While you're still just thinking about selling your house, there's time for you to get everything right.
Some home selling mistakes are fairly obvious, but you might be setting yourself up for subtler ones that are just as bad. A purple house with orange shutters probably won't sell very fast, no matter its condition. But what about a beige one that needs some repair?
Selling real estate is tricky business, and you really do need to get it right the first time. From the moment your house hits the market, the clock is ticking. So here are a few problems that you'll want to avoid.
#1: Being Too Gung-Ho for the Sale
When some people are ready to sell, they are really ready. Sticking a sign in the yard can't come soon enough! But when you're selling something as valuable and important as a piece of real estate, it pays to take your time and get it right.
There's a lot of work and homework to be done before you put your house on the market. Although you might think that the sooner it's for sale the faster it will happen, the reverse might be true. Even the nicest home probably needs a few touch ups. And some need a lot more than that. Leave yourself plenty of time to make your house as good as it can be.
#2: Assuming The Everyone Loves Your Design Style
If there's one thing about home owners, it's that most people have a pretty clear idea about what they do and don't like. But one person's taste is often radically different from someone else's. It doesn't matter if your house is decorated identically to one from a design magazine. If there are too many details, you run the risk of turning off as many buyers as you attract.
The best approach is a neutral, tame one. If you have a lot of color, repaint the walls in shades of khaki or another soft, earthy neutral. Don't forget to freshen up the trim paint, since it gets dingy faster than walls. With an innocuous interior, prospective buyers can focus more on the house as a whole instead of the decor, which they may or may not like.
Pretend that every day is a showing day, because you never know.
#3: Making the Showings Difficult for Buyers
The last thing you want to do is make it tough for buyers to view your house. Real estate professional, Cameron Willmann, explains at the Midland Reporter Telegram that you should keep the property in tip top shape all the time. In other words, a phone call from someone who wants to view the house shouldn't send you into a panic. If it's ready at all times, it won't.
You might need to assign regular duties to everyone in the household, and be ready to leave the house for a few hours to give prospective buyers and their agent some privacy. If you have pets, be sure to make arrangements for them, too. While it's true that this is your house, from a buyer's perspective it's easier to relax and really consider the property without the pressure of the seller watching.
Keeping all of the proceeds sounds appealing, but there's a lot that goes into selling a house.
#4: Working Without an Agent (Maybe)
There are two sides to the argument of For-Sale-by-Owner or FSBO. You could save money on agent fees if you sell on your own. And with today's online resources, you could get as much exposure for your house as most agents could. Agents handle a lot of work, which lands on your shoulders otherwise, but even that is growing a bit easier with some changes in the industry.
A real estate agent already knows everything that has to happen before, during and after a sale. Unless you've done it before, it's unlikely that you have the same knowledge or resources. And the learning curve is quite steep and time consuming. That said, Chicago Real Estate Daily explains that FSBO is a trend that's gaining a lot of momentum.
#5: Pricing Your House Too High
Whether you've lived in your house for a few years or nearly a lifetime, you might have a higher opinion of its value than the market does. That's normal, but it's also a problem. If you price your house too high, it will sit on the market longer than it should. Then you'll have to consider lower offers. Ultimately, a too-high price can put the sale in the buyer's favor.
Pricing your house accurately for your market means you're giving it its best shot at selling quickly, which is everyone's goal. One way to get a good idea of what it's worth is with a home value estimation from eppraisal.com. This service considers several factors, including the desirability of your neighborhood, houses that have sold in your area, and many others.
People in the market for a house monitor the new listings like a hawk. With every new house, there's hope that this might be the one. So don't sell yourself short. You don't really want to tackle problems after the for-sale sign is in the yard.
Do your homework and set your strategy before you're ready to start the sale. It will save time, and could also mean more money in your pocket. Click here for your free property valuation, and get started on the right foot.