Selling a home can be emotionally challenging and surprisingly time-consuming, especially if you’ve never done it before. Unless they are experienced, it’s easy for sellers to make lots of mistakes when dealing with such a complex transaction. Here are some common missteps to avoid when placing your home on the market.
Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Some people think they can save money by selling their homes without help. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. According to recent surveys, less than 10% of FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) homes actually sell. That means nine out of ten homeowners are unable to sell their properties when they go it alone.
There are a lot of reasons why FSBOs fail, including:
- FSBOs don’t typically know how to handle showings
- FSBOs aren’t sure how to negotiate purchase offers
- FSBOs don’t have experience negotiating home inspection findings
- FSBOs aren’t sure how to leverage the best marketing strategies
- FSBOs don’t always properly price their homes for sale
In addition to helping sellers navigate the confusing process of selling a home, experienced agents know how to pique interest in prospective buyers. This streamlines the entire process and increases the chances that a seller will be happy with the final sales price.
Overvaluing Their Homes
Every home seller wants to get optimal value for their properties. Far too often, however, they let their emotions cloud their judgment. The most important factor that should determine your asking price is what comparable homes in your area have sold for. Secondary factors include market strength, local demand, location, and the home’s condition; but these are less important than the comparative price of similar inventory in your area.
When homeowners overprice their homes, they tend to receive a lot of discouraging lowball offers. On the other hand, they will usually get more competitive offers when they price their homes appropriately in relation to their local markets.
Hiding Key Flaws
Think buyers will overlook that musty smell of leaky roof? Think again. If they have a savvy agent, you can expect buyers to get a professional home inspection after you accept their offer. If the inspector uncovers a major problem, it could delay your closing date or torpedo the deal.
It’s important to take care of repairs if you are aware of them, or you could leave yourself open to a lawsuit down the road. You may also want to consider paying for a home inspection before you list your property to make sure it’s in great condition for prospective buyers.
Not Leaving Showings to Your Agent
When homeowners stick around for showings, it can make buyers feel awkward. People want to be able to imagine themselves living in a home without having the current owners breathe down their necks. Although it may feel difficult, it’s best to let your agent handle all showings.
You should also take your agent’s advice about preparing your home for showings. This will usually mean decluttering and repositioning furniture to accentuate certain aspects of a home. It may also mean depersonalizing the property to make it easier for buyers to envision it as a home for their family.
Entering the Market Blindly
Before selling your home, you need to carefully examine your real estate market. Unless you are familiar with the local housing market and relevant statistics, it’s generally best to work with an agent. An experienced professional will know how to price a home and make it stand out among similar inventory. He or she will also be able to help you choose the best time to list your home to maximize interest and ensure a higher asking price. This is especially important, since listing at the wrong time of year can cause a home to languish on the market.
Things to Consider
There are a ton of common home-selling mistakes that can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. It’s important to remember that selling a home is a business transaction and try to eliminate emotions when making decisions. It’s also important to work with a reputable real estate agent who can guide you through every step of the complex selling process.
If you’re thinking of selling your existing home, contact The Wheaton Team. Over the past ten years, we’ve earned a widespread reputation for specializing in residential real estate in Colorado Springs and all of El Paso County.