Selling your home is a complex process, and making mistakes often comes with the territory. However, some larger mistakes may have lasting consequences that are best to try and avoid all together. Here are some common mistakes you’ll want to be mindful of as a home-seller.
Home pricing is key. There’s nothing more prohibitive to the sale of a home, than a disproportionately high price tag. Pricing your home appropriately is the cardinal rule for home-sellers. If your home is priced too high, you will lose the interest of many homebuyers. Market value is often dictated by comparable sales. A good place to begin is with referencing other homes in your neighborhood, and researching what they sold for. A reputable real estate agent will almost always advise against upselling the value of your home.
Be realistic about the condition of your home. Selling a home requires creating a space that is desirable for potential buyers. If your home is in poor condition, or perhaps in need of major upgrades, it may be in your best interest to postpone the sale. If there are any very apparent issues, be sure to address these before putting your house on the market. You may be surprised that little fixes you make now can yield big profit returns down the road.
Marketing can make or break a sale. The first step to gaining a buyer’s interest, usually begins with an eye-catching photo of the property. Professional photographers can greatly aid in helping you provide quality photographs. Even if the house is beautiful, a poorly done photo can seriously mask its desirable exterior qualities. This process extends to the interior of the home as well. To get the best results, declutter your home and make sure it is properly clean and sanitized. Ideally, you want the buyer to envision themselves in the space. This is harder for them to do, if your personal possessions are on display everywhere.
Take the time to hire professionals who know what they’re doing. Being picky when it comes to your real estate team is completely acceptable. Not all brokers and agents are created equal. Doing the proper research is imperative to getting the best results. We are fortunate to live in an internet age, where you can access reviews for potential candidates. Additionally, you can ask your Citywide Loan Officer, trusted friends, and family members for their recommendations. A dedicated real estate agent can significantly improve your experience.
Make your house memorable with curb appeal. Curb appeal is often a simple but effective way to make your home stand out. Even if the interior is near perfect, certain buyers will be turned off by a lackluster or downtrodden outward appearance. Curb appeal can be as simple as planting some foliage or adding lighting in strategic locations. At a minimum, keep your lawn well-manicured. If a house doesn’t look well-kept, this will discourage buyers.
Do not stick around during showings. As a rule of thumb, if your home is being shown, you should not be anywhere on the premises. This also applies to any pets who live in the home. Buyers will often find this to be in bad taste, and rush through viewing your home as a result. Essentially, you want to make the process as easy and relaxing for the buyer as possible.
If you get a variety of offers on your home, consider which one is the best comprehensive deal. Many sellers may have a knee jerk reaction to accept the highest offer they receive. This is not always the best decision. Be mindful of any contingencies that come along with a high-priced offer. More often than not these contingencies are in the best interest of the buyer, and will put you in a more vulnerable position. If you take the highest offer, you may be putting yourself in a situation that yields more uncertainty. It is best to consult with your real estate agent if you’re not entirely sure the best course of action.
Flexibility is in your best interest during the home inspection process. Most homebuyers will opt to have the home inspected before they decide to close on your property. If there are major foundational issues you have not addressed, it may come back to bite you during the inspection process. Be realistic about certain fixes and what it may mean for the successful sale of your home. If you choose to make buyers pay for any and all fixes found in an inspection, you will likely find yourself alienating many prospective buyers. On the contrary, certain homebuyers may have unrealistic or extravagant lists of their conditions. Evaluate how much you are willing to pay for, and try to find a happy medium if possible.
Be honest. It may seem like a no brainer to be honest in your dealings, but occasionally home-sellers will bend the truth if they think it to be beneficial. Full disclosure is usually the best plan of action, as it will avoid major issues cropping up later on in the process. Not every little issue needs to be disclosed up front, however, any major issue you are aware of should be brought to the attention of the buyer. It is not extremely common, but legal issues can arise from lack of disclosure. Protect yourself first and foremost, and cover your bases by being transparent.