Featured Image Caption: Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Property
Selling a home might seem like a pretty straightforward process if you have never done it before, but all the initial excitement can quickly fizzle out when you find there are no takers months after listing the property.
While the time a house sits on the market will depend on several factors – for example, the price of the home, neighborhood, prevailing market conditions, and condition of the property – homes spent an average of 25 days on the market in 2020, according to Zillow.
Truth is, though, it’s easy to fall into some potential home selling mistakes that could see those days drag on into months and months. That is not only stressful for the seller, but a house that stays in the market for long ends up dropping in value.
Whether you’re still living in the house or considering moving out first – be it long-distance or local moving – there are some common home-selling pitfalls you need to steer clear of to increase your chances of a quick sale.
Mistake #1: Pricing the home too high
One common mistake many homeowners make, especially when doing a FSBO (for sale by owner), is to price the home based on what they think the home is worth.
Obviously, you have an emotional attachment to your home so chances are you are likely to give it a higher value than it probably holds. But an overpriced property is a turn-off for potential buyers and will only attract frustrating lowball offers.
When setting the price, it’s important to look at the price of comparable homes in the area to see how much they have sold or are listed for.
In addition, you should also consider secondary factors such as the home’s condition, the local demand, market strength, and location.
Mistake #2: Listing at the wrong time of year
In case you didn’t know, the housing market can either be a seller’s or buyer’s market.
A seller’s market favors you – the seller, aka homeowner – as there is more interest in properties than demand is capable of meeting.
Typically, the warmer months (starting in spring) witness more buyer demand, so if you’re not forced by circumstances to sell, this is the ideal time you want to be listing. The period between late February and mid-May is especially a great time to be selling.
A buyer’s market, for its part, would prove a harder time to shift the property as there is little demand at this time (usually during the colder months).
Mistake #3: Overlooking necessary repairs
Unless you find property investors who buy homes and repair them for flipping later, a lot of buyers want a move-in ready home that won’t burden them with repairs and renovations.
Property investors are business people so the price they’ll quote you may sound unflattering. That said, you might want to make the necessary repairs first if you want to attract higher value buyers who are not looking for a project.
Sure, undertaking the necessary fixes may be expensive, but not doing the repairs will be even more so, costing you in terms of both the ultimate sale price and the time the house stays on the market.
Mistake #4: Working with the wrong agent
If you plan to sell your house through a real estate agent, it is imperative that you do your due diligence before signing up with one.
Don’t just go with the first name that you come across on Google search. Take time to sift through multiple agents, evaluating their portfolio and terms and what the reviews say about them. Friends and family might be a good place to start if you need referrals.
Selling your home is a huge undertaking, so spend time finding a good agent who will walk with you every step of the way while helping you avoid the common pitfalls that could see the property linger on the market for months on end.
Mistake #5: Poor staging
Staging a home for sale is more than just having clean and well decorated rooms. Home staging is the deliberate process of setting up your home for sale, so you need to make it as appealing as you can to increase the chances of attracting [more] buyers.
If you’re selling on your own, you can find plenty of home staging tips on the web that can help you boost your home’s appeal.
You can also hire a professional home stager who, provided their rates are not overblown, will prove great value when you finally put up the house for sale.