7 Biggest Mistakes Sellers Make and How to Avoid Them
Homeowners often watch their homes sit on the market for months with very little activity. Or they have numerous buyers who come through the home and never put in an offer. They wonder why no one else has fallen in love with the home they adore. If you’re about to list your home, you should learn about the biggest mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them before you make your next move.
Not Doing Your Own Home Inspection
If you have an older home, it’s a good idea to have a home inspector give you the low-down on your property’s condition. While you have to pay for it out-of-pocket, it will be money well-spent. You can find out the issues ahead of time and decide which ones to fix to increase the selling price or to reduce the time it takes for your home to sell.
Not Doing Easy Updates and Preps
Even people with limited budgets can do something to make their homes more appealing to buyers. Sellers who hurry to put the For Sale sign out in the yard without making the necessary cosmetic changes will regret it. Even a bucket of paint can make a major difference in how your home appears to buyers, and it costs less than $20. Cleaning is another area sellers should never skimp on, and paying a professional company is well worth the investment.
Ignoring Curb Appeal
Overgrown bushes, dead grass, or a white picket fence that’s no longer white can detract from your home. Buyers who drive past your property won’t even consider stopping if they don’t like what they see. Landscaping improvements can help a home sell up to six weeks faster and boost the value by as much as 14%, according to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to make improvements if you purchase in-season plants and focus on clean-up.
Setting Price Too High
If you’re working with an experienced real estate agent, this shouldn’t be a mistake you make. Your agent will be upfront about how much you can get out of the home based on current market conditions. The key is to listen to their advice and be willing to drop the price if you don’t get enough action. It also never hurts to have an appraisal so you have a good idea of pricing. You don’t want to list your home for more than it’s worth, because buyers may not be able to afford the difference and lenders won’t lend over the appraised amount.
Not Knowing What You’ll Do Next
Sellers often wait to buy their next home until their current home is under contract. While this strategy makes sense if you can’t afford two mortgages, it may delay the sale. Sellers who ask for a longer closing date may miss out on buyers unless they’re willing to offer other bonuses, such as paying closing costs or reducing the price. The better strategy is to have a plan in place if you sell your home and haven’t found a new one. Short-term rentals or moving in with family or friends are two options for the interim time.
Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is choosing a real estate agent based solely on a recommendation or because they know the person. Even if the person is a good agent, they may not be right for you or your situation. Choosing an agent should come from careful consideration and a lot of thought. They should be experienced in selling homes and marketing, and they should know your neighborhood. Otherwise, they may not know how to bring in the right buyers, and your home will sit on the market longer.
Not Appealing to the Buyers
While you may think it’s your agent’s job to sell your home, it’s really your job, too. Whether you’re trying to help by advertising your home or updating it to make it appeal to buyers, you have to know who your buyers are. Studies show that Millennials are the biggest category of home buyers with Generation X buyers coming in second. You should know what they’re looking for and how to appeal to them. For instance, don’t assume the next buyer will be just like you and have three kids and a dog. Chances are if you’ve outgrown the house, it wouldn’t appeal to them. Instead, your likely buyer may be a young couple or even a single person looking for a small starter home. Creating a neutral space anyone can imagine themselves living in will help your home sell faster.
Avoid these seven common mistakes of buyers and your home is sure to sell faster and for more money.