Are you planning to sell your house soon? Whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate, or just take advantage of a hot real estate market, you want to avoid any missteps that could cost you money, time, and trouble. There’s no need to make the process more stressful than it needs to be — or sell for less than your home is worth. Here, we’ll explore some common mistakes home buyers make and how to avoid them:
- Misjudging the cost of selling a house
- Hiring the Wrong Realtor
- Set unrealistic prices
- Failure to organize and clean
- Skip professional photos
- Limit the number of shows
- Listing at the wrong time
- Selling Without a Realtor
1. Misjudgment of the cost of selling a house
Selling a home costs money, and closing costs are often the most significant expense a seller will incur. According to ClosingCorp, closing costs nationwide will be around 1% of selling price by 2021. But this number may be higher or lower, depending on your status and other factors related to your transaction.
Settlement costs aren’t the only expense to keep in mind, either. You may need to pay cash to prepare your home for listing. Depending on its condition, some improvements or repairs may also be required to get the correct quote and close the deal.
2. Hiring the wrong real estate agent
No matter where you are, there’s probably no shortage of real estate agents. Choosing the right proxy for you can be challenging because there are so many options.
There are bad apples in every bunch, so it’s important to do your research. The agent you work with should be licensed to operate in your state, be in good standing, and have experience selling homes in your area. Consider seeking advice from family and friends, and interviewing some candidates before choosing someone. And don’t forget to check reviews and ask for references. “Comments from past clients speak for themselves,” said Lisa Cole, a Berkshire Hathaway realtor with Michael Keim’s team in Cleveland. “Look for reviews where customers really feel taken care of in the process.”
It’s not uncommon for some agencies to offer heavily discounted commissions to earn your business. However, as a seller, taking advantage of what appears to be a good deal can come at a high price. “Discount agents are looking to sell fast for a quick paycheck,” Cole said. “They may not be investing time and money into proper marketing. They may also discount the commission they offer to the buyer’s agent, which will result in fewer buyers paying attention to your home. Other agents don’t want to work with them.”
3. Set unrealistic asking prices
Most sellers want their home to sell for the highest price, making it tempting to set a high asking price from the start. However, employing this strategy can lead to less than ideal results. Overpricing risks scaring away what could be solid potential buyers. Plus, if buyer interest is low, an overpriced home will stay on the market longer, potentially costing you more — or requiring a price cut.
4. Refuse to clean and organize
Potential buyers want to stroll around your home and imagine it’s theirs. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do if it’s a mess, or if they’re distracted by tons of other people’s family photos and personal belongings.
“Sellers underestimate the value of a spotless home,” Cole said. “A clean, tidy home drives up the price in the minds of buyers. They can imagine themselves living there. They have more peace of mind, which makes them make a firmer decision to move on.” And don’t overlook the little details: “Clean The outside of the furnace, hot water tank and air conditioning unit are also worthwhile,” she added.
5. Skip professional photos
Take a quick and easy snapshot of your home with your phone. But Cole says sellers should avoid this practice, as amateur-looking photos can hurt your chances of attracting the right buyer. Today, most shoppers check listings online before visiting in person, and a good first impression is crucial.
“Spend your money on professional photography — it plays a vital role in bringing buyers into your home,” she said. The more buyers looking at your home, the more urgency it creates, which may will result in more quotes.
6. Limit the number of screenings
The idea of having strangers inspect your home while you’re still living there has some sellers offended. Some even limit the number of viewings to minimise foot traffic, while others always don’t have much time on the go to make their home available for viewings. Whatever the reason, a home with a limited number of impressions may not attract the highest offer, Cole said. Try to be open to visitors and do whatever you can to make room in your schedule to accommodate buyers—after all, the more people who see the house, the more people who want to buy it.
7. Listing at the wrong time
Sellers sometimes have to sell as quickly as possible due to circumstances beyond their control, such as a sudden job change or the death of a loved one. However, if you’re not in a rush, it’s wise to take a strategy when you list. To maximize profits, certain times of the year are better for selling than others.
“In the spring, inventory is at an all-time high, which means more supply, and you tend to sell for less,” Cole said. On the other hand, buying activity is generally stronger in spring and summer, so more buyers are sought than in winter. Every local market is different, so be sure to check with an experienced local agent for the best time to sell in your area.
8. Selling Without a Realtor
In real estate transactions, it is usually the seller who pays a commission to their agent and the buyer’s agent. The amount is usually between 5% and 6% of the sale price, to be shared by both parties. So, it may be tempting to try selling your home yourself to save money. However, this approach can cause you to miss out on substantial profits, especially if you don’t have extensive real estate experience.
“A lot of times, sellers leave a lot of money on the table,” Cole said. “A qualified broker with good negotiating skills can list your home [appropriately] and negotiate with other agents or buyers to deliver that price to you. Also, when buyers see that there is no broker involved, they immediately think they can sell you at a low price because you are not paying the commission. “
Selling your home can be stressful and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoid these costly mistakes and have the right real estate agent by your side to help you through the process, making it easier to find the right buyer and sell at a great price. The commission you pay for their services is well worth the headache you avoid.