Preparing to sell a home often comes with many major changes, such as a new career or long-distance relocation. During this busy time, avoiding common seller mistakes will reduce stress and could add thousands more to your bottom line when your home sells.
Failing to Choose the Right Agent or Selling Price
The two most important decisions you will make when selling your home are which agent to work with and what price to list—and the two go hand in hand. Too often, sellers select an agent based on the sale price they recommend, or because they are a friend or family member. Selecting an experienced agent who understands current market conditions is critical to success. A good agent will help you to select an appropriate price that will generate buyers. An agent who simply tells you what you want to hear is doing you a disservice, likely resulting in a longer sales cycle and lower price.
Good agents are worth the value of their commissions. Before insisting on the lowest possible commission, consider the value the agent is offering in terms of marketing strategy, expert guidance and other services.
Lack of Preparation for the Sale
Selling a home entails much more than hanging a For Sale sign. Everything from curb appeal to the home’s interior condition will factor into how long it takes to sell.
Consider having a home inspection, which will provide you with a list of potential issues. Completing any necessary repairs will put you in a better negotiating position and may result in a higher selling price.
In addition to completing repairs, you should thoroughly clean and de-clutter the home. Reducing the amount of furniture and belongings will make spaces feel more spacious and inviting, enabling buyers to picture themselves living there.
Lack of Planning
Selling your home is just one part of the equation. The other is where you are headed. Do you plan to buy or rent your next home? If a buyer makes an offer during the first week of listing, are you prepared to move in 30 days? There is also the possibility that the home will take longer to sell than anticipated. Have contingencies in place for both scenarios.
Buyers begin their search for homes online, getting a first impression from pictures and video tours. Poor representation online deters buyers from wanting to see a home. To maximize exposure, sellers should have a presence on many real estate websites. Other marketing strategies include buyer’s agent showings, open houses, printed fliers and newspaper advertising.
Poor Negotiation Skills
Although real estate agents handle the actual negotiations, sellers can lose a deal if they are unwilling to compromise. The first rule of effective negotiation is taking the emotion out of the deal. It’s normal for sellers to be very attached to their homes and the memories made while living there, but it’s important to remember that this is a business transaction.
If any items are non-negotiable—such as fixtures, play equipment, or window treatments—pack them up or replace them before the home is listed. When a buyer is told they cannot have something, it makes them want it even more. If the buyer never sees the item, it will never be up for negotiation.
Addressing these common seller mistakes will help to enable a smooth, fast selling process, so you can continue on to life’s next chapter.