Mistakes to Avoid When Diving into Today’s Market

Trista - March 10, 2020

Selling your place can be the most exciting job that you have taken in your hands. It can also be the most stressful. A residence is most likely the most expensive asset you will buy and also the most valuable asset that you will sell. If anything goes wrong with the same, it is going to be a significant financial setback for you and your family.

There are many reasons for selling a house. You may have decided to move into a bigger home, you may have experienced a financial setback, or you may have decided to spend the rest of your life traveling the globe and no longer need a home base. If you do not approach the sale of your home correctly, there may be repercussions. You may not get the price that you want, you may have to wait for weeks or months before the deal is closed, you may face legal issues, and you may lose the enthusiasm that you started with. To help you make the decision better and to help you avoid any mistakes along the way, here is a list of a few common mistakes to avoid while selling your home.

You’ll need a lot of soul-searching (and market-watching) to determine the right time to sell your house. Shutterstock.

Making an Early Decision

Moving into a house is easy, but making it a home is not. The place you stay in has so many attachments and so many comforts. The elements of the house are familiar, and the frequency of the location matches yours. To move out of a place is a huge decision to make, and before you make this decision, you should be really sure about it. Selling a house too early can be emotionally and financially taxing. So, before putting that “For Sale” sign on your home, be absolutely sure about it.

Consider the pros and cons of moving out of your home and into another house. Talk to your friends and family. Speak to your neighbors. Many times the decision and hassle may be entirely avoided, and you can find alternatives to selling your home. In that case, you can avoid all the trouble that lies ahead. If you are entirely sure that you would like to move out of your home and that you want to sell it, then keep reading. These points will help you make the best decision for selling your home.

Your front yard is the first impression most people will get, so make it look nice. Shutterstock.

Forgetting about Your Yard

Once you have your home ready to sell, don’t forget about your yard. Your front yard is essential to the look and style of your home. If potential buyers stop by for a tour, a messy, dirty yard can immediately turn them off and cause them to think twice about making an offer on your home. If your yard is messy, prospective buyers will believe that the inside of the house is disorganized as well.

It can lead to them having negative thoughts about the shape of the home. Has it been maintained? When was the last time it was inspected? Could there be mold in the walls? There are countless ways that having a messy front yard can hurt your chances of selling your home.

Make your front yard as neat as possible to make your home look more attractive. Shutterstock.

Keeping Yard Clutter

It can be helpful to have some decorations in your yard. A pretty wind chime or cute lawn ornament can add charm to your home and make it more visually appealing to prospective buyers. But having too much stuff in front of your home is a bad idea.

Homebuyers won’t like seeing a lawn covered in toys or a porch filled with patio furniture. Bikes, lawnmowers, and other large items take up a lot of space and make your home look unattractive. It also lets buyers think there isn’t enough storage space in the home, which can be problematic.

Get rid of dead shrubs, since new owners won’t want to do it themselves. Shutterstock.

Leaving Dead Plants

Another issue with a home’s front yard is dead plants. A well-maintained garden can add vibrant color to a home’s landscape and really attract buyers. But if a buyer sees a yard that’s overgrown with dead plants, it can drive them away.

Dead shrubs, crushed leaves, and unpruned trees don’t look good, and they can also be dangerous. You don’t want a prospective home buyer to be taking a tour of your home and trip over a tree root or be hit by a falling branch. Take the time to have your yard cleaned up before listing your home for sale.

Get rid of dead shrubs, since new owners won’t want to do it themselves. Shutterstock.

Ignoring the Trash Cans

It should seem like common sense, but leaving trash cans outside your home is not a good idea when trying to make a sale. Trash cans look gross and give off a nasty smell. They can also attract unwanted pests like flies, raccoons, and rats.

When your realtor brings prospective buyers to your home for a tour, store your trash cans in the garage or the backyard. As long as trash cans are out of sight, your home will be more appealing to buyers. You can also consider building an area in your backyard that can hide the trash cans. This addition could also be appealing to buyers.

It doesn’t hurt to power-wash your driveway for that sparkling clean look. Shutterstock.

Having Dirty Surfaces

Aside from clutter in your front yard, you also need to take care of dirt and grime. Lawn furniture and home siding can accumulate dirt quickly. Because of the elements outdoors, soil tends to really stick to these objects, so it takes a lot of effort to get rid of it.

Consider hiring a power washing company to do a thorough job cleaning dirt and grime in your front yard. Get your lawn furniture, sidewalks, driveway, and home exterior power washed. This will give your home more curb appeal and let prospective home buyers know that they’re looking at a property that is well taken care of.

