Home sellers can find plenty of advice about what to do when selling a home. But, we wondered, for today's blog what if we took the opposite approach of identifying a few things that aren't going to help you in your home sale?
So here goes. Avoid these traps and you'll be well on your way to a successful home sale:
Don't set your pricing expectations too high - We recently wrote an entire blog on this subject and it's well worth a read. In essence, don't visit the most well known generic online home searching websites and expect that your home valuation will be the same in reality. Each website uses different calculation methods to come up with a price for your home, so there is no consistency. They also gather their information from the county assessor's office, so if you've had an addition on your home that wasn't recorded by the assessor, then your value will not be accurately reflected on these sites. There is also no account taken of the dynamically changing status of the real estate market. These sites can't tell you whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market. The information they use is outdated, usually comprising market data that is at least three months old.
Don't be oblivious to the condition of your home - It's very true that our extreme familiarity with our homes tends to allow us to gloss over its shortcomings. If it is in poor decorative order, is full of clutter and generally looks uncared for, that is going to affect not only your selling price, but ultimately will be off putting to buyers and at worst, means they won't put in an offer or, at best, they might use these failings as the excuse they need to make a lowball offer. Think like a buyer and go through your home with the same level of scrutiny as if you were thinking of purchasing it, then act on the list of weaknesses you've created during the inspection.
Don't ignore the necessity for curb appeal - The first impression the viewing buyer has of your home is going to be the exterior and front yard - and it is usually a lasting impression - positive or negative. Get things off to a great start for viewers by making sure the house is well presented, maybe with some fresh paint - and make certain your yard looks immaculate - tidy lawns are very much the order of the day here.
Don't think you can do it all yourself - Ever noticed those "for sale by owner" signs that occasionally appear in your neighborhood? And did you also observe that they are usually still in place many months later? That's because a private seller can never have the quite literally worldwide reach and access to potential buyers that a professional realtor has at his/her fingertips. Selling real estate is a full time, skilled occupation - do you really have that sort of time and knowledge at your disposal?
Don't try to hide problems - Avoid the temptation to hide negative aspects of your home from buyers such as a leak underneath a sink or that a basement is liable to winter flooding. You are legally required to inform buyers of certain existing problems as part of transfer disclosures, so don't leave yourself potentially open to a later lawsuit. You'll also find that buyers appreciate your honesty.
Don't wait to sell your home - Low interest/low down payment mortgages and some loosening of lending standards compared with recent years are huge incentives for buyers. Why wait when there's a perfect storm for house selling right now!
Don't put restrictions on viewing your home - Your schedule just may not fit in with the lifestyle and work commitments of some buyers. Therefore if the only time they can visit your home is during your favorite live sports telecast on a Sunday afternoon, don't try to change it. The prize of possibly selling your home that afternoon is surely worth the sacrifice. And if you can record the race/game, just watch it later.
Don't get emotionally involved in the sale - Those deep red walls you painted may look just great to you, but they may be, shall we say, a "controversial" color choice for most buyers. You're selling the home so it will soon no longer be yours, so let go of your emotional attachments now and restore your quirkier decorating decisions to a more commonly accepted appearance.
Don't lose a sale over small details - So you've got an acceptable offer on your home, but the buyer is making a couple of minor stipulations about a couple of small items that he/she would like to have included in the deal. Don't lose perspective and keep your eye on the bigger picture. If the conversation only concerns minor items, take the offer and replace them later. That being said, if you have multiple offers, as is happening increasingly at the moment, you have more bargaining power, of course.
Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right realtor - If you want to avoid all these pitfalls, the right realtor will ensure that you get it right first time. At Everest Peak Realty we view the home selling process as a journey that begins with correct preparation. Call us today and we'd be delighted to offer the right advice in your own situation.