There is much to consider when selling your home. It is an involved process, and mistakes will cost you money or time. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot. Here are some of the common mistakes inexperienced sellers make during the process.
1) Sticking around during an open house or showing.
At first, it makes sense to think you should be at your house when potential buyers are touring. After all, you know the place better than anyone. You can answer their questions. You believe you can sell them all on its benefits and turn its quirks into “character.” But no good will come of you lurking about while the buyers are looking around.
The best case scenario is that you make them uncomfortable while they view the property. This will likely discourage them from asking important questions they have. It also prohibits them from seeing it as their home, which is what you want from potential buyers.
The worst case scenario is that they do ask questions or point out potential problems with the house. You then get defensive and try to argue with them, turning them off of the sale completely. That’s the exact opposite of how you want a viewing or open house to go. Instead, just give them space and time to view the house with their agent or yours.
2) Leaving pets at home during a showing.
Your pets also shouldn’t be hanging around while potential buyers are at your house. Spot may be the friendliest dog in the world, but your buyers might not be dog people. And even if they are, they don’t need to worry about what the dog is up to while they are inspecting the property.
Crating your animal or leaving them in the backyard is not enough either. You want the buyer to feel at home, and a barking dog or “Do Not Enter” sign on the utility room is not going to do that.
So plan to take your animals with you when your home is being shown. It is more inconvenient, but it is not a big hassle if you plan ahead.
3) Allowing weird smells to stick around.
So, you shouldn’t be at the house, your pet shouldn’t be at the house, and neither should their (or your) smells. Be sure to clean litter boxes and other potentially smelly areas (like the garbage) while your home is on the market.
To create a more pleasant olfactory environment, many sellers bake cookies or bread frequently while selling. Others rely on air fresheners, which can also be effective. Just be sure not to go overboard. You don’t want a chemical or perfumy smell in the home. That might trigger allergies or just turn some buyers off.
4) Leaving clutter everywhere.
Another mistake sellers make is not doing enough to declutter their home. Even those that keep a clean house forget about overstuffed closets and cabinets. You don’t want to make it look like you have a lack of storage. Instead, do as much as possible to create a clean slate for your buyers.
The best option is usually to have professional staging, which can cast your home in the most positive light. Even if you don’t go that far, though, you can remove excess furniture, family photos, and personal items.
Sometimes sellers believe they should show a home that looks “lived in,” but it is much better to be as neutral as possible. Provide a blank canvas for your buyers. They can then use their imagination and picture themselves in the home.
5) Trying to hide problems.
Emphasizing all the best qualities of your home is one thing. But you shouldn’t go so far as to cover up or hide problems that you know about. If these issues are revealed in the home inspection, they could result in a reduced price or the buyer backing out of the sale altogether. In either case, you lose time and/or money.
Or, potentially worse, the sale goes through but the buyers discover a problem after the deal is complete. If you were dishonest with your disclosure statement, it could ultimately cost you a lot more than being upfront about the issue.
6) Incorrectly pricing the house.
Overpricing your home could mean it sits too long on the market, leading to a spiral of price reductions. And underpricing isn’t much better. Aside from the money you leave on the table, pricing your home too low could cause other problems like attracting unqualified buyers who make offers that fall through.
Despite all the emotions we attach to our home, when it comes to selling, it is only worth what someone else will pay for it. Luckily, you don’t have to just guess about what this number is.
Many sellers rely on tools like Zillow, but this should only be a starting point. Since Zillow doesn’t include the price homes actually sell for, it is often not an accurate picture of a home’s value, especially in a fast-moving market like South Florida. Instead, comparable sales provided by a real estate agent can help you determine a fair value.
7) Not hiring a Realtor.
Today, more tools are available for sellers than ever before. None of these, however, can replace the expertise of a local, trusted Realtor. Real estate agents handle comps, contracts, and everything in between, making the process smoother.
A dependable real estate agent can help you avoid all of the above mistakes and help you get more for your home.
A home is a substantial investment, and how much you receive from that investment is determined in the selling process. Avoid the mistakes above to help ensure that you get the most from your home sale. For more advice and direction about selling your South Florida property, contact the Jablon Team today.