Selling a home can be a time-consuming and difficult task. This is even harder for first-time sellers, considering the process involves strangers coming to your property repeatedly. This can be tiring and a little emotionally draining in some cases. Moreover, receiving offers lower than expected or what you feel your home is worth can be very demotivating.
All of this makes it very easy for most first-time home sellers to make plenty of mistakes. However, you can make a huge difference by learning a little about selling a home, before actually setting out to do just that. Therefore, we are going to discuss nine common mistakes home sellers make while selling a house.
9 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make
Following are some of the most common mistakes that you will see first-time home sellers make when trying to sell their home.
1. Getting Too Emotional
Selling a home is an emotional task, especially if it is your first one. Most first-time homeowners spend several years saving up for their perfect home and setting it up. Several memories, attachments, and emotions exist with the house and the time you have spent in it. So, when it comes time to sell that home, it can often end up being an emotional experience.
A lot of people find it difficult to keep their emotions in check while selling their property. However, keep some things in mind while making these decisions. For starters, stop thinking of yourself as the homeowner. Instead, try to take a look at things from an objective point of view. This is ultimately a business transaction, and you are in it to move on to a better property more suitable for what you need.
You will always come across home buyers who will not like your property, but that isn’t something you should take personally. Every person has their own taste and pretty much anyone who buys your home will make changes once it is theirs.
2. Not Getting a Real Estate Agent
While using a real estate agent to sell your home does come with a cost, not using one can also cost you money – sometimes more in the long run. Agent fees ranges between 5% and 6% of the property value, however, these agents can help you improve the house selling process. An experienced real estate agent will help you make your home more presentable and sell ready, while also getting the most money possible in today’s market. Experienced real estate agencies have pools of homebuyers that they can market your property to, which will attract a much larger audience than if you attempt to go it alone. The end result will help sell you’re your home faster, while bringing in more offers and higher prices. Your agent will also help you along the way with finding a new home, getting loan approvals, gathering paperwork and much more. While it is sometimes an unexpected expense, it is most definitely worth the expense to lessen the home selling burden and help quicken the process.
3. Setting an Unrealistic Price Expectation
Overestimating house value is a fundamental mistake a lot of first-time home seller make. Most home sellers think that their houses will go for higher prices. This can leave the homeowners disappointed and craving for better opportunities.
However, waiting too long and holding out for unrealistic prices can end up devaluing your home in some cases. Therefore, always get professional estimations and appraisals when placing your home for sale whenever possible.
That being said, in today’s market, a lot of homes are selling for way over asking price in a lot of the most desirable areas. You may be surprised to find out your home is worth much more than expected. This is why seeking professional assistance and getting a home appraisal is an important starting point when thinking about selling your home so you know what to expect when offers start coming in.
4. Not Considering Selling Costs
The agent fee is not the only concern for home sellers as they need to pay for closing costs, staging costs, and home renovations (in some cases). In other cases, you may also need to provide seller concessions, which can bring down your home price. Moreover, these costs are a bigger problem if you plan to buy a bigger house and need your house to sell for a certain amount. Work with your real estate agent so you know what to expect and all related costs are calculated ahead of time, so you do not end up surprised on closing day.
5. Selling with Mortgage Amount Due
Mortgage costs are a big factor for home sales in the U.S. This is because homeowners need to pay for mortgages even if they want to sell the property. You wouldn’t want to sell your home, only to find out at closing that the mortgage is upside down. You will end up spending most of the home selling price to cover the mortgage amount. While selling your home for breakeven (or even a loss) is not a bad option under some circumstances, you will want to know where you stand financially before you get to the finish line and end up with less options.
6. Hiding Major Repairs
We understand that home sellers do not want to invest in a home that they are about to sell. While some homeowners may make necessary proper repairs, others may try to hide it. It is best to be upfront with the home buyers with things like this as they usually come up during the home inspection and can delay or completely derail a deal in the process. You can come to a mutual agreement, split the cost, or find a similar solution. It’s always better to put everything on the table so both parties know what they are buying/selling.
7. Selling Property Yourself
Some homeowners believe they are more than capable of selling their houses. However; this is not true for everyone. Saving real estate agent commission could cost you dearly with a sale price that is much too low or much too high that stays on the market too long. Working with an experienced agent will help you get the most for your property while bringing in a larger pool of buyers, better offers and faster transactions.
Fulfilling the home sale process is quite complex, and will waste time and resources in the long run. Some reports find that homes sold with “For Sale by Owner (FSBO)” generally go for lower prices compared to real estate agent sold homes. Thus, it is best to leave the task in a professional’s hands.
8. Inefficient Staging
Most first-time sellers do not understand the importance of staging for a property sale. You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and put your home on the market. Congratulations! Now it’s time to get your house in tip-top shape so you can score a great sale. Staging a property is one of the most important things you can do when selling your home. By making your home look its best, you can attract buyers and help them see the potential in your property. While it may seem like a daunting task, staging your home is actually quite simple.
9. Not Clearing the Clutter
Showing off your property’s beauty is a fundamental step to a successful home sale. You cannot expect homebuyers to take interest in your property without cleaning and clearing the property. Try your best to keep the property as clean as possible before an inspection.
Do not leave toys, papers, dust, or other clutters in the house. Moreover, we suggest you keep your pets out of the house during the home inspection.
Your real estate agent will do a walk-through to determine what should stay and what should go during the home showing process. It is one of the most important steps to getting your home “Sell ready” and will help you sell your home faster and for more money.
It may sound like simple steps, but these simple methods can have a huge impact on your home sale process.