professional home inspectors look for all the details and they will point out anything broken, in poor condition, or something hazardous. One way to avoid this is by doing a pre-listing home inspection. This will help you clear out any major damages or disclose them in your listing.
Some sellers also consider doing some light renovations of their homes before listing them because it adds to the value of the home. But on the other hand, some buyers prefer to buy the house and do their own custom renovations.
Not preparing your home for sale
When you list your home for sale, you are opening it up to the entire world for criticism. Thus, you should try to minimize the amount of criticism your house receives in order for it to sell faster. First things first, you should fix all the maintenance issues and have it cleaned thoroughly before inviting potential buyers into your home.
Many people underestimate the impact of staging a home, but according to Realtor.com staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged. You can either hire a professional staging specialist or rent some furniture and showpieces to decorate the house on your own, but don’t leave it empty because you could be missing out on 1-5% of extra money staged home gets on average.
Not considering your long term financial situation
A lot of people have no idea of their long term finances when they are selling and this can lead to some serious problems. Before making a sale, it may be helpful to do a personal financial assessment to find out how much debt you have, income, and expenses that might occur when you’re moving out of your home.
Talk to your mortgage lender about your mortgage and see how much you owe them and how much you will be walking out with from the sale. This way you can have a clear picture of how much you can afford for your next home whether renting or buying.