The Biggest, Baddest Blunders a Home Seller Can Make
For every inexperienced homebuyer out there, there is an equally inexperienced home seller. Real estate sales are complicated for both sides of the transaction, and it’s easy for sellers to make major mistakes throughout the process. If you want to get the most you can for your home as quickly as possible, here are a few of the worst errors you can make — and how to go about avoiding them during your home sale.
Refusing to Hire a Seller’s Agent or a Real Estate Attorney
Selling a house is not like selling your old desk. It isn’t even like selling your old car. Real estate sales are extremely complicated; largely because there is so much money involved, there are hundreds of things that could go wrong that will harm your finances throughout the process and for years to follow. To reduce the risk involved in selling a property, you need to hire a seller’s real estate agent — or at the very least, a real estate attorney who can guide you through the contracts and ensure the agreement is A-OK.
Being Too Emotionally Invested in Your Property
Maybe this was the first house you ever bought. Maybe it was where you brought your first kids home from the hospital, or maybe it was where you buried your first pet. Regardless of what powerful emotions and memories are tied up in your old home, you can’t be overly sentimental when it comes to your sale. By holding out for “the right buyer” (which often means someone who won’t change the property in any way) you are limiting your opportunities to get a favorable offer, and you are likely increasing the amount of time your property will linger on the market.
Setting an Unrealistic Price That Won’t Attract Buyers
Often, sellers overestimate the value of their homes. Perhaps because you sunk so much money into renovating the property, perhaps because you are too emotionally invested or perhaps because you are simply blind to comparable home prices in your area, you could inflate your home’s value and set the price too high, which reduces the number of buyers who will be interested in your property. You might also set your home’s price too low, causing buyers to wonder if there is something seriously wrong. A real estate agent will be able to help you pin down the right price to attract the most offers.
Expecting to Get Your Asking Price (or Above)
Last year, it was pretty solidly a seller’s market across the country. Today, with raising interest rates and a slower economy, it’s less certain who will come out on top during a home sale. In any case, you shouldn’t expect to get what you want for your home at the outset; if you put your property on the market with a willingness to negotiate, you could sell your home faster, which is almost always the best outcome.
Neglecting to Acquire Critical Seller Services
Plenty of homeowners buy a new property before selling their old one. If this is your plan, you need to equip yourself with certain services to keep your old home safe. Home insurance providers offer specialized plans for homes on the market, so you can protect yourself from unexpected disasters at a lower rate than typical home insurance. You should also look into getting a home warranty for sellers, especially if your property is 15 years old or older. This will reassure buyers that your home is high-quality, even if it isn’t brand-new.
Being Too Sparing With Listing Photos
In the past, the only way to see a home — and thus to determine whether it was the right home — was to visit it in person. These days, buyers research properties thoroughly before ever setting foot on the lot. The less information there is on a home, the less interested buyers tend to be, and a critical piece of data tends to be listing photos. To avoid not providing enough photographs to suit buyers’ needs, you should hire a real estate photographer to take pictures of every room from multiple angles.
Trying to Cover up Major Issues With Your Home
Foundation issues causing wall cracks? Old roof resulting in water damage? Termites, roaches, rodents and other pests? These issues are huge red flags for buyers, and it is imperative that sellers fix these issues (and others) before making a sale. If you don’t have the time and money for a real fix, it is better to be up-front about the problem than to cover it up. Home inspectors will find any and all troubles in a home, and evidence of a cover-up makes you look less trustworthy as a seller — and buyers will run for the hills rather than complete a sale with a shiestery seller.
Home sales aren’t easy — especially if you are looking for quality over speed. However, by maintaining the right mindset and acquiring the right services, you can sell your home fast and at a good price for you and your buyer.