Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your Home
Discover how to get the greatest price for your home.
If you’ve never sold a property before, it may be a time-consuming and emotionally taxing process. Strangers will enter your home, open your cupboards and closets, and dig through your belongings, which may feel uncomfortable at times. They will insult a house that has most likely become more to you than four walls and a roof, and to top it all off, they will give you less money than you believe your home is worth.
First-time home sellers are prone to make multiple mistakes because they have limited expertise and are dealing with stressful, emotional transactions. Many of these dangers, however, are avoidable with little education. Continue reading to find out how to sell your home for the highest possible price in a reasonable length of time and without losing your mind.
- Keep your emotions in check and focus on the business of selling your house.
- Hiring an agent may be more expensive in terms of fee, but it may alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with selling a home.
- If you decide to sell on your own, determine a sensible asking price and consider the time of year.
- Prepare for the sale by not skimping on the visuals in your listing and disclosing any property flaws.
- Feeling Emotions
When it comes to selling a property, especially your first one, it’s natural to become emotional. You put in a lot of time and effort to locate the ideal one, saved up for the down payment and furnishings, and made a lot of memories. When it comes to saying goodbye, most people struggle to keep their emotions in check.
Do you think it’s possible? It’s not. Consider yourself a businessperson and a salesperson rather than just the homeowner when you decide to sell your house. In fact, forget about becoming the owner of the home. You will be able to distance yourself from the emotional components of selling your property if you approach the process strictly from a financial basis.
Also, remember how you felt while looking for a home. The majority of your clients will be emotionally charged as well. If you understand that you’re selling a piece of land and an image and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and minor renovations. These physical modifications will not only help you sell your house for a better price, but they will also assist you in establishing emotional distance because your home will look less familiar.
Whether to Hire or Not to Hire an Agent
Although real estate agents charge a large commission—typically 5% to 6% of the sale price of your house—selling your home on your own is not a smart idea, especially when you’ve never done it before.
It’s tempting, especially after seeing so many “for sale by owner” signs on people’s front gardens or on the Internet. Is it thus wise to hire an agent?
A knowledgeable agent will usually look out for your best interests. They will help you choose a sensible and attractive selling value of a home, increasing the likelihood of a quick sale. An agent can help to decrease the emotional component of the process by interacting with potential buyers and weeding out tire kickers who only want to look at your property but have no intention of making an offer.
Your agent will also have more experience negotiating property transactions, which will assist you in acquiring a larger price than you would on your own. An experienced professional will be on hand to help you if any problems emerge throughout the treatment. Finally, agents are familiar with all of the paperwork and risks connected with real estate purchases and can help ensure that the process goes well. This means that there will be no delays or unanticipated legal consequences in the transaction.
Should you get an agency now that you’ve read all of this? Only you have the authority to make that decision.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Hire a Real Estate Agent?
So you’ve decided not to hire an agent. That’s OK since it’s not as if it’s impossible. Some people are effective when it comes to selling their own homes. But bear in mind that in order to determine an enticing selling price, you’ll need to do your homework first—on recently sold properties in your neighborhood as well as those presently on the market. Remember that most property prices include an agent’s commission, so you may need to drop your asking price as a result.
You will be in charge of your own marketing, so make sure your home is placed on the multiple listing service (MLS) in your geographic area to reach the most number of purchasers. Because you won’t have an agent, you’ll be the one showing the home and negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, which may be time-consuming, difficult, and emotional for some.
Because you won’t be utilizing an agent, you might want to hire a real estate attorney to help you navigate the complexities of the transaction and the escrow process. Even after paying for an attorney, selling a home on your own can save you thousands of dollars. The buyer’s agent, on the other hand, will seek reimbursement. Because this is frequently covered by the seller, you’ll still have to pay the buyer’s agent 1% to 3% of the home’s sale price.
Setting an Unrealistic Price
Whether you’re dealing with an agent or going it alone, getting the right asking price is crucial. Remember when you or your real estate agent did comparative market research to determine a realistic asking price for your home? Buyers will do the same with your home, so as a seller, you should be one step ahead of them.
In the absence of a property market, overpriced properties seldom sell. According to a survey conducted by the informational house-selling website HomeLight.com, 70% of real estate agents say that overpricing is the most common mistake made by sellers. Don’t be anxious about setting a low price since, in principle, several bids will entice you to raise the price to the home’s genuine market value. In fact, underpricing your home can be a good strategy to get more people interested in it, and you can always turn down a low-ball offer.
Expecting the Asking Price
Any clever buyer will bargain, and you may have to get on if you want to complete the purchase. In contrast to the underpricing strategy outlined above, most homeowners want to sell their homes for a price that will attract purchasers while still leaving room for negotiations. This could work, creating the appearance that the consumer is getting good value while yet allowing you to get the money you need from the transaction.
Of course, whether you get more or less than your asking price depends on a number of factors, including whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market and how well you’ve staged and upgraded your home.
Selling During the winter
You may be amazed to realize that there is a set time of year when you should sell your property. Winter is often a slow season for home sales, especially around the holidays. People are busy with social commitments, and the cold weather in certain regions of the nation makes staying at home even more appealing. Because there are likely to be fewer buyers looking, your home may take longer to sell, and you may receive less money. You may take comfort in the idea that, while there will be fewer active customers, there will also be fewer competing providers, which can sometimes work to your advantage.
