10 Major Mistakes Homeowners Make When Selling
Selling your home can be a big undertaking and it can be stressful if you don't prepare. Before deciding one weekend to just up and sell your home, do a little bit of research and make sure you avoid these 10 common mistakes.
#1. Selling it by yourself.
Selling a home by yourself or what we call a FSBO (For Sale by Owner) sounds like you'll be saving money on the front end. I mean, you won't be paying a real estate agent so you'll save several thousand dollars, right Russian Mark but, studies have shown that homeowners that sell a home themselves or try to end up pricing it much too high and by the time they drop it to where it should sell, it's far lower than where it could have sold in the beginning with the help of a real estate agent. Often times, sellers lose money by selling a home themselves rather than going through the agent and pricing it correctly from the beginning.
#2. Waiting too long to sell.
Yes, spring and early fall are often popular times to sell a house but it doesn't mean that you should wait months to sell your home for this season. Pricing a home correctly from the beginning and staging it right can get any home sold regardless of the season. Remember, there are buyers out there all year long so find an agent that is confident in selling this time of year.
#3. Pricing it too high.
This is probably the number one mistake that most sellers make. They think, well, if it doesn't sell, I could just lower the price. The problem with that theory is that the longer a home sits on the market the more stale it becomes. Buyers tend to be wary thinking there something wrong with the house when in fact it was just overpriced to begin with. Pricing a home correctly from the beginning is one of the major keys to getting it sold fast. Read More: 10 Things to Know About Pricing A Home
Related: How to Stage a High-End Home
#4. Refusing to change the house.
Obviously, a homeowner should do a little bit of work to prepare the house for buyers but if you refuse to make the necessary or suggested changes, you're likely to sit on the market far longer than expected. Unless you are willing to drop your price to an "as-is" price, it would behoove you to take the advice of your real estate agent and correct any issues and make repairs before listing.
#5. Assuming the "lived-in" environment is fine.
Sellers tend to think that buyers assume the home is lived in so a lived in feel or look is perfectly fine. This is not the case. Buyers want to see almost an unrealistic dream of your home. Remove half of the items from closets, drawers, cupboards, and storage areas so it looks like there's plenty of space. Remove any personal belongings, nostalgic items, personal photos and collections. You want this home to be neutral, inviting, and very spacious.
#6. Skipping major repairs.
This is a tricky one because many sellers are on the border of fixing the home up to sell versus waiting for the buyer to request it. If you know there's something major in the home that needs to be repaired or replaced just do it. Things that you might be wary on such as if the roof really needs to be replaced or other major issues, it's best to let the home inspection discover those. However, you must disclose if you know of something that needs repair or has been repaired or added onto the home in the past.
#7. Taking your own photos.
Photos can literally make or break a sale and they are your first impression to get a buyer in the door. By having professional photos taken you can draw more buyers in without offering them a false sense of what the home is really like. Most real estate agents will include professional photography in their marketing budget so be sure to ask how professional the photos will be and ask for some examples of how your agent will display your property.
#8. Not being flexible.
If you will only allow buyers to see your home on Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 PM, that's being extremely unavailable and you'll turn a lot of buyers away. Of course, you don't want buyers browsing your home at 10 PM, but you do need to be flexible on the showing. You never know who's going to buy your home.
#9. Not being reasonable with negotiations.
The saying often goes that if you ask for everything you're likely to get nothing. Be reasonable on expectations and negotiations. Remember, if you are a buyer you will be trying to get the most for your dollar as well. The same goes for those buying your own home. Try to be willing to negotiate without giving too much away. A great real estate agent is experienced in negotiations and will offer tips and suggestions on how to proceed.
#10. Letting your emotions rule.
Everyone has an attachment to their home. Whether you've lived in it for two years or 20 years, there's some sentimental and nostalgic feeling to your home so letting go of it might not be that easy. Don't be offended by a lowball offer. Try to negotiate, keep your emotions at bay, and don't be offended by what sellers feel or offer on your home. Remember, they are trying to get a good deal as well.
I'd love to help you stage and prepare your home for sale. If you are anywhere in the Columbus real estate market please contact our office today. We'd love to chat with you about your property or feel free to fill out the market analysis below and will get in contact with you about your home's value.