It’s best to get an assessment to determine an accurate price range for your home. Shutterstock.

Pricing Your Home

One of the biggest blunders people do is pricing their homes according to the profit they want to make on their assets. They consider the cost of the house when they first bought it along with the expenses they have incurred so far for the betterment of the house. But these factors are not to be considered when you settle on a price for your home. The buyer does not care about the cost you incurred to make the house yours. They would instead prefer to make additional changes to suit their tastes. So, before you put that price tag, do your research.

Check with an expert, take suggestions from friends who have recently bought or sold homes, and do extensive research. Price your home near the current market value. Do not overprice your home because that will be disastrous in attracting buyers and also do not price it much beneath the amount as you would miss out on making a substantial profit. If you set the correct price from the beginning, it can help you save a lot of time on negotiations and re-offers, hence helping you sell the house faster. Aim to create a win-win situation for both the buyer and yourself while setting a price tag.

Give the entire house a good scrub to make it look its best. Shutterstock.

Not Presenting the House

When you go for an interview, you create an appearance that best suits you to get the job. Similarly, when you sell something, you need to present the best version of it. No matter how many times you convince yourself that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, appearance does matter. If you invite a buyer to have a look at the house, make sure the home is free of clutter. Having clothes on bed or chair, tables full of papers and books, dirty kitchen slabs, and dusty curtains are not going to work in your favor.

Clean your house and make it clutter-free before you invite in any buyers. Make sure things are placed where they are supposed to be, keep the bed and the sofas neat, arrange the cushions, clear off the kitchen counters, dust the curtains, shelve books, and file papers. Eliminate any off-putting odor in the house. Make sure that the house is well lit and looks presentable. Take care of your home as if it already belongs to the buyer, and they have kept it in your security.

For Sale By Owner is quickly becoming a popular way of selling your home. Shutterstock.

Doing It All by Yourself

The biggest mistake that you can make is thinking you know it all and that you can take care of it alone. You may be an expert salesperson, but before selling a home, you need to seek consultation from a real estate expert. You may be an excellent researcher, but expert opinion cannot beat your research. No matter how much time you spend researching and polishing your skills, a professional has definitely spent more time on it and has more experience and knowledge about selling your home.

To get the best deal, it is only advisable to hire a professional who understands the market and your needs. An agent will give you a fair idea about the market value of the house and help you put the correct price tag. They have better negotiating skills when it comes to buying and selling a home as they have had years of experience in the field. They would save an ample amount of time for you to find potential buyers and deal with them. Also, if a problem arises during the process, you will have someone professional to help deal with it.

Detach yourself from the situation of selling your home. Shutterstock.

Getting Emotionally Involved

Once you decide to sell your house, it is better to stay away from emotions that may attach you to the place. Being emotionally involved while selling a home makes it tough for both you and the buyer. While looking around the house, the buyer does not want to hear your emotional memories attached to the place; they would instead imagine their future in the house. Give the buyers that space to consider the house as their dream home. So make sure you state the facts related to the house and skip the stories.

Once you decide to sell your house, start looking at it objectively. Look at it from the point of view of a property agent and a prospective buyer. Look at this project as a purely financial transaction. Think of the time you went out to get a house for yourself and recreate the situation for your buyer. You are not just selling a home but a dream to someone. Make changes in the appearance if necessary. This will also distance you from the place as it would look a bit different from your familiar surroundings.

Don’t hide things from new owners, or else they’re not going to be very happy. Shutterstock.

Hiding the Facts About the House

Everything is eventually going to reveal itself when the buyer visits the house or asks for a house inspection. So, avoid hiding facts about the house from the agent and the buyer. If there are troubles with the house, either repair them beforehand or inform the buyer about them and price the house to accommodate the cost of repairs. Do not hide any back-story related to the home or the neighborhood in which it is situated. Also, it is best if you can fix the problem before you put the house under contract because many buyers may not be able to have time for repairs and would like to move in as soon as they get the keys.

A smart buyer is for sure going to do their research about everything before making such a considerable investment into your house, and whatever you try to hide will be revealed eventually. Because of this, making any necessary adjustments beforehand is always advisable. Hiding facts would decrease your credibility in the market and make it tougher for you to sell that home.

Moving can be expensive, so be sure you’re financially ready for it. Shutterstock.

