Updated: Feb 26
No matter where you’re at in the home selling process, educating yourself about one of the biggest transactions in your lifetime is important. Selling your home can be pretty stressful at times, so you want to do everything you can to prepare for a successful sale. Avoiding these 10 mistakes will save you a lot of time, stress, and more importantly, money.
Mistake 1: Listing with a Bad Agent
This is, by far, the biggest mistake you can make. The rest of the mistakes listed in this article are greatly influenced by the agent you work with, so it deserves to be number 1. A bad agent will kill your selling price, leaving less money in your pocket when it’s all said and done.
It’s easy to just call up the agent that helped you buy your home years ago, but selling is way different from buying. They may be a great buying agent but have a poor selling record. It’s easy to just work with your friend or family member that is an agent, but that’s a great way to ruin a relationship. Selling your home is a major financial transaction, so view this as a strict business affair and take the time to find an experienced, top agent who specializes in your local market. Learn how to choose a great agent.
Don’t make these mistakes when selling your home. Get help from an expert UpNest agent.
Mistake 2: Hiring a Family Member or Personal Friend
You might think that working with an agent personally close to you will be fun, but it’s generally not a good idea and there are a few main reasons why.
Your friend or family member may be lazier with you. Unconditional love and friendship is amazing, but that may actually cause them to underperform. When an agent is working with a typical client, there’s more pressure to impress. If the agent doesn’t impress their client, there won’t be any good online reviews or personal referrals from that client.
Imagine if things go really bad. Even the most experienced agents can make mistakes, and you should be able to express your frustrations and concerns with your agent. When it’s a personal friend, that can be really awkward. What would that do to your relationship? There are plenty of horror stories involving ruined relationships due to bad real estate transactions.
There’s a big difference between a hired professional telling you something you don’t want to hear over a close friend telling you something you don’t want to hear. If you think your home is worth more money than your agent, you won’t really take it personally if it comes from a hired professional.
Mistake 3: Not Interviewing Multiple Agents
With the internet and the widespread availability of information, most people put in a decent amount of effort and research before purchasing simple products. Yet, most people just work with the first agent they speak to, which is surprising considering that selling your home is one of the largest financial transactions you’ll ever make.
Learn about how to interview agents and don’t just interview one. Calling and visiting agents sounds like a lot of work. Lucky for you, you can submit basic details about your home to UpNest and receive proposals within 48 hours.
Mistake 4: Setting the Wrong Price for Your Home
You’re not in the wrong for wanting to make a lot of money off of your home, but you might be wrong about how much you think it should sell for. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but setting the price too high can cause your home to sit on the market for a long time, making it unattractive to buyers. Setting the price right is also highly dependent on choosing a knowledgeable Realtor.
By using this free home value estimator to find out the value of your home to help give a rough idea what you can price your home at. You’ll also want your agent to conduct a comparative market analysis.
Mistake 5: Selling “For Sale By Owner”
If it’s your first time selling, you might be turned off by all of the closing costs coming your way. Then you have a brilliant idea, “I’ll sell it myself, so I can save money!” Bad idea.
There is an overwhelming amount of data that proves hiring an agent is the best way to go. If you’re an expert marketer, know how to set the price right, feel like swimming in paperwork, have a ton of free time to show your house and field calls, and are a great negotiator, then you might have a chance of successfully selling by yourself. But I’m guessing all of those things don’t apply to you. Hire an agent and make more money.
Mistake 6: Remaining Emotionally Attached to Your Home
A house can mean to a lot to family emotionally. However, it’s time to let a new family take over your house when you’re selling. Do your best not to be offended by a hopeful buyer’s demands.
Keep a cool head and be willing to adjust in reasonable ways you might not want to in order to make the sale. Don’t ruin a selling opportunity because you refuse to leave a light fixture behind that the buyer really wants because you’re attached to it.
Mistake 7: Ignoring Problem Areas in Your Home
When gearing up to sell, the time to make repairs and quick fixes is yesterday. This is a major transaction for the buyer, so even the smallest problems with your home can throw up red flags. No grounded outlets in the kitchen? Fix it. Leaky faucet? Fix it. Huge hole in the wall from the time your kids were wrestling? You get it.
It’s pretty smart to even hire an inspector yourself before your home hits the market, so there are no surprises when potential buyers send an inspector of their own.
Mistake 8: Skimping on Marketing
92% of home buyers use the internet to help them in their search. The camera on your iPhone might be pretty good, but it’s minor league compared to professional photography.
When buyers are looking at hundreds of potential new homes on Zillow, you want your home to stand out. People are attracted to high-quality photos, videos, and descriptions. Consider hiring a professional home stager, or follow these home staging tips.
Mistake 9: Ignoring Your Home’s Appearance
You don’t have to drop thousands on redoing your landscaping, but ignoring eyesores won’t help you at all. Edge your lawn by the sidewalks, touch up the paint, throw in some new mulch, and go the extra mile with some nice flowers.
No home is perfect, but if there are too many eyesores they will add up and turn off buyers. Bring a trusted friend by your home and ask them to be critical – like a potential buyer – to help you notice eye sores.
Mistake 10: Not Depersonalising
This one is a mix of emotional attachment and home appearance but deserves its own point. Pack away the pictures of you and your spouse above the TV and the cute drawings from your kids on the fridge. You want potential buyers to visualize themselves in your space.
Mistake 11: Ignoring Your Financial Situation
Set up a meeting with your mortgage lender to discuss selling your home. You want to be clear on your remaining loan payoff and any other issues with paying off your mortgage early. Make sure you’re qualified for a loan for your next home, too!
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