Selling your home can be much more difficult than many people assume. Not only is it harder to convince a prospective buyer that your home is the right choice for them and their family, but it can also be stressful and emotionally taxing to go through the process of selling your home. Many people struggle with the idea of strangers coming into their home, looking in their closets and cabinets and making comments about what they would like to change about the space. However, that’s the kind of thing you’ll have to accept if you make the decision to sell your home.
There are certain mistakes that people make when selling their home that can greatly reduce their chances. If you want to sell your home as quickly as possible while also getting the best price for it, you’ll want to avoid all of these common house selling mistakes.
Falling into the FSBO Trap
Lots of people want to sell their house without the assistance of a real estate agent in order to save money. Yes, real estate agents do charge a percentage of the total sell price as a commission, but it’s worth considering the number of services that they offer for that percentage. Once you choose to list your home with a licensed real estate agent, he or she will automatically start working to get your home sold. While you may consider paying your agent a commission as a negative, he or she is motivated to sell your home quickly because they rely on that commission to pay their bills.
Real estate agents have access to advertising techniques that you probably don’t. Not only do many agents have connections with professional photographers who can make your online listing look better than you will be able to do with pictures on your cell phone, they also often use professional drone photography to entice potential buyers. While it can be worrisome to think about paying an agent a percentage of the final price of your home, these are the kind of things that they use that money for.
Agents are also a great asset when it comes time to negotiate with the buyers. If you’ve never sold a home before, you may incorrectly assume that you list your property for a certain price, buyers make an offer and that the negotiations are over once you agree on a final price. That’s simply not the case. You will also need to be prepared to negotiate closing costs, the price of home inspections and other factors that dictate how much money you actually walk away from the deal with.
It’s also worth noting that real estate agents routinely work with buyers and sellers. It’s very possible that a real estate agent already has a buyer they’re working with who is looking for a home just like yours. While you’re going to rely on word of mouth and some social media posts, your real estate agent already has a network of buyers and other agents, meaning that he or she may have access to buyers before you ever make your first social media post trying to sell your own home.
Instead of falling into the trap and assuming that you will make more money by listing and selling your home yourself, talk to local real estate agents in your area and find out what services they offer, how much of a commission rate their brokerage charges and their track record of successfully selling homes in the price range that you’re planning to be in. More times than not, you’ll find that the skillset provided by a licensed real estate agent is well worth the minimal percentage that they charge as a commission.
Letting Emotional Attachment Override Your Logic
Undoubtedly, you have some sentimental attachment to your home. Maybe it’s your first home or perhaps it’s the home that you raised your children in. Regardless, you probably have some emotional attachment to the house that you’re now trying to sell. Unfortunately, your emotional attachment does nothing to increase the value of the home to potential buyers.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to let their own emotional attachment to their home to cloud their ability to look at the property objectively. Those scuff marks on the baseboards from your child may bring back fond memories for you, but the people who want to buy your home see something that they’ll have to paint over or replace completely.
When you meet with a real estate agent, he or she will provide a listing price for your home based on comparable sells in your area over the last few months. Don’t let your sentimental attachment to your home cause you to ask for more money than the house is worth. An asking price that is unreasonably high will repel prospective buyers, leaving you at risk of not selling your home at all. Be willing to step back and look at your home objectively and accept the fact that what your home is worth to you may not be what its worth on the open market.
Lack of Preparation
Whether you decide to use a real estate agent or sell your home yourself, you will need to make some preparations before you start letting buyers look at your home. Most of us have a list of things we need to do around our home, and many of those items never really get checked off. That loose doorknob, cracked window and dangling gutter may not have seemed very important to you over the last several months, but if you’re going to sell your property, they need to be fixed.
If you work with a real estate agent, he or she will thoroughly check out your house and point out everything that needs to be repaired in order to get the most money out your home. If you choose to sell your home yourself, you should bring a friend or family member who can be objective and ask them to walk through every room of your house and provide the kind of feedback that you need to hear, even if it’s unpleasant.
No matter how nice you believe your home is, there’s a good chance that a prospective buyer will notice several things that need to be fixed or updated when they look at your house. Getting some unbiased information from someone else allows you to better prepare your home for the real estate market.
Refusal to Negotiate
Depending on the current market trends in your area, buyers may have a distinct advantage. If that’s the case, you may have a hard time getting the price that you’re asking for in the sell of your home. While your circumstances may allow you to wait for a better offer and even for a change in current market trends, you may be in a position where you need to sell your home quickly. If that’s the case, don’t be unwilling to negotiate.
Unless you’re in an area where bidding wars routinely break out because there are fewer homes on the market than there are buyers, you will probably end up getting less than your full asking price for your home. Don’t be so stubborn that you’re unwilling to negotiate and miss out on a sell because you’re determined to make a certain amount. Understanding where the market is can help ensure that you take a good deal when one is available.
Selling your home can be a difficult process. Depending on where you live, there may be dozens of other homes on the market or a lack of buyers. However, by avoiding some routine mistakes during the process can greatly improve your odds of successfully selling your home and moving on to your next property.