Selling a home is not easy. You can’t just put a “For Sale” sign in front of your home and expect people to flock in and start having a bidding war on your house. While that would be nice for sellers, it’s just not what is happening right now in the housing market. That’s why it’s important to put your house on the market with as few mistakes as possible to increase the chances of selling it as quickly as possible.
Mistake #1: Pricing it Too High
You want to get the best price for your home as possible. However, when you price your house too high, you will lose out on potential buyers who may have bought your house for what it’s really worth. While it’s okay to increase the price $5,000 over the value for negotiation purposes, going way too high can cause you to have your house sit on the market for longer than it should.
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Mistake #2: Performing Major Repairs While it’s on the Market
You want to make your house look as perfect as possible for buyers, but if you show them you are repairing it, they will be afraid of what else is wrong. Complete all of the home repairs BEFORE you list. Homebuyers will be much happier with the home if they see there are no repairs going on when they are trying to visualize themselves in the house.
Mistake #3: Not Repairing Your Home Before You List
Just as you shouldn’t repair your house while it’s being shown to prospective buyers, you shouldn’t just ignore them. Homebuyers look at houses with a critical eye. If they see something that needs to be repaired, they will look for something else that needs to be repaired. This can snowball quickly and before you know it, people are running out of your house in fear that it is a money pit. You don’t want that to happen, so find what is obviously wrong with your house and repair it before you show it.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Curb Appeal
The first things homebuyers see when they come to your home are the exterior and yard. Take a critical look. Do you have overgrown bushes and trees? Is the grass neatly trimmed and edged, and leaves raked up? Is your exterior long overdue for painting or power washing? Work on the outside of your house just as hard as you do on the inside to give prospective homebuyers the best impression possible. When they like what they see on the outside, they are more likely to like what they see on the inside.
Mistake #5: Not Cleaning the Inside
While you may not have any repairs and your curb appeal is great, if you don’t pick up inside and clean, people will be unimpressed. When you’re about to have a showing, go ahead and pick up as much as possible, vacuum, and rub down surfaces. If you can spritz some air freshener, that can help too. See it as you’re having some important guests coming over, so you want to show them how great of a house keeper you are instead of how messy you are in your home.
Mistake #6: Having a Cluttered Home
People want to visualize themselves in your home. They can’t when they are overwhelmed by everything you have in it. If you have a lot of furniture in your home, or things piled up in corners everywhere, it’s important to start packing some of your things. You want your home to look like a model to the people that walk through. They should feel as though they want to live in your home. That’s how they will start to picture themselves in it.
Many people will pack up some of their belongings and place them in a storage unit during the sale of the house. When they are ready to move, they just take everything out of the storage unit while they are taking the rest of their belongings out of the home.
Mistake #7: Staying During Showings
Some homeowners do not want to leave when a Realtor comes and shows their home. This is a mistake. Homebuyers want to feel comfortable when touring a home. They can’t feel that way when the owners are home. They will feel as though they are imposing and want to leave sooner than they would if they were seeing it by themselves. They are less likely to ask questions and comment on things they like or dislike, which will prevent the Realtor from defending the home and helping the buyer see the house could really work for him/her.
Mistake #8: Not Disclosing Problems
While you don’t want to make it a selling point of the home, it is responsible of you to bring up problems when a buyer is interested. Not bringing these problems up will just cause issues down the road after a contract is in place, which could keep someone else from buying it who is willing to deal with them. Let your Realtor know about the problems and have him/her direct you in how to handle it during the selling of the house.
Mistake #9: Ignoring Realtor’s Advice
While you do not have to do everything your Realtor says, it is wise to follow most of his/her suggestions. A Realtor has experience in the housing market in your area, so it would benefit you to listen and consider to help sell your home as soon as possible.
Mistake #10: Refusing to Negotiate on Price or Details of Contract
While you don’t want to lower your price too much or take on all of the repairs or other demands the buyer has, you should be open to negotiation. When you don’t negotiate, you run the risk of not selling your house. That will cost you time and money.
Don’t make these mistakes when selling your home. Keep them nearby and refer to them as you are selling your house. You will be glad you did when you hear from your Realtor that you’re under contract.