If you want to sell your home, now is the perfect time to prepare. For most people, a home is their largest lifetime investment, yet many home sellers make costly mistakes when trying to cash in. Here is a list of the top 10 seller mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Trying to sell your own home.
Some people are able to sell their own home but many aren’t. Statistics also show that those sellers who are successful in selling their home without a real estate agent net less than sellers who uses a real estate agent. You probably visit a doctor when you are in ill health. You also likely take your car to a mechanic for repair and maintenance. When you require legal advice, chances are that you seek the services of an attorney. Doesn’t it make sense that you should contact a real estate agent when you are preparing to sell your biggest asset?
- Choosing the wrong agent.
Don’t make selling a home more difficult by choosing the wrong agent. You want an agent who works for you and understands your needs and goals. It’s important to choose an agent with a solid marketing plan and track record to sell your home. Your agent will also be in close contact to walk you through the process so it’s important to choose someone who is both competent and enjoyable to work with.
- Basing their asking price on needs or emotion.
Many times, people make their pricing decisions based on how much they paid or on how much time and money they have invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. Overpriced homes take longer to sell and eventually net the seller less money. Consult with a professional you trust and listen to their opinion. They can assist you in pricing your home correctly from the beginning.
- Failing to stage their home correctly.
First impressions are the most important. Experience shows that for every $100 in repairs that your home needs, a buyer will deduct $300-$500 from their offer. Thoroughly clean and prepare your home before you put it on the market if you want top dollar in the shortest amount of time.
- Signing a listing contract with no way out.
Many real estate agents want you to sign a listing contract with no way out. Things may not go perfectly so patience and understanding is important when selling a home, but staying with the wrong agent can cost you valuable time and money. Ask potential agents about your options if you aren’t happy with their performance and avoid signing a contract with no way out.
- Failing to take the first offer seriously.
Many sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is listed. Often the first offer is the best offer, and many sellers have had to accept less money than the initial offer much later in the selling process. Homes are most saleable early in the marketing period, so don’t fail to take the first offer seriously.
- Not leaving the home for showings.
It is always best to leave the house during showings. Home buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors and lingering for a really good look at the house if the seller is there. Give the buyers adequate time and freedom to view your home without being present to avoid this mistake.
- Not knowing all of their legal rights and obligations.
Real estate law is complex. The contract that you will sign when selling your home is legally binding. Small items that are neglected in a contract can wind up costing you thousands of dollars. You should consult a knowledgeable professional who fully understands the real estate transaction. If you work with a good agent you will be educated along the way and avoid this mistake.
- Leaving unpleasant odors.
House odors are big on the “uh-oh” list. And narrowing it down, odors from cigarette smoke and pets take top billing, with mildew not far behind. If you smoke in the house, the smell can offend non-smokers. If you have pets, it might smell, even if you don’t notice it. Ask someone who doesn’t live there (and don’t get angry when they tell you the truth). There’s only one solution. Eradicate the odors so that you can present buyers with a clean, fresh atmosphere, not a house that’s full of perfumes to cover up the smell. Take the time and effort to eliminate odors and avoid this mistake.
- Not considering curb appeal.
You must grab their interest from the curb if you want top dollar. Buyers often refuse to go into a house with an unkempt yard, sagging doors or peeling paint. You say you can’t afford to paint? Okay, but get that yard in tip-top shape and grab a screwdriver to fix those doors. These small details can make all the difference in how many buyers even consider viewing the inside.
Feel free to contact me for more mistakes that seller make when trying to sell their home.