It’s conceivable that waiting is a better option. Unless you have a compelling need to sell throughout the winter or during holidays, consider posting when the weather begins to warm it up. People are more inclined to buy a property when the weather is good.
Saving Money on Listing Photos
Because so many purchasers browse for houses online these days, and so many of those properties have photographs, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you don’t have high-quality visuals of your property. On the other side, there are so many awful photographs of properties for sale that if you do a good job, they will stand out and draw more attention to your listing.
Good photographs should be crisp and clear, and they should be taken during the day when natural light is abundant. They should draw attention to the best qualities of your property. Use a wide-angle lens if possible to give potential buyers a clearer idea of how the entire space looks. Rather than depending on your realtor to snap images with their phone, use a professional real estate photographer to get high-quality results.
Consider putting a video tour or a 360-degree view in your listing to strengthen it. With any smartphone, this is simple to execute. More potential buyers will surely walk through your doors for showings if you can persuade them. If you offer them a brief tour of your property, you can even receive more bids.
Failure to Maintain Adequate Insurance
It’s possible that your lender forced you to get homeowners insurance. If not, you’ll want to make sure you’re insured in the event that a visitor has an accident on your property and sues you for damages. You should also make certain that there are no obvious risks on the property or that you are working to mitigate them (keeping the children of potential buyers away from your pool and getting your dog out of the house during showings, for example).
Hiding Major Issues
Do you think you can get away with hiding serious problems with your home? Any issues will be detected during the buyer’s inspection. You have three options when it comes to dealing with challenges. Solve the problem ahead of time, or promote the property at market value and give the buyer credit to correct it.
Remember that if you don’t handle the problem ahead of time, you risk losing a large number of buyers looking for a turnkey house. If you want to avoid costly surprises once the property is under contract, get it inspected before you put it on the market. In addition, many states have mandatory disclosure laws. Some states require sellers to disclose known flaws in their property if buyers specifically request it, while others require sellers to identify particular concerns voluntarily.
Not Getting Ready for the Sale
Sellers who neglect to clean and stage their homes are squandering their funds. Don’t worry if you can’t afford to hire a professional. You are capable of doing a great deal on your own. If you don’t do these things, your sales price will drop, and you may not be able to sell at all. A potential buyer may wonder if the house has larger, more expensive issues that haven’t been addressed since you haven’t addressed small concerns like a broken doorknob or a leaky faucet.
Allow a friend or an agent (someone with fresh eyes) to point out areas of your home that need to be repaired. You may be immune to the house’s shortcomings since you are accustomed to it. Cleaning thoroughly, decluttering, painting the walls with a fresh coat of paint, and eliminating any odors can all help you make a positive first impression on potential buyers.
Not Accommodating Buyers
If someone wants to look at your home, you must allow them to do so, even if it causes you inconvenience—clean and tidy the house before each and every visit. If your house was clean last week, a buyer wouldn’t notice or care. It’ll take a lot of work, but don’t lose sight of the goal.
Selling to Unqualified Buyers
It is appropriate to demand a buyer provide a pre-approval letter from a mortgage company or proof of funds (POF) for cash purchases to show that they have the necessary funds to purchase the home. A buyer’s contract may be conditional on the sale of their own property, which might put you in a bind if you need to close on a specific date.
Can You Sell a House If You Have a Mortgage?
Yes, you may sell a home and pay off your mortgage at the same time. During the escrow period, the lender holding your mortgage will send you a mortgage payback statement (also known as a payoff quote), which will reflect the exact outstanding sum. When your loan is finalized, the escrow agent will send your lender the remaining balance of your mortgage, thereby paying it off.
Is it a good idea to stage my home?
Property staging may help you sell your house faster and for more money. A professional staging business, on the other hand, is not required for everyone. Cleaning and decluttering a home may have a big impact on how quickly it sells, and it should be done before you leave, regardless of whether it sells.
How Much Will I Make When I Sell My House?
The amount you’ll make is decided by the sale price, agent commissions, closing costs, and the amount owed on your mortgage. Before advertising your house with a real estate agent, you need to receive a seller’s net sheet, which details how much you may anticipate making. When you accept an offer and enter escrow, your lender will send you a closing disclosure that details how much money you’ll get when your loan closes.
Is it a good idea to sell your house for cash?
Selling a property for cash is a simple method to skip the effort and stress of staging, showing, repair, and handling competing bids. However, most cash purchasers will not pay more than 75% of the home’s worth, minus any estimated repair costs. Selling a property for cash is simpler, but there is a substantial financial cost to consider.
Understanding how to sell a house is significant. Even if you don’t make any of these mistakes, be sure you’re emotionally and financially prepared for the worst-case scenario. The home may be on the market for far longer than you imagine in a declining market. If you don’t find a buyer in a timely manner, you may be forced to pay two mortgages, rent your house until you do, or, in the worst-case situation, go into foreclosure. You’ll be well on your way to putting your best foot forward and completing the smooth, successful transaction that every property seller wishes if you avoid the costly pitfalls listed below.