Things to Avoid When Selling

In most cases, a person’s home is their biggest single asset that they own. Not only is a house a good asset and investment, but it is also filled with precious memories. So it’s no surprise that when it comes time to sell, people tend to let emotions drive the ship. Which is totally  normal. But, if you want to get the best return on your investment in your home, you have to be smart about how you approach selling it. Letting emotions, not logic, drive decisions means you’re more likely to make mistakes that can make it difficult to find a buyer or force you into accepting a lower offer than you would like. By doing your best to avoid these 5 common mistakes, you can drastically increase your chances of a successful real estate sale

Not Making Your Home Look it’s Best

When you’re getting your home ready to sell, think to yourself “what would HGTV do?”

At a minimum, your home needs a deep cleaning, remove all clutter, make sure it’s well-lit and fix any aesthetic issues. I like to go above and beyond that on my listings. Bringing in some staging furniture and elements, repainting with neutral colors and sprucing up landscaping can go a long way. Overall, staged homes sell five to seven times faster than non-staged homes. Every showing is an opportunity to sell your home, so why not make it look it’s best for each and every buyer who walks through the door?

Being Unrealistic about Sales Price

I often find that what homeowners think their home is worth and what it can actually sell for can be two different numbers. Properties that are overpriced at the beginning tend to eventually sell at a lower price than they would have if they were priced right in the first place. The best practice for Realtors is to take into account recent comparables, competition, market conditions, seasonality, and your situation to come up with the price.

Refusing to Negotiate

Many buyers will start with an offer below your asking price. Every buyer wants to pay as little as possible and snag a deal. When you’re setting your price, make sure you build in a little bit of wiggle room because the best real estate transactions are the ones that feel like a win-win on both sides of the table. Working with an experienced agent can help you figure out where you should give in and how much… and navigate this tricky dance of keeping the negotiations a win/win for both parties.

Hiding the truth about your home

Sellers are often tempted to hide problems or cover up serious flaws, like leaky roofs, mold, foundation problems, the list goes on and on. If you aren’t up front about the issues, the buyer will likely discover them later and at that point it may kill the deal and you’ve wasted time being under contract with a buyer who would never have bought your house knowing about those issues. If the issues are serious and discovered after the sale goes through, you could get caught in a messy legal battle. Best practice is to be open and honest regarding your home and it’s issues- big or small.

Not preparing a backup plan

In an ideal situation, you’re able to smoothly sell your home and buy the new one at the same time. But in reality, not everything goes to plan. Savvy sellers and good realtors prepare a backup plan to avoid either getting stuck with two mortgages or not having a place to live if a contract falls through.

About the Author

Kelly VonDrehle