After years of bad housing news, many housing markets have begun to turn around. With the increase in sale prices, low interest rates for buyers, and the approaching summer sale season, you might be thinking of selling. But even with the latest jump in sale prices, you still need to maximize equity when your house hits the market. To get the most money out of your home, it pays to do everything right. It is common for sellers to make up to three costly mistakes each sale. Here is a list of the most common mistakes homeowners should try to learn and identify in order to avoid spending thousands of dollars:
Not hiring a professional to sell your home: trying to sell your home by yourself is stressful. You need the expertise of a professional. Homeowners who try to do it themselves often end up taking longer to sell and sell for far less than homeowners who work with a agent.
Pricing your home incorrectly: overpricing or underpricing is a big money losing mistake. Its important to get familiar with similar homes in your area and ones that have recently sold in order to understand how much your home should be sold for.
Neglecting necessary repairs prior to sale: you will lose money if you don’t take care of repairs before your house goes on the market. It’s always going to cost you less out of pocket to fix things ahead of time, rather than have buyers see your house in disrepair. Potential homeowners will offer less or ask for a credit back for the work that needs to be done before the deal closes.
Refusing to remove your clutter and junk prior to the sale: clutter eats equity and kills deals. One of the least expensive improvements you can make to your home is to de-clutter and create a sense of spaciousness throughout, from the kitchen countertops to the overstuffed closets. It costs you nothing to get rid of all that ‘stuff’, yet it reaps big rewards.
Selling your house empty: selling an empty house makes buyers feel the same way: empty. Your home should be staged. Don’t worry, you won’t need to go out and buy new furniture and accessories. Chances are, you have plenty to choose from already. Editing out items may just leave you with the perfect amount of furnishings for a simply staged home. If your furniture is already in another house, it may be a good idea to invest in a stager who will give your for sale home a new look that will charm potential buyers.
Letting your ego get in the way when negotiating: many sellers take negotiating personally and lose out on creating a win-win deal. Remember, this is a business transaction and perhaps the biggest one of your life. Take your ego out of the equation and put your head into it.
Failing to complete a full set of disclosures prior to closing: being upfront and forthcoming about any of your home’s issues will save you lots of money and time, especially if the buyers end up uncovering problems themselves.
Misjudging the sale time for maximum tax benefits: even a sale scheduled at the wrong time by one day can cost a lot of money in extra taxes. Don’t be left a day late and many dollars short. Make sure you speak to your accountant to find out if any long-term capital gains and tax breaks apply to you, and check your calendar to determine when they come into play.
Overlooking junk fees and extra expenses at closing: home sellers throw thousands of dollars away by not requesting and confirming a list of fees and expenses long before closing day. Make sure you and your real estate agent review estimated closing cost statements long before it’s time to hand over the keys.
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