The thoughts of selling your home can create a variety of emotion, as well as various levels of anxiety. Much of this depends on your relationship to the property itself which can sometimes become more emotional than business. Selling your home can be a difficult enough task on it’s own at times without falling into the pitfall mistakes that I’ve seen so many home sellers make. My goal is to point out some of these more common mistakes that so many home sellers make in order that you will then be able to hopefully avoid these same pitfalls with the sale of your home.
1. Too Much Emotional Attachment
The first most costly mistake is focusing on the emotional attachment rather than looking strictly at the strategic role of selling real estate. I realize that it is easy for me to make this statement, but it really is true. And while there are a million and one reasons for this strong bond between you and the property you are considering to disconnect from, (all of which are very legitimate and understandable) you must be able to put aside these feelings once you decide to sell as emotion will get in the way of good business decisions almost every time.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
The second mistake is connected to the first mistake, assuming you can receive the most for this house because it’s a great house. Well, look around, there are lots of great houses out there, and once again, the emotional side can interfere with an otherwise good offer. Your house has to be outstanding inside and out. Curb appeal is crucially important. It’s much like going through a buffet line. What looks good you’ll likely sample, and if it doesn’t look so good you’ll just pass it by and never really know how great it may be. It’s very similar with a house. If it isn’t appealing on the outside you’ll probably not want to see inside. Look at your home and be objective. Does it look good? Or, does it just look okay?
3. Not Putting Your Property in the Proper Perspective
The third pitfall is to look at your property as an exclusive piece of real estate (another tie to that emotional side). You have to compare your property to other similar properties that have recently sold. While it’s good to look at the active competition, and their list price, pay closer attention to the number of days these available properties have been listed. Alos keep in mind that those properties have not sold yet, so therefore do not even have a definitive real estate value. Not one professional real estate appraiser in the world calculates a home’s value based on active listings, so why should you? Once that number of days on the market starts increasing over 180 – 220 days, there’s a reason for it, and pricing may be the issue.
4. Your House Doesn’t Need any Help
The fourth mistake is to go into a frame of mind that “my house is great and I’m not fixing anything!” In most cases, having a home inspection before putting the home on the market for sale is very important. It usually eliminates any surprises and allows you to take care of those little things beforehand. What can cost you just under $50 to repair, a Buyer’s home inspection report can sometimes have the Buyer thinking the cost is $100 or more! If your inspection report brings to light things you do not want to remedy, note that information on the Residential Property Disclosure. This way the Buyer is not surprised and knows in advance your position. But try and play a role reversal here. If you were purchasing a home, for most general purposes you would want everything corrected. And if it’s not to be repaired, a good and reasonable explanation will help in understanding with good communication moving the sale forward.
5. For Sale by Owner
The last mistake is attempting to sell the home yourself. I truly realize there are many horror stories out there about bad agents and how they ‘killed the deal’. However, there are some really good professional brokers that can help you. Talk to several and learn about their marketing strategy. You need to have a good comfort level with this individual and allow them to help remove your emotion by replacing it with a good sound selling strategy. This broker needs to ask you question after question. The more questions and depth of knowledge this agent seeks, the more likely they are sincere about wanting to help you and are not just out for another listing!
There are more areas to focus in addition to this list above. Feel free to contact me to discuss your needs more specifically.