Buying and selling a home can be a highly time-consuming process with a myriad of intricacies that influence the length and scope of the deal. Thus, for first-time sellers, mistakes are bound to happen—especially if they lack the know-how and experience surrounding the process.
Every homeowner would want to sell their house for the most money possible, which typically results in a back and forth dialogue between sellers and buyers. However, if a first-time seller doesn’t understand the numerous intricacies that go into selling a home, they might end up with a few regrets.
Here are some of the most important things that first-time home sellers should avoid doing before listing their home:
Listing without research
You should never jump into a decision head-first—even more so when it comes to a decision as big as selling a house. Properties and real estate are huge investments, so you should take as many precautions as you can when dealing with such a transaction.
Be it the job or the housing market—always research the current state of the market. Determine if now is an opportune moment to sell. Figure out the past and current market value within your area to develop an understanding of how well the market is doing.
Look at past housing prices and compare them to now. Ask yourself: are they worth more now than they were a few months or years ago? Looking at housing prices within the past decade will help you understand if the market is falling or rising. Get advice from real estate agents to aid in your decision.
If you choose to sell your house when the market is falling, then you might lose out on a lot of money compared to if you waited a year when housing prices went up. Sellers should always do as much research as they can to make a well-informed decision regarding the timing of their listing.
Not getting an appraisal
While an appraisal might set you back a couple hundred dollars, choosing to not get one may result in you overpricing your house. If your house is overpriced, then you might have trouble finding buyers and receiving offers.
A potential buyer might like your house, but it sits well outside of their price range. If it seems like they can’t afford it, then they will probably move on to another property.
Alternatively, with an overpriced house, you might attract a group of buyers with a much higher budget and higher expectations. While you may justify the price of your home, these types of buyers might disagree. They can be put off from placing a bid as they feel that your house does not justify its price.
Sellers that overprice their home often fall victim to these problems. Many home-sellers would want to sell their home as soon as possible—no one wants their house to be constantly overlooked and receive little to no offers. Thus, an appraisal is an absolute must for sellers, as it provides sellers with a ballpark-range of a property’s worth, allowing them to list their home at a reasonable price.
Prioritizing open houses over showings
While first-time home-sellers may think that open houses are prime opportunities to efficiently showcase your house to multiple buyers at once, open houses are not as advantageous as these people think.
Despite open houses being an opportunity for home buyers to view the house, serious buyers would much rather have a more intimate time with the house. This is why many buyers schedule showings for the houses they want.
Showings are imperative to selling your house. They provide buyers with an opportunity to explore the house on their own time and form a decision by themselves. Buyers might find it inconvenient or difficult to freely explore a potential home if they have three other buyers around the house doing the same thing. Some buyers want a more private viewing of something that they might live in one day. This level of intimacy allows prospective buyers to freely envision a potential life in your home.
Every showing is an opportunity for buyers to inspect your house and see if it’s something they want. Thus, you should never turn one down. Potential buyers are sometimes hard to come by, so you need to capitalize on every opportunity that may lead to getting your house sold.
Not cleaning their home
When you put your house up for sale, your house needs to look at its best. In doing so, you appeal to much more buyers and receive more bids. No buyer is going to place an offer on a house after attending a showing and seeing a messy house.
A house needs to be clean and things need to work. Wash the dishes, make the beds, sweep the floors, and fix the lights. As an agent shows prospective buyers around the house, ensure that all the lightbulbs throughout the house are working. Make sure that all the rooms are tidy, and everything works as it should. Turn your home into a model house.
While some sellers might do it out of security, the lack of personal items within a house can provide buyers with an idea of how they, personally, live in the house. Many personal items in a house can evoke a high level of your own personality within a home. If you’re trying to get the house to appeal to someone else, then you should do your best to allow them the opportunity to picture themselves in it.
Create a welcoming atmosphere for buyers attending a showing. Provide them with the opportunity to really see themselves in the house. Don’t give buyers a chance to be put off by your home—give them a reason to stay and make an offer.
Hi, my name is Dana McAroe. I'm a Real Estate Agent in Fort McMurray. I help people get the best possible outcome from their real estate transaction - whether they are selling or buying or a house.