The decision to sell your home is not always easy – especially if you have lived there for many years or perhaps raised your family there, a great deal of emotion can be associated with the idea selling your home. In addition to being potentially emotional, the process is also very time-consuming, particularly if you decide to do it on your own. And, of course there is a significant financial pressure involved – perhaps your life savings in invested in your home and every dollar matters, or perhaps you are being forced to move for economic reasons. Taken together, there is a great of pressure involved which can affect how you approach this important process. Here are some mistakes that you should avoid when selling your home.
Going Without an Agent
If you plan to sell your home without the help of an agent, make sure that you understand the extra burden this creates for you in terms of time and money. The primary reason that people decide to go it alone is to save money on commissions that would otherwise be paid to an agent. Depending on where you live, commissions can be about 5% of the value of the house, which can feel significant if you are concerned about getting every dollar out of the sale. However, agents perform a number of key functions, including market studies to set prices, advertising, taking photos, organizing open-houses, vetting potential buyers, managing offers, and ensuring that the entire process is carried out in conformity with the law. If you are prepared to take on these very important tasks it may be worth it to you to go without an agent. However, particularly if you are under pressure to sell quickly or are feeling emotionally caught up in the process, you might prefer to work with an agent. You may be able to negotiate commissions with an agent to help with savings – especially if the agent you work with is also able to bring his or her own buyer and does not need to share the commission with another agent.
Getting the Price Wrong
There is a definitely a sweet-spot when it comes to setting the price. Too high and your property will sit on the market and potentially become stigmatized when you have to lower it. Too low, and you won’t get a fair return on your investment (although in a seller’s market this could work in your favor to attract multiple offers). If you are working with an agent they will have experience with this – if you are working on your own be sure to do a careful market study of recent sales in the area.
Not Prepping Your Home
A small investment can go a long way to prepare your home. Before going on the market, make sure the house is clean and clutter-free. People need to imagine their own possessions in your home, so think about removing your “personality” as much as possible – including that hot-pink accent wall in the TV room! In general, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference by freshening a room and making it more neutral where needed.
There are many things that you can do to help sell your home quickly and at a fair price - be sure to do your research and approach this important transaction as prepared as possible.