Homeselling is a nerve-wracking process for most people. Your home is likely the biggest financial asset you own, so finding an interested, qualified buyer and successfully closing on the sale all within a few weeks without making any major blunders can be a tall order for even the most experienced real estate professional.
If you’ve already put your home on the market or are thinking about doing so soon, there are several common mistakes that home sellers make that you should avoid at all costs. They might feel like harmless little slip-ups, but each one of these errors can cost you time, money, and stress in the long run.
If you’re planning to sell your home soon, read on to avoid these common mistakes and see how you can improve your chances of selling it quickly and for top dollar.
Deciding on a price before researching your market
If you’re selling your home, you’ll have to set a price for it at some point. But setting a price before you’ve done a thorough survey of your local real estate market can be a huge mistake, as it can hinder your ability to draw in interested buyers and get you a good price.
Before you decide on a price, consider factors such as the condition of your home, where it’s located, how long it’s been on the market, comparable sales in your area, and how desperate you are to sell.
If your home is in really bad shape or has major problems, you may have to price it lower to entice buyers, but you also shouldn’t be so desperate to sell that you’re willing to accept any offer.
Hiring an unqualified agent
This is a big one. Many homeowners make the mistake of hiring an agent who isn’t qualified. Actually, hiring a completely unqualified agent is a common first-time homebuyer mistake as well. Both instances can have similar results.
A qualified discount real estate broker is someone who has completed real estate agent training and has several years of experience as a real estate agent. They are someone who you can entrust with the sale of your home.
If you hire an unqualified agent, they may not know what they’re doing, they could be a disorganized mess, they could be nice but incompetent, or they could be some combination of all three. This is a huge risk. If you hire an unqualified agent, you risk losing control of the sale of your home, wasting time and money, and possibly even ruining your credit.
Failing to clean and prep the home before showing
If your home has been on the market for a few weeks and hasn’t received any offers, you might be tempted to invite a few people over to see your home in hopes of generating some interest.
Before you start scheduling showings, you should make sure that your home is in its absolute best condition. To do this, you’ll want to declutter, clean, and prep your home. You don’t want to leave anything out that would indicate you’re trying to sell your home.
You also don’t want prospective buyers to see anything less than perfect in your home. They could write down various flaws and issues and use those to negotiate a lower offer.
Showing the home during the wrong times of day
Different times of day are more advantageous for showing your home than others. For example, you don’t want to show your home during the busiest hours at the busiest times of the day because there will be more distractions and less foot traffic.
You may want to show your home at a time when you’ll have enough foot traffic but minimal distractions. To conclude which times of day are best for showing your home, do some research on your local real estate market.
Look up the average days and times of the week when people are looking to buy homes in your area. You can also ask your real estate agent for this information. Doing any or all of these things will help you figure out when you should be showing your home and minimize the distractions you get from showing it at the wrong times of the day.
Not having touch-up repairs done before showings
Sometimes, you’ll have to show your home with its current flaws. For example, if there’s a broken dishwasher that you need to replace, you might have to show the home with it broken. But, before you do, make sure you have a handyman or contractor on call to come out and get it fixed as soon as the showing is over.
All you need to do is wait until the last minute to call them, and then you’ll still have the broken dishwasher in the home while you’re showing it. This looks unprofessional and unorganized and will only set you back further in the process of selling your home.
Besides, the longer a broken appliance or other repair stays in your home, the more dated it will look and feel. You don’t want potential buyers to see dated appliances or other flaws in your home.
Selecting the wrong type of listing contract
Before you sign a contract with a real estate agent to list your house, you should make sure they’re using a standard listing contract. If they’re not, you may be at risk of signing a contract that isn’t legally binding.
You can’t just sign any piece of paper an agent hands to you and be 100% sure that you’re protected. And you definitely don’t want to sign a contract that gives you less protection than you deserve.
If the contract you’re signing doesn’t have your name and address on it, if it doesn’t have a specified end or expiration date, or if it doesn’t have a specified fee that you’re paying, you shouldn’t sign it.
Wrapping up: By now, you should know what to do.
Homeselling can be a stressful process, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. To prevent yourself from making any of the common mistakes that home sellers make, be sure to do your research on your local real estate market, hire a qualified real estate agent, keep your home in top shape, show it during peak hours, and have any necessary repairs completed before showing it.
If you follow these tips, you’ll increase your chances of selling your home quickly and for a good price.