Selling a home involves finding that one buyer who is ready and able to purchase your home when you are ready to sell. That process can be complicated by mistakes on the part of the seller. I have put together a list of mistakes home sellers make when selling their home. Do not do these things if you want the house to sell as quickly as possible.
Avoid Over Pricing the Home
The easiest way to get an offer is to align the price of the home with other similar properties. If most of the homes in your area are priced at $215,000 and you try to list your home for $250,000, the price will scare off a bunch of potential buyers.
It is best to speak to a real estate agent and get a comparable sales report. The report will help you and your agent to set the right asking price on the home.
Remove Clutter from the Countertops and Closets
Prospective buyers will open every door and drawer, inspect the smallest detail, and look at your home as if they have already moved in. If the counter space is cluttered and the closets are filled to the point of overflowing, the home will give off the impression that it is too small.
It is better to pack up some things that you don’t need right away, like seasonal clothes and holiday decorations, and get them away from the house to clear up space for home showings. Renting a POD or storage unit is another idea to help clear things out quickly.
Forego Expensive Improvements Right Before Selling
Major improvements are normally a bad idea right before selling a home. Changing the look of the kitchen, for example, may make you happier with the layout and function of the room. But you likely will not get a dollar for dollar return on your money when you sell the home.
It is better to focus on the smaller details, such as chips in the paint, loose electrical wiring, and any other small repair that can be easily handled.
Allow the new buyer to inspect and review the home to determine if they want to make major changes after they buy the property.
Remove as Many Personalized Items as Possible
Before strangers show up to your home to inspect it for a possible purchase, it is best to remove as many personal items as possible.
This can include a wide range of things such as sport teams’ memorabilia, anything related to a specific political party, or trophies and items that speak to your interests.
Some buyers may fall in love with your décor and feel that you are kindred spirits. Others may be turned off by one small item in a room and decide not to buy your home.
It is best to keep personal items private until after the property has been sold.
Stay Away from The Most Up to Date Trends
Homes generally reflect the overall culture of the times. The exterior materials, the colors in the living room, and the type of accents and decorations all flow in cycles. However, some homeowners try to stay up to date with every change, and that can be a problem when it comes to selling a home.
It is best to stick to traditional colors and layouts when decorating & staging the home for sale. By sticking to generic patterns and colors, people will be able to envision their home belongings in the home and feel comfortable with the move.
Do Not Ignore Your Home’s Curb Appeal
The home’s curb appeal sets the first impression with real estate agents that need to show your home as well as the potential buyers. Giving off a bad impression with lackluster curb appeal can prevent you from selling the home.
Step out in front of the home and take note of all the things that you see at first glance. It is wise to spend some time trimming the shrubs, getting rid of any low hanging limbs, and making sure the plants in the front of the home all look fresh.
It is also a good idea to clean the windows, clean the walkway and driveway with a power washer as well as cleaning the exterior walls.
Make sure the front entrance is neat and tidy. Avoid having too many items around the front door that can be distracting to visitors.
Clean the front door and make sure the house numbers are visible. If the front door is showing signs of age, consider repainting the door.
Don’t Assume Potential Buyers Will Excuse the Mess
We all have days when our homes don’t look as tidy as we would like. Whether it is due to a busy schedule, sudden illness, or some other unexpected event, there are days when our place looks messy.
While we all suffer through these times, it does not mean that a potential buyer will excuse a disorderly home and buy it anyways.
A buyer wants to see a home in its best condition. They want to easily imagine waking in the bedroom, getting ready in the bathroom, spending time with friends and loved ones around the kitchen, and celebrating holidays in the living room. That is tough to do with dirty dishes piled up on the counters, laundry stacked up in the bathrooms, and a funny odor coming from one of the bedrooms.
It may take a bit of elbow grease and time, but it will be well worth it to get your home as clean as possible before buyers start to visit the property.
Don’t Brush Off the Home Inspection
Most of us like to think that our home is in great condition with only some minor items that need attention.
However, a home inspection from a certified inspector may uncover things that we have either put off or were unaware of.
Take time to go through the inspection report. Ask the inspector about anything that you are unsure of. Finally, ask your real estate agent which items must be addressed to proceed with the sale.
Don’t Leave Out Major Repairs
When it is time for the appraiser to visit your home and determine the value, they will need to be informed about any major repairs that were made in recent history.
For example, if the central heating & air conditioning unit was replaced within the last 24 months, that should mean that the unit will remain in good working order for the foreseeable future. The same goes for other major items like a roof replacement or a new water heater.
Keep your records organized and give copies of any receipts to the appraiser to use for documenting the true worth of your home.
Don’t Wait Until Spring to Sell Your Home
While it is undeniable that Springtime is the most popular time to sell a house, it does not mean is the ONLY time to sell a house.
Waiting until Spring will mean you are competing with many more sellers. It also means that buyers will have more options to consider.
Sell your home as soon as you know you are ready and able to move.
Do Not Block Light
More light makes a home appear more inviting and friendly. Whether it is extra exterior lights on the corners of the property, windows that are open with minimal curtains and blinds, or extra lights throughout the interior, more light makes a home look better.
Consider replacing light bulbs with slightly higher wattages. Keep the windows open with the curtains and blinds retracted. And also use as big a watt as possible on all exterior lights.
Do Not Use Candid Photos made with Your Smartphone
While smartphone technology has made great leaps and bounds in recent years, they still cannot replicate a professional image taken by a good photographer.
A good real estate agent will either have considerable practice at creating good images or they will have access to a photographer that can handle the picture duties.
A good image can be the difference between someone booking a showing of your home or simply passing it over for the next property.
Final Thoughts On Mistakes Home Sellers Make When Selling Their Home
When negotiating the sale of a home, small details can make a big difference. A cracked window or a leaky faucet can cause a buyer to low-ball the offer or walk away from the deal entirely. Take some time to go over your home with a discerning eye. By taking care of any issue now, before the inspection and appraisal, you will be in a much better position to attract a buyer willing to pay a fair price for your home.
Additional Helpful Home Seller Resources:
If you are a first time home seller, take a look at this post by Alex Capozzolo to learn the top 5 best practices of selling your home. Experienced sellers have gone through the process of selling a home before. Learn from their mistakes, so that you do not have to.
Vicki Moore explains the 7 things real estate agents have to tell home sellers, even if it’s an uncomfortable topic! Whether it is a bad smell or dirty laundry, a good agent is going to be upfront and truthful about what needs to be done.
About the author: This article “Mistakes Home Sellers Make When Selling Their Home” was written by Luke Skar of MadisonMortgageGuys.com. As the Social Media Strategist, his role is to provide original content for all of his social media profiles as well as generating new leads from his website.
MadisonMortgageGuys.com and team provide award-winning customer service to clients who need to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage.
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