Considering selling your home? Buckle up — you're about to embark on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. What's more, you're also likely to make a handful of rookie mistakes.
Whether this is your first sale or your fifth, be smart. Ask for advice from a real estate professional. Avoiding the following mistakes will help improve your chances of landing the sale sooner rather than later.
- Mistake #1 — Postponing preparation
Home hunters want to see a spotless, depersonalized home. So grab your mop and start scrubbing. Take care of any repairs, clear the clutter, and spruce up the curb appeal to garner more attention.
[More: Tori Spelling can downsize, how about you? ]
Less is more in the world of home staging, so take a minimalist approach. Buyers are going to want to be able to visualize their furniture in your space, so remove any oversized items in order to give a sense of spaciousness. This goes for any closets, the garage, and basement. It takes buyers roughly 60 seconds to form an opinion about a house, so make sure everything they see leads them to a positive outcome. Stash your stuff at a friend's house until you're sure the deal has gone through.
- Mistake #2 — Overpricing your pad
There's a right way and a wrong way to price a home. The right way factors in the market and the condition of the property. If your price is based on the profit you hope to make, you're in for a rough ride.
It's important to note that, just because you've invested in some home improvements, this doesn't automatically mean you're going to recoup the money you spent. You need to be realistic and understand the true value of your property.
[More: To sell or stay put: Does selling your home in a hot market really make financial sense?]
- Mistake #3 — Dishonesty
Even though laws concerning disclosure vary throughout the country, honesty is always the best policy. Lying by omission is still lying. Work with your realtor to better understand what you're required to share with a potential buyer. This could include the use of any lead-based paints or a death on the property.
- Mistake #4 - Limiting showings
Bowing to the whims of buyers and their realtors can be a major pain. However, if you want to sell your home, you're going to have to play the game — even when it's inconvenient. The first rule of real estate? Never turn a prospective buyer away.
- Mistake #5 - Getting personal around the bargaining table
Sellers often let their emotions colour negotiations. When it comes down to hashing out the details, it's crucial that you look at the sale as a business transaction — nothing more.
[More: Moving on up in costs: The unexpected costs of moving
When an offer comes in below your asking price, don't let it offend you. Try and remember back to when you bought your home - didn't you try and get the best deal possible in order to make your mortgage more manageable? Remember to be realistic about the current market of your area. What's more, price is just a small portion of the package. Consider conditions, timelines, and financing requirements.
- Mistake #6 — Arguing with inspection requests
You know your home isn't perfect, so don't be surprised when the home inspector comes back with a list of repairs and recommendations. Again, it's important that you keep your emotions under control. Arguing about repairs or refusing to concede to requests could delay or completely derail your deal.
- Mistake #7 — Misplaced paperwork
If you live in a homeowners association or a condo community, make sure you have your ducks in a row prior to putting your home on the market. This includes finding all of your association documents. If you fail to provide these documents to the buyer within a certain period of time, they're permitted to break the contract.
- Mistake #8 — Slacking prior to the appraisal
Here's hoping you didn't put that mop away. Don't let your housekeeping standards slide following an offer. When the appraiser arrives, you want to make sure your home reflects the same condition as the day it entered into the contract.
[Livin' large: What is a real income of real housewives and modern families?]
- Mistake #9 — Relying solely on traditional marketing methods
A sign in your front yard is just the first step to marketing your home. The best real estate agents offer round the clock advertising exposure and innovative lead generation. So why settle for less? Make sure you take the time to find a realtor who's truly plugged into the scene.
- Mistake #10 — Forgetting to test the market
Not entirely sure if you're ready to pick up and move to a new location? Then don't list. Never put your property on the market unless you're serious about selling. Harbouring indecision could cause you to blow the sale wide open.