Mistakes in the selling process can throw your plans off course, causing costly delays. But by knowing what mistakes to avoid ahead of time, you can save yourself the headache and the expense. Steer clear of these common mistakes as you work alongside your agent towards a successful sale.
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home
1. Skipping Repairs
Neglecting to make repairs to your home before you sell not only makes it less appealing to buyers, but it can also open you up to additional costs that result from the buyer’s inspection. If you fail to disclose any repairs that need to be made, it could halt the closing process or cause the deal to fall through. Consider conducting a pre-listing inspection to make sure everything is out in the open before you sell.
2. Not Working with an Agent
Listing agents help sellers accurately price their home, coordinate showings and open houses, and negotiate with buyers’ agents to get the best deal for their client. Choosing not to work with an agent can open you up to several risks. Selling a home is an intricate, complicated process that needs the guiding hand of a professional, so it’s no wonder that a vast majority of sellers choose to work with an agent.
3. Incorrectly Pricing Your Home
The key to selling your home quickly is to find the right buyers. To find the right buyers, your home must be correctly priced. Agents use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)—a thorough, data-backed examination of your home and how it compares to other listings in your area—to accurately price your home. Without an agent’s CMA, it’s easy for your home to be listed at the wrong price, leading to the following consequences.
- Overpricing Your Home: Overpricing your home will attract the wrong buyers because you will force your home into competition with other listings that are fundamentally superior or have more to offer. When comparing other homes to yours, buyers will focus on the discrepancies and the features your home lacks. Overpricing will often cause homes to sit on the market for extended periods of time and become less appealing to buyers.
- Underpricing Your Home: Under competitive market conditions, intentionally underpricing a home is a common strategy to attract buyer attention with the goal of starting a bidding war to drive the price of the home up. However, several things must go correctly for this to happen. In all other cases, underpricing your home reflects a lack of knowledge about where its market value fits into the fabric of current local market conditions and can leave you, the seller, unsatisfied with the price your home ultimately fetches.
4. Letting Your Emotions Take Over
Selling your home is an act of learning how to let it go. Once you know you’re ready to sell, you’ll need to be able to look at it with an objective eye. This will allow you to approach conversations with your agent from a neutral standpoint and work towards what is best for the sale of the home. If you’re too emotionally attached, you may find that you have trouble agreeing with your agent when it comes to negotiations. Overall, emotions can cloud your judgement and make the successful completion of the transaction more complex. If you’re struggling with tabling your emotions, talk to your agent for guidance.
5. Not Prioritizing Photography
One of the hard truths for selling a home is that first impressions matter. The vast majority of buyers are searching online and taking virtual tours of homes they’re interested in. As such, it’s worth the time and money to hire a high-quality photographer. The right photography can make all the difference in the minds of buyers. An aesthetically pleasing home will attract more eyes, and any edge you can give your home over competing listings may be just the ticket to getting it sold.
6. Selling Before You’re Ready
It may be tempting to want to get your house on the market quickly to take advantage of local market conditions, but if the time isn’t right for you, rushing into the market could cause more trouble than it’s worth. Knowing when to sell your home is a mixture of being financially prepared, finding the right agent, and understanding how your home fits into the current local market landscape.
7. Refusing to Negotiate
Approaching buyers’ offers with a cold shoulder can lead to missed opportunities. Before the offers start to come in, it’s important to work closely with your agent to understand your expectations and which terms and contingencies you’re willing to negotiate. That way, you can quickly identify the right offer when it comes along. If you’re unwilling to negotiate, it can drive buyers away and leave potential deals on the table.