5 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make
Just because it is a strong seller’s market does not mean you can throw your home on the market willy-nilly at whatever price your heart desires. You cannot ignore the best home-selling practices of days past. Even though sellers do have the advantage these days, it is still important to avoid these top five common home-selling mistakes.
#1. Not Hiring an Agent
We know you want to keep as much of the profit from the sweat equity you poured into your home over the years and all of the sentimental value. But, selling a home is not as simple as taking a few photos and listing it online. If it was, the whole profession of real estate agents would not be around. Working with a real estate agent can help you sell your house for more money and faster. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical “for sale by owner” listing goes for about $260,000, while agent-assisted sales go for $318,000 on average. The median home sale in our local market of Ada County is even higher at $540,000.
A real estate agent is an invaluable resource during the home-selling process who will be there to guide you, give you expert tips and answer any questions as they pop up. Real estate agents are well worth the investment. So, do not make the mistake of opting for a “for sale by owner” listing with hopes of saving a few thousand dollars. The headache, extra costs, and time it takes may not be worth it in the long run.
#2. Hiring the Wrong Agent
That being said, you do not always want to hire the first real estate agent you come across. Some research is required to find the agent who is the best fit. Start by researching online reviews or get recommendations of great agents from friends and family who have recently sold a home. This will save you the headache of hiring the wrong agent and having to repeat the process of interviewing agents again.
#3. Not Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
Even in a red-hot seller’s market, you still need to de-clutter, deep clean, and even stage your home before you list it.
Make sure you fix any visible issues that will decrease your home’s value, like dripping faucets, chipped paint, and broken appliances. When a house is riddled with visible damages, buyers will be under the impression that there are many more issues lingering that have also been ignored. This is another area working with a real estate agent can help you. They are well versed in what current buyers are seeking, what turns them off, and what repairs will get you the best return on investment.
De-cluttering and de-personalizing is another critical step to get your home for sale-ready. This consists of taking down personal photos, go through the junk drawer, and eliminating clutter. We suggest donating any miscellaneous items clogging your closets, doorways, basement, attic, or cabinets.
#4. Underestimating the Cost
You have likely heard the adage, “you have to spend money to make money.” This rings true when it comes to selling your home as well. Did you know the total cost to sell a home can be as much as 10 percent of the sale price when you factor in commission, closing costs, repairs, and any other buyer concessions? You may also have to account for extra mortgage or rental payments depending on if you have to move before you sell. If you are considering selling, talk to your agent about what items to budget for and any related costs of selling to anticipate.
#5. Setting an Unrealistic Price
Just because it is a seller’s market does not mean you can ask for an astronomical price for your house. This is another area where working with an agent is incredibly helpful! Agents have the tools, knowledge, and experience to price your home fairly based on what similar homes in the area are going for, updates you have done on the property, square footage, and market trends. Despite what some may think, overpriced homes do not typically sell regardless of how hot the market is. A recent survey found that 70 percent of real estate agents said that overpricing is the number one mistake that sellers make.
Bonus: Posting Unprofessional Photos
We all feel like professional photographers with our iPhones and Instagram filters. However, smartphone photography rarely compares to professional real estate photos. Online photos are often the first thing potential buyers will see. Blurry, dimly lit, or otherwise amateur-looking photos will convey to them that you are not serious about your listing and who knows what other issues they may find inside your home. Professional images will position your home in the best light (literally) and leave the best first impression possible among potential buyers. Great photos will entice buyers to get a glimpse of your home in person instead of moving on to another home listing.