Not Considering the Cost of Moving

When you consider selling a house, you also have to keep in mind that you are going to need another home, too, unless you decide to travel the world with a backpack. Finding a property to move to is a cost in itself. Other than that, the cost of moving also adds to your expenses. The packaging and transportation costs, the cost of setting up a new home, the time required to do it all, settling in a new neighborhood, and even physical and emotional exertion can be very taxing.

Also, if you are not moving directly into your next home, there have to be arrangements made for a temporary home and even renting a storage unit to keep your extra stuff safe. In such cases, you will have to incur higher costs to move. All of these factors must be put into consideration before you decide to sell your home. In case you plan to travel, you would also have to rent a storage unit or sell your properties, and that would also be another project to tackle.

There are associated costs with selling your home too, so factor that into your budget. Shutterstock.

Or the Cost of Selling

While selling a house, most of the time, we consider the income we are going to make while ignoring what expenses we need to incur to sell the house. The first is the expense of repairing the home and making it presentable. Though you are no longer going to live in this place, there are certain repairs that you will need to make to sell your home. Another expense that we forget about is taxation. Unfortunately, the entire sale of the house will not go right into your pocket. You have to pay taxes on selling the property too.

There will also be attorney fees and legal paperwork costs that the seller will have to incur. Keep in mind that hiring a real estate agent also comes with a price. To find an agent who fits the purpose best is essential. At the same time, the budget for expenses should be kept in mind. The brokers may charge anywhere between 5% to 7% of the total sale amount. So don’t be surprised when you find out that a list of expenses is ready for you to take care of as soon as you sell your home.

It might pay to hire a professional to take good photos of your home. Shutterstock.

Skipping Professional Photographs for Advertisements

Most people nowadays try to find everything on the internet first. A person who is looking for a house will be more attracted to your property if they can find good photographs of the place. The first impression is the last impression. If you do not have an attractive picture of your home along with the listing, you may end up losing a whole bunch of potential buyers before they come into your sight. Do not skip putting pictures or put too few pictures. Also, make sure that the quality of the photographs is good.

Hire a photographer to take good pictures of your home. Before you click the images, make sure your home is well-lit and also free of clutter. The better the visuals, the more attracted your buyers will be. Also, add up pictures of the locality with the listing. Keep in mind that the images should resemble what you are going to show them during their visits. Hence do not put on old photographs or make significant changes from what you have clicked. Show what you intend to sell.

You should never expect the quoted amount for your home, as people are always going to negotiate a lower price. Shutterstock.

Expecting the Quoted Amount

You may believe strongly that the price you have quoted is the best price, and that is the least that you should get on selling your home. But from the point of view of the buyer or the real estate agent, that may not be true. No matter how lenient you have been on setting the price, the buyer is going to negotiate with you for a lower price. You have to show some flexibility and be prepared for negotiations with the buyer. It does not mean that you can settle at a low price just because you want to make a sale. Try to keep an open mind about it.

If someone offers you a low price, don’t just avoid them. A smart buyer would always negotiate and try to get the best deal for themselves, but that doesn’t mean they do not value your house. Not responding to the offer is the biggest mistake you make. You should respond to every offer you get. Be ready to negotiate and give them a price you deem acceptable. The buyer would be taking his chances to turn you down, and you have to be firm about what you can sell it for. This way, you can create a win-win situation for both parties.

Sometimes going with your gut is better, since you know your home better than anyone else. Shutterstock.

Not Trusting Your Instinct

Hiring someone to sell your house is a good move, but always remember that you know the best about your home. You know the pros and cons of the house you live in, and you understand what the person living in the house would be experiencing. No matter how well a realtor knows the market, you know your home the best. When it comes to making personal decisions about your home, you should always trust your instincts and not only the market opinion.

You can take suggestions from innumerable people, and that is okay, but decide based on your instincts. Your agent can price your home based on the current value and market conditions, but this does not mean that you don’t have a say in the deal. In case your agent does not match your styles and preference, it is better to hire someone else who would understand your needs better and lets you make the deal in a way that is comfortable for you. Make sure their professional opinions don’t take up your own space and needs.

Going with the highest bid can be a mistake, as you could end up spending more money in the process. Shutterstock.

Considering Only the Highest Bidding Offer

When it comes to financing, it is not always the highest amount that should be preferred. When you are selling something, you should take into consideration all the contingencies and the value of time and money. It is essential to be aware of all the things that may delay the sales procedure and leave you hanging in the middle where you cannot move forward or take a step back from the deal. You should understand the different components of the offer that has been made to you.

