Selling your home involves a heck of a lot more than just planting a ‘For Sale’ sign on your front yard. There are still some considerations to be made, and some work to be done before your home ever hits the market. Unfortunately, sellers often do things that actually hinder the sale of their homes. Don’t be one of them.
Here are 6 common mistakes that you should avoid when listing your home on the market.
Overpricing Your Home
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make when they put their home on the market is overpricing it. Sure, it would be nice to just slap a huge price tag on your home and collect as much cash as possible when selling. But it’s important to be realistic about what buyers will actually pay for it.
Nothing will scare off hoards of buyers more than a home that is way out of their price range, or that is priced much higher than what it’s really worth. The longer your home sits on the market, more ‘stale’ the listing will get. You’ll probably wind up selling after a few price drops for less than you would have if you had just priced it right the first time around.
Hiding Information From Buyers
If your basement has flooded a few times, or your kitchen faucet is prone to leaking, you might want to disclose this info to your buyers. If a home inspection is scheduled, odds are that these problems will be found out anyway.
If they’re not, and your buyers move in only to find out these problems after the fact, you could find yourself in the middle of a nasty litigation situation to settle things. Do yourself a favor and disclose any issues up front. It’s not only required, but it’s the ethical thing to do.
Not Staging Your Home
Sellers often underestimate the power of staging before buyers walk through a home. People form an impression of homes within a few short seconds, so your property really needs to presented in a visually pleasing way. No one wants to walk through a home that’s so cluttered that it would make a great candidate for the television show “Hoarders.”
Staging your home not only involves giving your home a good de-cluttering and cleaning job, but it also involves neutralizing your decor so that it appeals to the masses. Buyers probably won’t like your hot pink shag rug, or your electric blue checker-print wallpaper. The key to staging is to make your home inviting to buyers so that can actually visualize themselves living in it.
Not Fixing Minor Repairs
If you’ve got scuffs on the walls, door hinges that are loose, or an air conditioner that acts up, you’re better off putting in a little bit of money up front to fix these problems before you list it for sale. You might be tempted to just credit the buyers so they can fix these issues themselves, but this might backfire. Buyers are busy too, and will probably want something that’s move-in ready.
If you fix these minor problems yourself, not only will your home sell faster, but you’ll probably be able to get more money for it too. A $300 visit from the plumber before listing the property could save you $3,000 in a low-ball offer or credit requests later on.
Making it Difficult to Show Your Home
You’ve got to be flexible when it comes to making your home available for showings. Don’t be so stringent that you don’t want showings after 5pm, or only on the weekends, for example. Don’t request any more than 12 hours notice to have the home shown to prospective buyers either. In fact, you should only need a couple of hours notice to give you enough time to leave the house before the buyers get there.
Once your home is on the market, you should always plan on having it ready to show. If you’ve got little kids or pets that make having the home ready to show a little more challenging, consider planning your showing times with your realtor up front. Making showings challenging will do nothing but cut down on the number of prospective buyers who otherwise might have considered putting in an offer.
Not Taking Your Next Steps into Account
Putting your house on the market is only one part of the real estate equation. Other plans need to made to accommodate the various scenarios that might occur after you’ve found the right buyer.
What if it takes months for your home to sell? Are you prepared to cover all the carrying costs? On the other hand, what if a buyer snags your house and wants a tight closing? Are you able to vacate that fast? And if so, will you have a place to stay if you still haven’t bought another home? Make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row so you’re not caught off guard when things don’t go exactly how you initially planned.
If you’re serious about selling, avoid these mistakes. Failure to do so could risk having your listing dragging on for weeks or months. You’ll just wind up exhausted, frustrated, and even financially drained. As always, hire a good real estate agent and put your best foot forward to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.