Over the last year, some 691,688 homes went on the market, lasting an average of only 16 days on the market before being sold again. If you’re hoping to sell your home, you hope your home selling works out that quickly.
But what if the real estate market doesn’t work in your favor? What if your home takes much longer to sell, or worse yet, sits on the market unsold?
You want to be a smart homeowner and avoid the mistakes of many homeowners who can’t get their homes sold. Read on to learn about the mistakes you should avoid making at all costs so you can successfully get your home sold.
Selling Without a Professional
One of the most common mistakes home sellers make is to attempt to do a for sale by owner or FSBO. They hope to skip paying the commissions of a realtor, usually between 5% and 6% of the price of the home.
While that amount is surely in the thousands, it’s almost always money well spent. Realtors are experts in the process of selling and buying homes. When you don’t hire one, you lose out on market knowledge, contacts and help with the process they bring to the table.
There are many mistakes they can actually help you avoid. It’s actually why you’re paying them the commission. They also have the ability to market your home in ways you can’t do on your own.
Pricing Your Home Wrong
One of the best things a real estate agent can help you do is price your home accurately to get that quick sale. Most homeowners have an emotional connection to their home and often feel like it should be worth top dollar while overlooking potential flaws.
If your home is priced wrong, specifically too high, you will miss out on potential buyers who won’t even bother to take a look.
If the home is priced wrong, it will sit on the market longer, eventually forcing you to lower the price. The longer it sits on the market, the worse it is for you. Potential buyers start to wonder if there’s a problem with the house and won’t take a look at it.
Addressing Your Clutter
Your treasures may not appear so appealing to a potential homebuyer. You don’t have to remove all of your belongings from your house. In fact,most homes sell better with some furniture in them.
Yet, you do need to remove your clutter. Potential homebuyers want to see the space for how it could be for them. All of your belongings might prove to be distracting.
Put away your personal collections. Don’t worry if a counter or surface is bare. In fact, it’s probably good. Clean out your closets and make sure all the spaces are tidy.
Part of decluttering and getting your home more neutral is removing personal items. Potential buyers want to imagine how it would feel for them to live in the home. With your personal items, they can get distracted. Put away photos in frames and remove anything sitting out that is personal to you.
While you might love your wild wallpaper or bright fuschia dining room, that’s a very personal choice. If you have rooms that are not decorated in a neutral way, it’s likely to be worth getting them neutral. It will be worth the investment to have a fresh and neutral coat of paint put on them.
The same is true for any unusual furniture choices, especially if they are in a room they aren’t intended for. Your home should be so neutral others can imagine themselves moving into it, instead of being distracted by your stuff.
Skipping Out on Repairs
While it might be tempting to want to skip the expense of major repairs, it may end up costing you later or worse yet, losing the sale altogether.
Most buyers will ask for a home inspection. What’s likely to be mentioned in a home inspection? How can I address problems that a home inspector is likely to bring up?
Sure, you can paint and maybe even put in new carpet. But if you have a roof problem or a water issue in your basement, it’s going to cost you in a sale.
If you address a few major repairs, they can not only add value to the home, they can also become a selling point. A buyer likes to consider buying a house that has a new roof or new windows so they don’t have to take care of those expenses themselves.
Hiding Potential Issues
You might not be able to afford fixing a problem or even be willing to fix a problem. You still have to be honest that the problem exists.
As a seller, you’re required to disclose recent repairs, updates, and problems. While it might be tempting to not disclose something, especially if it’s not noticeably visible, it could still show up in an inspection.
Suddenly, the potential buyer starts to have second thoughts about whether the house is a good fit. Even if they don’t notice, you could be later sued if the problem presents itself once they have moved in.
Not Making Your Home Available
When you put your home on the market you need to be prepared for people to want to see it. Your home needs to be show ready when you decide to put it on the market.
Just because a showing might not be convenient for you, doesn’t mean you should say no to a showing. You won’t sell your home if you don’t get people looking at it. The one time you say you can’t do a showing might be the buyers who might have bought your house.
Not Willing to Consider Offers
Selling a home can be emotional. You may have some ideas about what your home is worth. The truth is that it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Don’t take a low offer personally. It may be the most a buyer can spend.
Hopefully, you have priced your home correctly. That doesn’t mean you should assume that’s what someone is willing to pay. Be prepared to get offers below asking price. Remember, the longer your house is on the market, the more likely you will need to lower the price.
Give careful consideration to all offers that come your way and be open to negotiations to work towards a sale.
In today’s world, especially with a pandemic, buyers are looking and shopping from their next home from their computer screen. You need to make sure you have quality photos of your home and plenty of them.
Make it easy for potential buyers to check out your home with many photos that really highlight the features of your home.
Cost of Selling Your Home
You know there are going to be some costs associated with both selling your home and moving to a new home. We’ve already covered the importance of several of those costs.
Of course, there is the cost of paying commission for a realtor which you really shouldn’t try to skip. You may need to contribute to the cost of a home inspection or put money towards closing costs for the buyer.
There are also the costs of cleaning up your home, staging it, doing needed repairs before it goes on the market.
In today’s competitive housing market, you might have already bought a new house before selling your old one. This means you’re paying two of everything temporarily, mortgages, taxes, HOA fees.
Then you have the cost of moving too.
Many people anticipate the cost of a realtor but will overlook the other costs that creep up on a move.
Depending on what you need to prep your home for a sale, you might be better off to opt to sell your house for cash. This eliminates the need for doing all the repairs, prep for selling, and most importantly paying a realtor.
Big Financial Picture
In a hot housing market, many people get excited to sell, even anticipating a big rainfall from the sale. Be sure to really evaluate your financial picture before jumping into a sale.
Calculate what it will cost you to sell. Look at what you owe on the home. Will you be buying a new home? Are you prepared to make another big purchase? You should evaluate your credit score and your debt load and the rest of your financial picture. Be sure you’re ready financially to make another purchase before you actually sell the one you have.
You also want to evaluate if buying a new home and potentially spending more fits well with the rest of your financial goals.
Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid
Home selling is serious business. If you want your home to sell, you need to approach it carefully and be prepared so you can make the sale.
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