10 Big Mistakes Homeowners Make when Selling their Home

Selling a home can be a challenge for homeowners. Home buyers have so many options—and one of those options means they don’t have to buy what you’re selling. It might seem like your home is immersed in a crowd of “For Sale” signs. You can’t afford to be sloppy in your marketing efforts. Thankfully, you don’t have to be. Here’s a list of the top ten mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Skipping a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

If you’d like to save time and avoid some hassle, a pre-listing home inspection can be a huge help. It’s much easier to address issues with your home on your own time and budget instead of waiting to negotiate with a buyer to fix unforeseen problems.

Skipping the Pre-Sale Inspection Could Cost You

Failing to Schedule your Home Sale for Maximum Tax Benefits

One day can make a big difference and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes. It’s always best to talk to an accountant about the possibility of long-term capital gains tax breaks that might apply to your situation. An accountant can guide you on what date these advantages come into play.

Losing the Sale Over Something Silly

We’ve seen it before. Sellers get 99% of the way through the home sale only to sabotage the sale over a minor detail. Yes, people do back out of a profitable sale over situations like leaving a mantle over a fireplace. Don’t be “that seller.”

Unless it’s a precious family heirloom or one-of-a-kind appliance, you can probably find another one—but you might not get another buyer willing to make such an excellent offer. Taking the selling process in stride is important.

Getting Emotionally Invested in the Process

Yes, this is your house, and you’ve likely poured blood, sweat, and tears into your home to make it just right. However, all those unique decorative touches that make great conversation starters when you’re having a family gathering might not work in your favor when buyers come a-knockin’.

You need your home to look as neutral as possible so that buyers can envision themselves occupying the space. It’s hard to do that when those teal-colored walls clash with your potential buyer’s belongings. Take a step back and paint the walls a soft, neutral color. You’ll get a better selling price.

Taking Offense When Someone Makes a Lowball Offer

There’s no reason to walk off in a huff if someone comes in with a super low bid. This is the time to negotiate. The buyer’s objective is to purchase the house for the lowest possible price. It’s not personal. Selling a home is a business transaction. A low offer is not an insult, it’s a starting point.

Skimping on Addressing Necessary Home Repairs

While there might be only a handful of small repairs that you haven’t had time to get around to, buyers often notice these things. If they take note of several items that need attention during the walk through, they’re going to wonder what else you’ve overlooked. Things like clearing your gutters, patching holes in walls, and repairing jiggly doorknobs, will improve a buyer’s confidence in your home maintenance abilities. Don’t lose out on a decent offer over a few modest repairs.

Failing to Complete a Full Set of Disclosures

This is a huge no-no. Sellers risk paying through the nose for not revealing known issues with their homes before closing. It’s always best to be upfront with buyers. It can be incredibly costly if buyers end up uncovering a problem themselves. You can’t assume they won’t notice any issues; they will.

Always Disclose All Defects or Issues during a Sale

Not Taking Full Advantage of Home Marketing Options

No, sticking a for sale sign in your yard and snapping a single photo of your home won’t bring droves of buyers pouring through your door. You can’t expect to sell your home without availing yourself of those savvy home marketing plan your agent will put together for you. It takes more than a listing to bring in the best offer. Internet advertising, home staging, open houses, and more can help you get top dollar for your home. You can’t count on drive-bys and word-of-mouth to make things happen in an age where the majority of home buyers start their search online.

Going it Alone Without the Help of a Seasoned Professional

There’s a lot of money at stake when you’re selling your home, and there are so many disclosure laws in many states. You might be accepting a significant amount of liability by trying to market your home yourself. It’s far better to enlist the help of a seasoned professional who can guide you through the process. You’ll need someone who knows the local market, someone who can let you know which offer is solid and what offers to steer clear of.

Unrealistic Expectations of a Bigger, Better Offer

Yes, you know what you paid for your home, but you may not know what your local market will support. You may have made loads of improvements while you’ve lived there, but this might not justify the price you want to sell for. Pricing your home too high will discourage buyers from making offers. This could result in your property sitting unsold for months or years and could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Selling a home can be challenging, but with the help of a reliable realtor, you can reap the rewards of selling your home while dodging pitfalls that many homeowners encounter. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get the best possible price for your home.