A lot of people are shocked at the amount of work it actually takes to sell a house. The real estate agent comes in and starts talking about repairs and staging and suddenly your world is spinning. Some might try to cut corners, making simple fixes that aren’t designed to last, but that’s not the way to go. Here are some mistakes you’ll want to avoid during the home sale process.
Testing the Market without Making Repairs
Sometimes sellers think they can “test” the market by putting the house up right away. They think they’re testing, but they’re really trying to figure out if they can sell the house as-is. They probably can’t, and you can’t, so don’t bother. Make sure the home is properly cleaned, make sure any needed repairs are done completely (no duct tape or temporary fixes), and clear out the clutter. Take the process seriously from day one.
Cleaning the Inside but Not the Outside
Spending hours inside your home while ignoring the outside is a complete waste of time. Pull the weeds from your garden, mow the lawn, and spruce up your gardens. Make sure the front door is painted, the trim isn’t flaking, and that the gutters are in good repair. And please – please, please – clean up after your pets.
Not Monitoring Pets and Children
Speaking of pets, make sure they are off-premises (or at least crated) during home visits. Make sure your kids are away or quiet as well. Potential buyers need to visualize themselves in your home and screaming children, messy playrooms, and animals don’t help the situation – especially if your potential buyer has a pet fear or allergy.
Secrets are bad in the world of real estate. Tell your real estate agent if your faucet is dripping or if one of your walls just showed signs of a leak somewhere. Better safe than sorry. You can make a repair, but you might not be able to handle a lawsuit if a buyer comes after you later for withholding important information.
Setting Poor Price Points
Be realistic when pricing your home. There is a lot of competition out there and your home will need to have some very special features to compete. Talk to your real estate agent about appraising your home to find the actual sale price. She’ll also be able to give you information about the pricing on comparable homes in your area.
Not every person or couple who walks through your door is “the one.” They may seem really excited about your home and then go to the next one, which they think is even more exciting. Patience means trusting your real estate agent’s process, being willing to leave your home during showings, and having realistic expectations.
The process of selling a home is full of intricate details and isn’t one to take lightly. Talk to your agent if you aren’t sure where to start, or how to avoid mistakes that will cost you a sale.