You have decided that it is time to sell your home. Regardless of the reason why, you want as smooth and as quick of a sale as possible. To keep your sale trouble-free, consider these potential stumbling blocks before you begin your home-selling journey.
- Overpricing – Set the price using appraisal values and market rates, not what you think the home is worth or what you expect the profit to be.
Pricing your home too high has a double negative effect. Your house will sit on the market for longer and likely force you eventually to reduce the price. Either situation will put doubt in the minds of potential buyers, making them wonder what else may be wrong with the home.
Do your homework on Zillow and similar sites to assess the market, and take your realtor’s advice on how to price your home – whether you like it or not.
- Signs of Neglect – It does not take much to make a bad first impression. If you see an unkempt lawn, spider webs in an entryway, and a broken front doorknob, what would your first impression be? Buyers are no different.
Take care of all the simple detail repairs that you may have been putting off. Doorknobs, sticking cabinet drawers, leaking faucets, broken gutters… deal with it all or expect trouble with a sale. If you need to hire help to take care of it all, do so.
Once you get things fixed up, keep them clean. Sweep, dust and vacuum regularly. Do not forget the windows, either.
- Poor Marketing – To make sure your home is seen by the most people and in the best light, you need to plan your home marketing campaign. Find a realtor you trust well in advance of your sale, and coordinate your plans with him or her. Shoot videos or photos during different times of the year to highlight the best properties of your house, and use them in your postings.
Ask a friend for an opinion on whether your marketing package is appealing. You may be too close to it to see things objectively.
- Excessive Emotional Attachment – It may be hard to let go of your home, but it is essential to look at your home through the eyes of a dispassionate buyer with a different set of preferences and plans. Do not sabotage your sale by stubbornly clinging to your favorite aspects of it that may make the home less sellable – for example, your favorite cherry-red wall color or your collection of vintage 1970’s shag carpeting.
Pack away family pictures and other personalized knickknacks that remind buyers that someone currently lives in the house, and accept any advice and criticism from your realtor regarding how your home shows and how to improve it. Do not take it personally. Remember, this is a business transaction.
- Unwise Renovation – Partial renovations can more than pay themselves off in increased sale value – for example, replacing dated appliances with new stainless steel ones. However, do not embark on a renovation that is disproportionate to the rest of your home, or to other homes in the neighborhood. You will not receive the full benefit of your renovation.
It is also best not make any renovation specific or unusual. Keep it tasteful but generic to attract the most buyers.
- Incomplete Disclosures – Aside from being morally questionable at best, incomplete disclosures of past fires, water leaks, foundation repairs, and other damage could jeopardize your deal. A home inspection may bring these issues to light and destroy the trust of your potential buyer – “If they didn’t tell us about the leak, what else are they hiding?”
- Going It Alone – Few people have the real estate insight, sales experience, and knowledge of home sale finances to be able to sell their own homes. The chances are that you are not one of them. If you want to sell your own home just to avoid paying a realtor, good luck to you. You are probably going to need it.
Take care to avoid these potential deal-wreckers, and you will increase your chances of having a quick and successful home sale. Good luck, and if you are purchasing a new home, we hope that goes smoothly for you as well.