Be careful not to make these 5 common seller’s mistakes!
Once you make the decision to sell your home, it’s so tempting to just put it on the market and see how it goes. However, making a good plan will make it so much easier in the long run. These 5 common seller’s mistakes are actually easy to avoid.
1. Trying to sell before your home is ready
So often we are called to sell a home when there is clearly a lot to be done. Many times owners have a list of things they’d like to do that really won’t add value to the home. Focusing on things like decluttering, repairing or replacing broken items, and cleaning can make a big difference when putting a home on the market.
Leaving personal photos and awards out when a home is on the market can be a distraction for some buyers. We have worked with several buyers who couldn’t visualize what a home could be because of the clutter that should have been removed before listing. A common question I hear is “how will they ever be able to move all this stuff out?”
2. Hiding the flaws in your home
This is probably the worst mistake. Even if it’s not noticed by potential buyers, the home inspector will likely find it. Even if a material flaw is not discovered prior to closing, a buyer can file a court claim after closing, if a problem is discovered that you didn’t disclose.
Many years ago, I represented a homeowner who stayed up all night siphoning water out of his crawl space so the inspector wouldn’t know about the problem with standing water. Of course, it was still obvious and the buyer terminated the contract. The owner had to make repairs to correct the problem in order to get the home sold.
3. Setting an unrealistic price
Right now, we are in a Seller’s Market in the Athens area. Homes are selling almost as fast as they go on the market and many at higher than list price. The tendency is for homeowners to think it’s a good idea to price their home higher than the market value. This can work to some extent in popular areas, but you have to be careful. You don’t want a house to be on the market for an extended time. If this happens, most buyers will automatically assume something is wrong with it.
4. Marketing with bad (or no) photos
Having good photos and plenty of them can make all the difference. Buyers are sometimes looking online for months before ever going to the first house. It is so important to have great photos so your home stands out online.
5. Refusing to negotiate
If your home is properly priced, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to come down on the price much, if at all. However, it’s not uncommon to get offered a lower price and to have a buyer ask for closing costs (we all love to get a deal). There are ways to work this out to everyone’s satisfaction but it’s important to be open to negotiation. Sometimes, a home can sell for more than list price, which allows room for some closing costs paid by the seller.