Whether you are moving to a bigger house or downsizing for retirement, selling your current house can be an exciting and emotional experience. You are stepping into the next stage of your life and leaving behind a home where you built many cherished memories. This emotional attachment can result in you making some home selling mistakes that may be rather costly in the long run.
To make this process easier and smoother for you, I have compiled a list of the most common home selling mistakes that you must avoid:
- Miscalculating the Overall Selling Costs
I have witnessed many home sellers underestimate the selling costs and realizing their mistake too late. People usually don’t realize that the overall selling cost includes the commission they have to pay to the real estate agent, lawyers, as well as the land transfer fee, repairs, and other closing costs.
How exactly is that problematic for home sellers? It can drastically affect the budget you set for your new house, along with the due utilities and mortgage for the current home. Moreover, many sellers rely on the payment they receive for their existing house to make the down payment of the new house.
You can expect the selling costs to be about 10% of the total sale price of the house. Make sure you determine the estimate of the closing costs to have a more realistic idea of the amount you can spend on your new home.
- Removing Items or Replacing them with Cheaper Versions
Keep in mind the selling contract clearly states the items that are included or excluded in the house sale. Typically, things like ceiling fans, appliances, in-built furnishings, and fixtures remain in the house. Unless, it is otherwise mentioned in the contract.
In some cases, I have witnessed potential buyers finding an appliance missing or that some items having been replaced with cheaper versions.
It is a breach of contract. You can’t close the deal until those missing items have been returned or the potential buyer has been compensated. You might even lose a good selling deal due to this.
- Neglecting a Pre-Listing Home Inspection
Many sellers forget or avoid conducting a pre-listing home inspection as they believe their house is in good condition.
A pre-listing home inspection is important as it can help in saving you plenty of time and hassle later on. You will be able to address any potential issues within your budget and time before you negotiate with potential buyers.
- Skipping on Home Preparations
You might be tempted to put the house on the market without prepping it. Without fixing minor repair problems or sprucing it up, you will be lowering the overall value of your home. Why? It will probably languish on the market as potential buyers will notice the repairs needed and might find your place shabby without the usual preps.
Getting the house cleaned professionally and freshening up the paint can instantly make your home appealing. Keep in mind that your sales price will be reduced if you aren’t able to sell the property within the first few weeks.
Therefore, be sure to clean up the house, do minor repairs, replace any broken items, and make the house look appealing for your potential buyers.
- Selling the House Yourself
Many people believe that they can quickly sell their homes without hiring a real estate agent. Even if everything goes smoothly for some sellers, they may get a lower amount for their houses. Why? Because often people undervalue their home or they jump to the first offer they receive.
An expert realtor will give you a realistic estimate of your house value. Moreover, they will also suggest repairs or improvements that can increase the overall value of your home. That will help you in avoiding overvaluing or undervaluing your house.
When looking for a realtor, make sure you opt for the one who has the best reputation of selling houses in similar neighborhoods. Check the credentials and licensing of the agent and interview them to make sure you are comfortable working with them.
- Forgetting to Enhance the Curb Appeal
You might have already prepped the interior of the house to enhance its appeal, but what about the exterior? I always recommend my clients to primp and polish up the home exterior as well.
The first thing potential buyers will see is the outside of your house. An unkempt lawn, chipped wall paint, almost invisible house number, or broken lamps or a mailbox will look highly unappealing to them. They might even leave without entering the house. Make sure you to make some minor repairs to increase the curb appeal of your house.
- Withholding Relevant Details from Buyers
Never withhold information from potential buyers about any issues that might arise in the house. For instance, a leaky bathroom sink or the basement getting flooded during the rainy season.
The home inspector will probably detect these issues, resulting in a nasty negotiation process. In case you are withholding information that might cause potential harm to the buyers in the future, you might end up with a lawsuit after the settlement.
- Restricting Showings
Putting the house on the market means potential buyers will be coming to view your house in the upcoming weeks. Be prepared to leave the house at a moment’s notice for a private viewing or even staying away for a whole weekend for an open house.
This may feel inconvenient, but it is a necessary part that comes with home selling. Limiting your house showings means you might miss out on a good deal. Try to be cooperative with your agent so that you can find the best possible deal.
- Forgetting to Take the Kids and Pets Out During House Viewings
Understandably, you do not want to make this move hard on your children or pets. However, you must realize that a potential buyer would want to visualize living in the house with their family.
It might be distracting for them to do that with your kids running around or your curious pets following them around. Some of them might even be terrified or allergic to your cat or dog.
Be sure to keep the kids occupied or take them out when potential buyers are visiting your place. You can also ask someone to take care of your pets for a while and make sure to eliminate any pet smell from the house.
- Being Unsure About the Next Step
You must always have a backup plan in place, in case it takes longer to sell your house than you expected. Sometimes, houses get sold instantly. This seems like an ideal situation, but it can leave you stressed out if you have to move out immediately and hadn’t thought about where you would stay.
Make sure you are prepared for both scenarios to avoid making it frustrating and stressful for yourself and your family.
It is indeed challenging to sell your house, mainly because you have so many great memories attached to it. Of course, you want the entire process to go as smoothly as possible. It can be stressful thinking about the things that could go wrong. However, being aware of these potential mistakes can help to avoid them.
I aim to make this process as smooth as possible for you and provide you with the best possible solution for you as per your needs. I understand it can be frustrating and even confusing, which is why I am here to help you with your queries and concerns.
Don’t forget, I built my business on referrals, and I am always ready to assist them with all real estate queries. Get in touch today!