Selling your home can be one of the most exciting times in your life. An opportunity to move to a new location and hopefully make a profit from the sale of your home is important. Before you get too excited about seeing the “Sold” sign out on your lawn there are several common mistakes that many home sellers make. From when to sell to not hiring a Realtor they trust to not knowing the current housing market conditions – all of these and more can lead to a frustrating time for you & your family. Take a look at these 10 mistakes home sellers make and try to avoid them when possible.
1. Selling your home before you’re ready:
Putting your house on the market can be thrilling and exciting but it can also be a mental, physical and emotional experience that can go on for weeks or months if you’re not ready. Before you decide to throw up the “For Sale” sign, examine why you are ready to move, talk it over with your family and friends and neighbors if necessary. If you need to make a “Pros” and “Cons” list to weigh the alternatives, do so to ensure you are really ready to sell your home.
2. Entering the housing market blindly:
Over the last few years the housing market has gone through historic lows due to the global economy, but experts say it is beginning to come back. Before selling your home you still need to examine your local and neighboring communities housing market statistics. If you live in a high-demanded area for tourists, executives or that is has prime real estate value in terms of worth then your outlook could be better than a neighboring community that has 1/3 of their properties on the market, and has for the last 6 months.
3. Choosing to sell your home “By-Owner” without research:
You probably have heard examples of homeowners selling their homes by themselves or For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and raking in plenty of profits from the sale. While this scenario isn’t unheard of – the behind the scenes reality is that research needs to be done first. Knowing how to show your home to perspective buyers, knowing how to relate to Realtors, understanding the legalities of selling your home and other factors will come into play. Ensure you do your research before embarking on selling your home yourself.
4. Not trusting your own instincts when hiring a Realtor:
While hiring a Realtor can be a major plus when selling your home, remember that you probably know your home better than anyone. Trust your instincts when it comes to personal decisions about your home. A Realtor should be able to help you price your home, research comparable properties that have sold and that are currently on the market, etc.. If your Realtor is asking you to sell your home in a way that doesn’t suit your style, personal preferences or beliefs, consider hiring one that will work better with you. There are plenty of real estate professionals that can suit your needs.
5. Hiring a Realtor based on personal preference:
We all may have a Realtor in the family or know one that is a friend of a friend. While this may be great on a personal level, ensure you research their history of selling homes in your area. While knowing your Realtor personally may be an advantage it can also be disadvantage when you disagree on selling tactics and other important home decisions. Check their professional background before hiring.
6. Over customizing your home for your neighborhood’s worth
We all love to have the latest trends in technology in our home’s right? Remember there is a limit when upgrading your home past the “norm” for your neighborhood. Upgrading your kitchen and master bath are two rooms you will most likely get a higher return on investment. Keep in mind – a 50,000 renovation doesn’t equate to raising your asking price the equivalent amount. When making renovations try and stay in-line with your neighboring houses that may become the competition in future years.
7. Pricing your home based on how much profit you’d like to make
There is no doubt that pricing your home can be a tricky effort if you aren’t armed with the right information. While it may seem a challenge these factors should come into the decision: What price have comparable homes sold for in your area? How long has it been since a comparable house has sold in your area? What is the condition of your home and what amenities does it have? Lastly, have a professional appraiser assess the value of your home before you formulate your asking price. Don’t arbitrarily pick a price based on how much you’d like to profit from the home sale.
8. Letting your emotions rule your head in negotiating with buyers
Let’s face it; you have put your heart and soul into your home. You’ve raised a family in your home, upgraded amenities and it now has sentimental value to you and your family. When negotiating price and other factors with potential buyers, your personal emotions should remain out of it. Your home is for sale and soon someone else will own it. Remember it is now a commodity and should be considered as such.
9. Not disclosing problems or past history of your home
You’re trying to sell your home – so you don’t want to disclose that you had a major water leak in the upstairs bathroom 5 years ago, right? Wrong! When selling your home don’t try to keep the home’s past history a secret. A home inspector could locate the problem(s) later into negotiations or the past history could affect the safety of the future homeowners. Be honest and take care of all repairs before attempting to sell your home.
10. Trying to sell your home before it’s physically ready
While you may be anxious to get your home sold, don’t rush making repairs, cosmetic upgrades, planting attractive curb appeal or even home staging your home before putting it on the market. The home selling market is competitive and if you want the shortest time possible on the market, take your time and replace old carpet, aging appliances, and any other home improvement that will make your home a welcoming abode that any home buyer would love to make an offer for!
Freshome readers tell us what common mistakes you’ve made when selling your home!