Selling your home can be a time-consuming process, and it can also be an emotional time, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. At times, it can feel like an invasion of your privacy to have strangers coming into your home to poke around and open every cabinet. They will criticize the place that holds special memories for you, and then offer you less than you think your home is worth.
With no experience and a complicated, emotional transaction to deal with, it can be very easy for first-time sellers to make lots of mistakes. Your real estate agent, like Compass real estate, can help you to avoid the most common pitfalls, but here are some others that you should avoid.
It is easy, and normal, to get a bit emotional about selling your home, especially if it’s your first home or you’ve been there a long time. You spent a lot of time and money finding the right home, saved up for your down payment and your decor, and made a lot of memories there. It’s normal to have some trouble keeping your emotions in check when you say goodbye to your home.
You can keep your emotions in check. Once you decide to sell, try to think of yourself as a salesperson rather than the homeowner. Try to forget you’re the homeowner. By looking at the sale as a purely financial transaction, you can distance yourself from the emotional side of selling your home.
Try to remember how you felt when you were looking for that home. Most buyers will be feeling emotional too. If you can remember that you are selling a piece of property as well as a lifestyle you will be better able to put the effort into staging and doing some small remodels to get the best price for your property. These small changes can help the sales price, and can also help you to create some emotional distance because your home will look less like yours.
Setting An Unrealistic Price
Whether you’re working with an agent, or selling your house alone, getting the price right is essential. When you bought the home, you or your agent will have done a comparative market analysis to decide on a fair offering price. Any buyers will be doing this for your home now, so as a seller, be one step ahead and price fairly.
You might think your home is worth more but set a realistic price based on similar homes in the area. Homes that have priced too highly usually don’t sell. Overpricing is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that sellers make, so avoid it. Don’t worry too much about accidentally a price that is a bit on the low side, because this could actually result in generating multiple offers. This can result in bids that drive the price up to the home’s actual market value. Underpricing your home can actually be a good strategy to generate some more interest in your listing and you can always turn down an offer that is too low.
Expecting The Asking Price
Any smart buyer will want to negotiate with you, and if you want to complete the sale, you will have to be willing to do this. Most people want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers to come and look at it while still leaving some breathing room for negotiations to take place. This is the opposite of the underpricing strategy. This could work for you, as the buyer will feel as though they are getting a good deal while you can still get the amount of money that you need to from the sale of the property.
Whether or not you end up getting more or less than your asking price will often depend on your pricing strategy, how well you have staged and updated the home, and whether you are in a buyers’ or a seller’s market.
Selling During Winter Months
There actually is a right time to sell during the year. Winter, particularly around the holidays, is not generally a good time to sell, as it is usually a slow time of year for home sales. People are already busy preparing for the holidays, and the cold weather across a lot of the country makes it much more appealing to stay at home. Because fewer buyers will be looking for properties to buy, it might take you quite a bit longer to sell your home, and you may get lower offers. However, if you have to sell in the winter, while there won’t be as many active buyers looking, there also won’t be as many sellers to compete with, which could work to your advantage.
You might be better off waiting to sell. Unless you have to sell during the winter or over the holidays, try to wait to list until the weather warms up. People are usually more willing to buy a new home when the weather is warmer.
Skimping On Listing Photos
A lot of buyers look for homes online now, and most of these online listings will have photos. If you don’t have good pictures of your home, you are really doing yourself a disservice. There are also a lot of very bad photos online of homes for sale, so if you can do a good job, your listing will stand out for the right reasons, and generate more interest.
Good photos need to be crisp, clear and taken during the day when there is lots of natural light. They should showcase your home’s best features. Use a wide-angle lens if you can. This lets buyers get a better idea of what whole rooms look like. If you can, hire a professional real estate photographer to get the best results instead of taking them yourself or letting your agent take quick snaps on their phone.
Think about adding a video tour too. This can be done easily with your smartphone. You can attract more buyers into coming to see your home in person, and might even get more offers.
Not Having Proper Insurance
Your lender might have been required to have homeowners insurance policy. If not, make sure that you are insured in case a viewer has an accident on your property and tries to sue you for damages. You should also spend some time making sure that there are no obvious hazards around the property and take steps to mitigate them. For example, keep viewers’ children away from the pool, and take the dog out of the house.
Hiding Major Problems
Don’t think that you can get away with hiding big problems with the property. Any issues will be found during the buyer’s inspection. If there are any issues, you can either fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below the market value in order to account for the problem, or list the property at a normal price and offer a buyer credit to fix the problem.
If you decide not to fix the problem in advance, you might cut out a lot of buyers who want a home that is ready to be moved into. Have your home inspected if you want avoid nasty, expensive surprises once the home is under contract. Many states also have disclosure rules, so go in informed. Some states require sellers to disclose any problems with the home if a buyer directly asks, whereas others say that sellers must disclose some issues voluntarily.