Top 5 mistakes to avoid when selling a home
Selling a home in the current housing climate can be challenging. Therefore, avoiding common mistakes when selling a home and having the right tools can make the process smoother. Ensuring your house is in the best condition to list on the market can lead to higher selling prices and a shorter time on the market.
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Here are five mistakes to avoid when selling your home:
1. Not hiring a real estate agent
Many may opt to try to sell a home on their own to save costs on commission and other fees, but this could cost you more in the long run. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), for-sale by owner homes typically sell for less. In 2020, the average home sold for $242,300, while the average for sale by owner listing sold for $217,900. When looking to sell your home for its full market value, the help and network a real estate agent provides will help you get there.
Also, realtors have a network of buyers, a direct way to get your home listed on MLS and marketing strategies to help find the right buyer for your home. These resources alone are worth the investment. Without proper marketing for your home, you run the risk of either having little to no buyers, or selling your home under value.
A lot of buyers work with real estate agents, so you also run the risk of encountering a real estate professional that can use your lack of experience to the advantage of the buyer. Similar to representing yourself in court, representing yourself in a home sale without any real estate knowledge or expertise could have a huge impact on negotiations. Your real estate agent is an advocate for you and wants you to get the highest price/best deal possible.
Finally, realtors have experience with all the nuances of the home selling process, including the necessary paperwork, and closing process. They ensure that nothing is missed.
Utilizing a real estate agent and their professional insight is essential for a successful and less stressful selling process.
2. Pricing your home too high
When listing a home too high or too low, sellers risk losing profit or having their home sit on the market for an extended period. Being realistic about the value of the property and how other homes in your area are selling will help you set the right price from the start. Overpricing your home prompts future price reductions, making buyers feel they have extra negotiating power. Conducting a comparative market analysis will help you and your agent decide on the appropriate listing price and avoid making markdowns. Remember: don’t have an emotional attachment to the sale price. Approach the sale of your house like a business deal and it will make the transaction more seamless.
3. Over-investing in a remodel and neglecting improvements
Presenting buyers with a long list of repairs and renovations can immediately turn them off and potentially decrease the value of your home. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2022, 71% of sellers completed at least one improvement project as part of selling their home. When planning renovations and improvements, opt for neutral designs. Jessica Harris, Living Spaces interior designer and manager of production design, suggests remodeling your home to allow “potential buyers to envision it’s their home, not yours.” Some renovations will help bring a higher selling price, and some could cause you to lose money if they are too personal to your taste.
4. Not properly marketing the home
When buyers look at hundreds of potential new homes, you want your home to stand out. Providing high-quality interior and exterior photos, virtual tours and open houses as well as utilizing social media can set you apart from other properties on the market. According to Upnest.com, 92% of home buyers use the internet when searching for a new home. Marketing through social media can be a great way to gain exposure and reach more buyers. Check with your agent to find out their social media strategy. Sharing your property through your agent’s network is a secure way of showing your home to many without having the address directly connected to you.
5. Forgetting to spruce up and declutter your home
Buyers are looking for their potential home, not your home. Decluttering and putting away your personal belongings will present your home in its best light and help buyers visualize themselves in the space. Buyers won’t necessarily have the same style, so staging rooms for broad appeal will attract those with different styles and tastes. According to Realtor.com, staged homes sell 88% faster and 20% higher than those that aren’t. Rent a storage unit to store personal belongings or get rid of unwanted items with a yard sale.
Selling your home can be overwhelming and a scary transition, but with the right tools and attention to detail, it can be smooth and painless. Taking into consideration these common mistakes, you can be more confident and worry-free when listing on the market.
Author: Rich La Rue is the Designated Broker for HomeSmart Phoenix, the flagship brokerage operation in the HomeSmart system. For more information, visit www.richlarue.com.