Rookie Mistakes First-Time Sellers Make

Rookie Mistakes First-Time Sellers Make

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Are you thinking of selling your home sometime soon? Selling your home can be a stressful experience.  Don’t make it worse by making rookie mistakes that will cost you time and money.  I’ve compiled a list of  the most common seller mistakes. If you avoid making these mistakes, then you can be assured of a less stressful selling experience.

1. Not pricing your home correctly

This is the number one mistake sellers make when trying to sell their home.  Either they think the home is worth way more than it actually is (and it sits on the market forever) or they price it too low and they don’t get all the money out of it that they could have.  A real estate professional will help you decide on the right list price for your home.  

2. Not hiring a pro to help with the sale

Sticking a ‘for sale’ sign in your yard is not going to cut it.  If you want to sell your home quickly and for the right price, you need the help of a real estate professional.  Without one, it will be hard to get your home viewed online or to get any real traction in selling.  If you do get an offer, it’s probably due to your listing price (which is too low).

3. Not making repairs before listing the home

A home with unsightly problems will sit and sit and sit on the market.  Nobody wants to come take a closer look at a house that has roof problems or stained or ruined flooring.  So, get those things fixed before putting your house up for sale.

4. Keeping your junk around while trying to sell

Professionals suggest removing one third of your possessions when trying to sell your home.  Cluttered homes just don’t look great.  They appear messy, unorganized, and small.  Getting rid of things you don’t need and downsizing the rest (or at least storing it somewhere else for a time) will help to sell your home faster.

5. Not prepping your home to sell

It’s important to prepare your home to be on the market– this includes doing minor repairs throughout the home, painting walls to be neutral tones, and cleaning like crazy.  It might seem small, but these fixes can make a huge difference to potential buyers.

6. Trying to sell an empty home

Maybe you think your home would look so much better if you just took everything out of it and put it on the market.  This is a bad idea.  Even if you don’t like your furniture, a staged home looks so much more appealing to buyers than an empty one.  It helps them see what they could do with the space and about how much furniture will fit.  It gives them a vision and helps them see the potential that’s there.  Besides, without furniture to draw attention away, every little nick and scrape will be very visible.  And you certainly don’t want that!

7. Not upping your curb appeal

Nobody likes to pull up to a home with anticipation, only to see the grass is overgrown, the garden is a mess and the front door is not an inviting space.  Take a little time to spruce up the front area of your home because first impressions do mean a lot.

8. Not being willing to compromise on the price

Some sellers are so stuck on getting the list price for their home that they turn down offer after offer and won’t come down at all.  This means more time on the market and the likelihood of finding the right buyer is going down every day.  By accepting a reasonable offer, you can both move forward happily.

9. Not disclosing everything at first

Let’s say you had a broken dishwasher and you knew it needed fixing but you withheld the information from the buyer until after they had made an initial offer.  Not only is this annoying, it can feel very dishonest.  Now, you have to either get the dishwasher fixed yourself or lower the price to compensate for the repair cost.  This issue might have been overlooked if you had just been upfront about it to begin with. Honesty is the best policy!

10. Not getting kids and pets out of the way

Potential buyers don’t want to walk through a house that looks like it’s been through a tornado.  Plead with your kids to pick up after themselves or be super vigilant yourself during the selling process.  When a buyer comes to look at the home, take your kids and pets for a walk and get them out of the house.  Also make sure your house doesn’t smell like your dog. It could be a turn-off for your potential buyer.

11. Using awful photos of the home

Taking pictures of your home on your camera phone is not good enough.  It’s too easy to move the phone and get a blurry shot or to show just a small portion of a beautiful and spacious room.  Your potential buyers want to see everything.  Since many buyers start their search online, it is crucial to have crystal clear and aesthetically pleasing photos.

12. Not getting a Home Inspection Done

If your home is older and you’re concerned that buyers will be worried about problems, have an inspection done.  This can show you things you should either disclose or fix before listing the home or can give buyers peace of mind about the home they want to purchase.  It’s not a necessary step but it could be helpful in certain circumstances.

13. Forgetting about closing fees until it’s too late

If you show up to the closing table and start asking for fees to be waived or discounted, you’re going to annoy everyone there.  If you need help with closing or need to shop around for the best price for you, please do so before agreeing to all terms and sitting down to sign papers.

14. Missing out on tax benefits

Make sure you time your sale so that you don’t miss out on capital gains tax breaks.  By selling your home even one day late, you could be paying thousands of dollars in taxes.  Nobody likes that, so stay up to date on tax dates in your area.

15. Being unprepared for the future

You need have a backup plan for all possibilities.  You should know what you’ll do in case your sale falls through, your home sells faster or slower than expected, or your new home purchase happens faster than expected.  It’s hard to time everything perfectly in real estate, but do your best now to think of all contingencies to give yourself a break later.

So there you have it, the top 15 mistakes sellers make. If you have any questions about selling, please message me! I’d love to help!

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