Selling Your House? Avoid These Mistakes


Selling a house can be stressful.  Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort.  This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects.  But you can get it done – and it may even be easier that you anticipate.


Whether you’re a first-time home seller or not, you will most likely have a lot of questions.  One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone.  An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.


Mistake #1:  Getting Emotionally Involved

Think of selling your home as a business decision.  Home sellers who have been in their home just a few years are likely to have an easier time letting go than those who’ve lived there for decades or grew up in the house.  Home sellers who allow emotions and sentimental attachments to overtake them during the sale risk making hasty, poor decisions.  Try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. 


Mistake #2:  Overpricing Your Home

Yes, you know what you paid for the house. But that doesn’t mean that it’s still worth that amount.  As a seller, you have a right to ask for whatever price you want, which you can drop if no one bites.  Keep in mind, your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it.  Whether you're working with an agent or selling it as a For Sale by Owner, setting the right asking price is key.  An overpriced home discourages prospective buyers from looking at your home and/or making an offer.  Many buyers choose not to waste their time on overpriced homes, and prefer to spend their energy looking at homes that appear to be a good value.


Mistake #3:  Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

As a seller, you may want to try to sell your home on your own so that you don't have to pay the real estate commission.  However, keep in mind that a good agent will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale. When you market your home with a real estate agent, you will dramatically increased exposure that an agent provides through the Multiple Listing Service and web marketing strategies. An experienced real estate agent will also have more experience negotiating home sales than you do, potentially helping you get more money than you could on your own.  In addition,  if any problems crop up during the process, an experienced real estate agent will be there to handle them for you.


Mistake #4:  Not Preparing Your Home For Sale

Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes are at risk!  Failing to do these things will not only reduce your sale price, but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all.  When you decide to place your home on the market to sell, clean like you have never cleaned your home before.  You will want to minimize clutter throughout the house especially in closets, cabinets, basement area and garages.  Walk through the house and make a list of things you might change.  Or better yet, have a friend or agent with a fresh pair of eyes point out areas of your home that need work.  As the owner of the home, you may have become immune to its trouble spots.


Mistake #5:  Hiding Problems With Your Home

When selling your home, do not try to cover up any problems with your home.  Any issues with the property will be uncovered during the buyer's home inspection.  It is recommended that you either fix the problem ahead of time or price the property below market value to account for the problem.  Or if you prefer, list the property at a normal price but offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem.  You may want to consider having your home pre-inspected to determine any issues that may come up during the home buying process.  By having your home pre-inspected, you can fix this issues prior to listing your home for sale.


Mistake #6:  Not Accommodating Potential Buyers

If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate this person, even if it is inconvenient for you. And yes, you have to clean and declutter the house before every single visit.  


Mistake #7:  Expecting To Get Your Asking Price

Preparing your home by decluttering and staging your home will help sell your home.  However, don't always expect to get your asking price.A potential buyer may want to negotiate the sales price in addition to seller paid closing costs.  This is when having an experience real estate agent is very helpful.  Whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend on whether you're in a buyer's market or a seller's market.


Mistake #8:  Losing a Sale Over Something Stupid

There are many steps taken once a seller receives an offer on his/her home.  The buyer will have a home inspection and will have to get financing and property insurance.  If your municipality/borough requires it, you may also be required to have an occupancy inspection or dye test.  During all of this, the buyer may come back and ask the seller to make required repairs or give a closing cost credit.  As a seller, you may feel as if you have already given the world to the buyer and say no to making these repairs.  However, keep in mind that if this deal falls through you will now be required to disclosure these issues to another potential buyer.  In the end, it may be better to pay that little extra and get the issue taken care of rather than having to start all over with the sale of your home.


These are just a few examples of mistakes that can happen when selling your home.  For more information, contact me so that we can discuss your real estate needs.