Top 10 Mistakes When Selling a House
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Selling a house is one of those necessary things in life that most people have to do at some point. It can be a very arduous process, there are many mistakes that people sometimes make when selling their homes. These are some of the most common mistakes that people make, so take note of these mistakes and avoid them.
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Not Using an Experienced Professional Agent
Too many people think they know everything they need to know about selling a house, and they think they can do it on their own. Very simply, they’re usually wrong. Most people need experienced professional real estate agents to guide them through the process, answer any questions, and get the best possible prices for their homes.
Not Preparing the House
It takes a lot of preparation to get a house ready to go on the market. Virtually all houses, even those that are still fairly new, require some kind of repairs and updates before they’re ready to sell. Take stock of all the major aspects of your house, such as plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and the roof. If any of those things need repairs, the time to do it is before your house goes on the market. Potential buyers are generally turned off by the idea of having to do expensive repairs on a house.
By the time same token, assess the cosmetics of your house. You may need to repaint rooms, to achieve a more neutral color palette that appeals to more people. If you’ve been meaning to change out that ceiling fan or paint the trim on the windows, now’s the time to do it. The goal should always be for a house to be ready for new owners to move right in, with as little work to do as possible.
Pricing Too High for the Market
The reality is that your house may not be worth as much as you believe it to be. Housing markets vary, and some markets are more favorable to sellers, while others are more favorable to buyers. If your real estate agent suggests a lower price than you had in mind, listen to his/her reasoning for that price, and take a look at comparable house sales in your area. You may have your heart set on a price, but if it’s too high for your area, your house will not sell.
Leaving Personalized Décor Out
Potential buyers don’t care about your family photos or those souvenirs you collected from your last vacation. When your house is for sale, you should remove the personal touches you’ve put in place over the years. Put away the family photos and the art projects your kids have done. It’s important for potential buyers to be able to visualize themselves in your house, not your family.
Too Much Clutter
Much the same as with the previous mistake, potential buyers don’t want to see how much stuff you have. Buyers are turned off by clutter, and prefer a clean, organized house. Clear off those counters and shelves that have knick-knacks, and tidy up the entire house. If you still have too much stuff taking up the space, you may want to rent a storage unit to hold those things until your house sells.
Forgetting about Outdoor Spaces
Your house itself isn’t the only thing that matters. Potential buyers will be turned off by yard that’s overgrown, has neglected trees, or isn’t welcoming. Make sure your yard is landscaped and looks good. Mow the grass, remove the weeds from the flowers, and trim back those overgrown bushes and trees. When people are looking for a house with a yard, they expect to be able to use that yard. If you have a deck, make sure it’s also in good condition.
Not Enough High-Quality Listing Photos
Nearly every home buyer starts his/her search on the internet and they skip over the listings that either doesn’t have many photos or that have low-quality photos. If your home listing doesn’t have many photos, people will wonder what’s wrong with your house. Your house listing should have at least 15-20 photos, and those should include every part of the property, including the yard, the exterior of the house, and every interior room. Exclude any photos that are blurry, show personal items that you don’t want buyers to see or present distortions of your home.
Being Present at Showings and Open Houses
Most potential buyers would prefer not to meet the owner, so don’t insist on being present when your house is shown, or when your agent holds an open house. The atmosphere will be uncomfortable for the buyer if you’re present, and the goal is always to make the potential buyer feel at home in the house. Give them that time to tour the house on their own and form their own impressions.
Your Pets are Present
Potential home buyers don’t want to see your pets, so take them with you during showings and open houses. You never know if a potential buyer simply doesn’t like dogs, or if they’re allergic to cats, and an unexpecting encounter with a pet in the house will likely dissuade them from buying. Make sure you clean up after your pets, too. Vacuum up any pet hair, clean out the cat litter box, and put any pet toys away, so that buyers won’t see those things.
Being Too Emotionally Attached to the House
It’s very common to become emotionally attached to a house. After all, you’ve likely spent years there and have experienced many happy times in that house. However, it’s time to let go of that attachment when you need to sell your house. Being too emotionally attached can cause you to refuse to accept good offers from buyers, resist your agent’s ideas, and sabotage the process of selling the house. For those reasons, make sure that you’re actually mentally ready to sell your house.
Selling a house can be one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. Even when the process goes smoothly, it can be an extremely taxing time. Avoiding these common mistakes can make the process go along more easily, and get your house sold more quickly.