Home Selling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Before you list your house, it pays to do your homework. He’s some of the most common seller mistakes to help you save thousands — even tens of thousands — of dollars.
1. Selling your home on your own
Trying to sell your home by yourself is sheer madness. You need the expertise of a professional. And the numbers don’t lie: homes without representation remain on the market longer and end up selling at a lower price than those with a pro at the helm.
2. Mispricing your home
Overpricing or underpricing is a huge and costly error. It’s critical to understand your market: become familiar with comps currently for sale (and those that have recently sold) to understand exactly what price tag your home needs.
3. Neglecting necessary repairs
You will lose money if you don’t remedy repairs before you list your house. It’s less costly to fix things ahead of time, rather than have buyers see all of your home’s faults at the open house. If you don’t, you’re almost guaranteed that prospective buyers will offer less or ask for a credit back for the work that needs to be done before the deal closes.
4. Refusing to tidy up before listing
Clutter eats equity and kills deals. Create a sense of spaciousness by decluttering. From the kitchen countertops to the overstuffed closets to the trophy-lined shelves in the den, it’ll cost nothing to get rid of all that stuff. But it will reap big rewards when it’s time to sell.
5. Letting your ego get in the way
Many sellers take negotiating personally and lose out on creating a win-win deal (if not the entire deal). Remember, this is a business transaction — perhaps the biggest one of your life. Take your ego out of the equation and put your head back into it.
6. Failing to complete a full set of disclosures
Too many sellers lose big bucks because they were afraid to disclose their home’s imperfections. Be upfront and forthcoming about all of your home’s issues. It will save you money and time, especially if the buyers end up uncovering problems themselves — because they will.
7. Mistiming the sale
Even a sale that misses its schedule by one day can cost you tens of thousands in extra taxes. Don’t be left a day late and many dollars short. Talk to your accountant well in advance to determine if any long-term capital gains tax breaks apply, and time the sale accordingly.
8. Overlooking extra expenses at closing
Home sellers throw thousands away by not requesting and confirming a list of fees and expenses prior to closing. Review the estimated closing cost statements with your real estate agent well before it’s time to hand over the keys. Don’t expect any discounts and credits on closing day if you overlook this step.
9. Using lousy photos
This is a pet peeve. Too many for-sale homes feature amateur iPhone photos in their listings. More than 90% of all buyers start their home search online, so you’d better make sure you and your agent nail your home’s close-up! You won’t ever get a second chance to make the perfect first impression.