Selling a home is a complex, multi-faceted process. From choosing a trustworthy real estate agent to pricing your home accurately and presenting it properly, the selling process can be downright daunting, especially for first-time sellers. We’ve compiled here the top 10 mistakes that sellers fall victim to……do your best not to find yourself in one or more of these situations.
Pricing your home based on what you invested in the home or what you want to net from the sale almost always ends in failure. Sellers can control the “asking” price, but they don’t control the “sales” price. The market does. A good REALTOR® has an eye on the market and knows what kind of prices homes – just like yours- are garnering now. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer, and your property could sit for months, which isn’t your goal.
2. Don’t …….withhold information from potential buyers.
While it is tempting to hide or fail to mention the downfalls of a home — perhaps you have an area in the backyard where water ponds during heavy rains or you had an electrical fire three years ago — it is best to give buyers full disclosure. Most states including Texas have a property disclosure — use it wisely. Just because you disclose doesn’t mean you cannot be sued later for the leaky roof that’s discovered 30 days after settlement but proper disclosure will help protect you after the sale.
3. Don’t…….get emotionally involved.
This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their house on the market. Yes, you sweated blood and tears to get it just the way you wanted it but that does not mean its “perfect” for a new buyer. So even if those purple walls in the bedroom look awesome with your comforter, they probably won’t match anyone else’s things. Let go of the features you love, and make it a house most people could love. You don’t want to narrow your market to only those buyers who love purple so that might mean repainting to a soft, neutral color.
4. Don’t…….make it challenging for a buyer to view your home.
Home sellers have to maintain accessibility. If a buyer or their agent has to call you multiple times or if they can’t view your home at times that work for them it’s very likely they will just skip it and look at other houses that are more readily available. Keep in mind that home buyers have various work schedules which they and their agent have to work around.
5. Don’t…….leave your stuff everywhere.
You want buyers to feel like they could move into your house tomorrow-with their things. Your souvenirs, photos and utility bills make the space feel a little too personal. That first impression is really important, and if they’re greeted with a huge photograph of you on your wedding day 25 years ago over the fireplace, that’s really distracting. It sends the message to the buyer that “This is my house, not your house.”
6. Don’t…….loose a sale over something stupid.
It’s possible to get 99% of the way through a home sale, only to stall out at the end over a minor detail. Don’t be that seller. I’ve seen people lose a $300,000 sale over a pair of curtains.
7. Don’t…….hover around your home during showings.
Buyers need to feel as comfortable as possible when looking at a potential new home. It’s a big investment, and they should feel welcome to open closets, look in cabinets, look behind the couch, or put their ears up the walls or windows. A serious buyer of a property needs to do whatever they can to learn about the home. In the presence of a seller, the buyer may feel like a guest in a stranger’s home. They spend too much time being cautious and not enough time really delving into the property. When buyers don’t feel completely comfortable to explore, they may miss the intricacies of a property. Or they might not give the home a fair chance. This means a missed opportunity for both the buyer and the seller.
8. Don’t…….discount the first offer.
Think carefully before you reject the first offer on your home; studies show it is usually the highest bid you get. And the longer you hold out for a better offer, the lower your chances are of getting it, because people start to think that something must be wrong with a house that’s been on the market for so long.
9. Don’t…….go it alone, unless you know what you’re doing.
If you’ve bought and sold half a dozen homes on your own or you live in a highly sought-after neighborhood where they sell in two days, you might be able to pull off a For Sale By Owner. If you aren’t a seasoned pro, however, let a professional take the reins. Remember there is a lot of money at stake here not to mention there are so many disclosure laws now. You sign up for a lot of liability by trying to sell it yourself, unless you have a friend or an attorney who can guide you through the process. A REALTOR® also knows what’s selling around you, and for what price. They can advise you as to whether an offer is reasonable, and help you negotiate smartly. Plus, you may not save as much as you think in the end. Buyers who purchase For Sale By Owner houses automatically discount the price they’re willing to offer because there is no real estate agency involved.
10.Don’t…….hire a REALTOR® based on Non-Business factors.
Make sure you are hiring a professional agent with a proven track record. It might be nice to hand over your largest asset to your niece who just got her real estate license – but you had best make sure she has a “hands-on” broker who is willing to stay on top of things to keep your deal from going south.
“Gordon Ford Properties has over 25 years experience selling homes. You can rest assured when you hire us to represent you in the sale of your home, you are partnering with a company who will put your interests first and commit to protecting the investment you have worked hard to build in your home.“