So you’re thinking about selling your home. That’s great! There are some important things you should consider as your prepare to sell your home. Here are 5 common home selling mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
5 Home Selling Mistakes
Home Selling Mistake # 1 – Over Pricing
The first mistake many home sellers make is over pricing their home. When you see homes around you selling for a certain price, it’s easy to think ‘my home must be worth at least that much’. While this may be the case, keep in mind you’re only seeing what these houses look like on the outside.
It’s important to have quality comparables (comps; similar homes that have sold recently) for your home when deciding on pricing. Your real estate agent can help you find the best comps for your home in order to find the right price.
While your agent is specifically trained to pick the right comps, here are a few things to keep in mind. Comparable homes should be in the same neighborhood, similar square footage (within 300 sq. ft.), same home type (condo, townhouse, etc.), and similar updates (i.e. wood floors, stainless appliances, finished basement, etc).
Dangers of over-pricing
Some of the dangers of over-pricing include the possibility of attracting low-ball offers, your home being on the market for way longer than necessary, and not getting the actual market value for your property once you finally sell.
But wait, you say, ‘surely it’d be worse to under-price my home’. Actually, under-pricing your home is less risky. While it’s probably not recommended, under-pricing your home could actually attract multiple offers and result in a bidding war that could lead to an above market value deal.
So, the number one home selling mistake to avoid is over-pricing your home. Keep this in mind when evaluating your list price with your agent. Don’t be tempted to over-price your home just because you think everyone is going to write an offer lower than your asking price. If your home is priced right, you are likely to get a reasonable offer in a timely manner rather than low ball offers long after your home goes on the market.
Home Selling Mistake # 2 – Ignoring Repairs
Another common home selling mistake is ignoring minor (and major) repairs when you list your home. Are there issues you already know exist with your home? Consider repairing them before your home goes on the market. This can prevent issues when it comes time for the home inspection.
By taking care of the small things, you give potential buyers little reason to be concerned about big issues. When buyers see that everything is in good working order, they’ll know that you’ve taken good care of the home. If they see lots of little issues like loose door knobs, leaky faucets, or damaged trim they’re likely to wonder if you’ve ignored bigger problems as well.
Make sure to address the small things before you sell to keep people from thinking you’ve skimped on bigger repairs. Small repairs can increase the perceived value of your home in the same way that minor issues can decrease it’s value.
Home Selling Mistake # 3 – Getting Emotional
Selling your home is a big decision. Your selling what was at one time, your biggest purchase. It’s filled with memories and all the care and work you’ve put into it over the years. It’s easy to get emotional about something that is so important.
One thing to keep in mind is that negotiations aren’t personal.
You’ve put a lot of TLC into your home and organized and decorated the way you think is best. However, buyer’s might have different ideas. If they don’t like the way a particular room is painted or ask for repairs here and there, don’t take it personally.
Buyers are trying to carefully make a big decision and they don’t have memories attached to the home like you do.
Home Selling Mistake # 4 – Not decluttering or adequately preparing your home
One of the most common mistakes people make when selling their home, is not getting rid of clutter. Buyers have a hard time seeing themselves in a home, when it’s filled to the brim with personal items.
As much as possible, eliminate clutter. Go room by room and remove as many items as possible. The less you have in a room, the bigger it will appear. Remember that other people may not share your sense of style. Keep decor to a minimum. Arrange your furniture in a manner that is functional and neutral.
Remove as many personal touches as possible. Take down family photos. Store your kindergartners drawings somewhere safe instead of displaying them on the fridge. Keep flat surface cleared off as much as possible.
Another thing to consider is painting the interior of your home. Hot pink walls in your daughter’s bedroom may not be the most appealing to buyers.
Ultimately, your home should be clean and tidy.
- Vacuum, sweep and mop.
- Polish or wipe down appliances and countertops.
- Clean bathrooms.
- Eliminate odors.
- Fold and put away laundry.
- Keep closets organized (buyers love storage space).
- Repeat this process before every showing.
Home Selling Mistake # 5 – Lack of Landscaping
One final mistake home sellers often make is neglecting the curb appeal of their home. The first thing a potential home buyers is going to see, is the outside of your home. Buyers are likely to ‘judge a book by it’s cover. What they see on the outside is likely to influence their overall opinion of your home.
Take some time to clean up the outside of your home, before selling it. Mow the lawn, rake leaves, and make sure all pathways are swept clear. Good landscaping can increase the value of your home.
What buyers see on the outside is going to influence their impressions of the home before they walk in the door. Make sure that what they see on the outside gives them a positive lens to see the rest of your home through.
Don’t make these 5 home selling mistakes when you put your home on the market.