Spring is around the corner, which means many of you are likely preparing to list your home for sale. To that end, I’m certain you don’t just want to get the highest price possible, but in the shortest amount of time, too. And without the headache!! After all, your home has probably been the most significant investment of your life. For as smooth a process as possible, I recommend you avoid making these frequent — and, yes, costly — seller mistakes.
1) NOT HIRING AN AGENT
Listen, attempting to sell your home on your own — especially if you’ve never done it before — is not the safest route. First off, a competent agent will obviously have more experience negotiating high-stakes home sales than you. You know what that means, right? Yup, you probably getting way more money than you would have on your own. What’s more, when common problems arise, a good professional will be able to handle them for you. Remember, we realtors are well-versed with all the pitfalls typically involved in this level of transaction. Our job is to make sure it goes off without a hitch.
2) NOT CHECKING YOUR EMOTIONS AT THE DOOR
View yourself as a home seller, not a homeowner. This purely financial perspective will help you distance yourself from any emotional ties to the property. And make no mistake, you’ll have them. Try to also remember the way you felt when you were originally shopping for that same home. Buyers are in an emotional state themselves, so remember that you’re selling them an image, dream and lifestyle. In other words, put in the added effort of staging and maybe even minor remodeling to elicit top dollar for your home. And hey, in addition to boosting the sales price, these changes in appearance will probably also help you further establish the necessary emotional distance to the property. It’ll look less familiar, which should make letting go a heck of a lot easier. I mean, that’s at least what I’ve learned in my experience.
3) NOT SETTING A REALISTIC ASKING PRICE
Setting the right asking price is crucial. Overpriced homes don’t sell, okay? Conversely, don’t stress that you overcompensated by setting a price that’s too low. That’s because, in a healthy or hot market, this could drive multiple offers and hike the price up to the home’s accurate market value. The be honest, underpricing your home — again, in a healthy or hot market — can serve as an effective strategy to generate additional interest in your home.
4) NOT EXPECTING THE BUYER TO NEGOTIATE
Smart buyers negotiate. Period. Should you want to complete the sale, you’re gonna have to play the game. Of course, whether or not you are in a buyer’s or seller’s market will heavily influence whether you get above or below your asking price..
5) NOT PROVIDING AMPLE LISTING PHOTOS
Most modern buyers look for homes online. Frankly, you’d be doing yourself a tremendous disservice without including clear, crisp photos with high-resolution and plenty of natural light. Ones that show off the home’s best assets, too. It really shocks me how many sellers these days skimp out here — and worse yet, who have agents that let them!!
6) NOT PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
Clean your home and stage it. Allow me to repeat: CLEAN YOUR HOME AND STAGE IT. Also, tend to minor issues. Make necessary repairs. Don’t try to hide obvious problems. Am I missing anything? Hmmmm. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Get rid of any obvious odours. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Okay, I think that’s the bulk of it. Simply put, if you’re not going to adequately prepare your home for sale, you may as well flush your money down the toilet. Today’s buyers are too sophisticated for anything less.
7) NOT ACCOMMODATING PROSPECTIVE BUYERS
On the topic of today’s buyers, whenever a potential one wants to view your house, you’ve gotta welcome them. Yes, even if it is inconvenient for you and even if that means cleaning and decluttering all over again before each showing. It may upend your routine, but you are trying to sell the place, aren’t you? Well, people need to be able to see the product, even if it means accommodating them at the last-minute.
8) NOT PROPERLY QUALIFYING YOUR BUYER
This shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but signing an agreement with a buyer who makes their purchase of your home contingent on the sale of their own property may put you in quite a bind should you need to close by a particular date. In other words, you are well within reason to expect that buyer to provide a pre-approval letter from their mortgage lender, thereby showing they possess the money to buy the home. Or, if it’s a cash purchase, then the necessary proof of funds.