If the buyer paying you is dependent on the passing of a loan or selling off their asset, such a point should be taken into consideration before signing a deal. How prompt the buyer makes the payment is also essential. If the buyer gets into an agreement of making the payment in parts along an extended period, then the value of money should be taken into consideration, accounting for inflation rates and interests. Thus, the highest bid is not always the best deal for you. Sometimes, a lower bid can be a better choice.

Making your house stand out is one thing, but don’t make it a spectacle of the neighborhood. Shutterstock.

Not Matching the Home to its Neighborhood

This is something that you should consider from the time when you are building or renovating your home. Your neighborhood is an essential factor in selling your home. When you choose to upgrade the look of your home, but the house you maintained does not match the status of your location, it would be tougher to sell your home. No one would like to buy an expensive home in a not so posh neighborhood.

When you build your home, try not to over-invest in it. Consider the other homes in your area. If the buyer is going to invest in an expensive home, they would also consider the neighborhood they are going to live in. The living standards of the home must match the living standard of the community to avoid any uncomfortable situations. Thus, while building your home, you must keep in mind this point to be able to sell it later. Unmatched homes and neighborhoods will create trouble in selling your home.

If the housing market is low, it’s not the best time to sell your home. Shutterstock.

Not Taking into Consideration the Market Conditions

The overall global economy and the economic condition of your country is a huge factor impacting the sale of your home. If the economy is down and there is a lack of money in the market, the possibility for you to sell your house in the best deal would be very low. Before putting up your home for sale, you should do extensive research about the market conditions. Check out the loan rates available for buyers, the taxation rules, the disposable income in the hands of the buyer, the housing schemes, and the current real estate prices.

You may be selling out of necessity, but if you are not, then listing your house for sale in a lousy market is the worst decision you can make. Wait for the economy to rise before you sell your home to get the best prices for your house. If the buyers have higher disposable income, you may get prompt payment, and that would be beneficial considering lower risks. Take into account all these points before you put up your home for sale.

Don’t be a third wheel when the agent is showing the house; go somewhere else for the day. Shutterstock.

Lingering Around

You love your house and know it the best. We all agree on that, but lingering around when the buyer is visiting and pointing out the features and positives of the house at every point can be harmful to your sale. The buyer needs their space, so instead of showing around the house yourself, let your agent do the job. Leave the premises while showing your home or stay in one location and let the buyer take a tour on their own.

The buyer needs to have their way to connect to be a place that will soon be their home. Your connections and interpretations of the house are not going to help them connect to the house. Let them feel free enough to build their own relationships with the home. Stop hovering over them and let them have their space.

Be prepared to show your home at inopportune times. Shutterstock.

Accommodating Your Buyers

When you are ready to sell your house, you also need to prepare yourself to have unwanted visitors at unwanted times. There may be times when you are uncomfortable for visitors to come, but you have to be open to show around at the buyer’s convenience. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while selling your home is to restrict the time for showing the house. Yes, there may be certain times when you have to forgo a family dinner or a leisure time to accommodate your buyers. But the time you give to show your house to potential buyers will provide you with good returns.

And every time you have visitors, you also need to make sure your house is clean and presentable. The buyers don’t care if some time ago, the place was clean. What they see now is going to create an impression of the house in their minds. So every time you have a visitor, tidy up your house and make it presentable for your buyers. The first impression is always essential. If you make your home comfortable and welcoming, then the buyers will also see it that way and imagine themselves moving in and enjoying the welcoming ambiance of the house.

Getting a real estate agent to show your home takes some of the stress out of your hands. Shutterstock.

Selling Through or to a Known Person

It may be convenient to sell through a friend or relative who works as a real estate agent and also suitable to sell to a buyer who is known to you, but it may not be the best route to take. When you do this, your relationships may hamper your professional deals. You may not be able to negotiate well with a friend and would instead settle for an unacceptable selling price considering your relationships. All these factors will eventually harm the initial plan you may have made. However, this would entirely depend on the kind of relationship you have with the friend or relative you are dealing with.

Also, if you deal with an agent who is a friend or a relative, you may not be able to clearly and professionally set your requirements. They would probably convince you of everything that seems right to them based on their experience and how well they think of you. If you are hiring someone you know or selling your home to someone you know, make sure you can draw a clear line between your personal and professional relationships before you get into the details of the contract.

Be careful with getting a mortgage for your new home, especially if you haven’t finished paying off the previous one on your old house. Shutterstock.

Having High Uncleared Mortgage

If the mortgage on your property is not cleared and you decide to sell it, a portion of the sale proceeds will go toward paying your mortgage. Otherwise, if you buy another house, you may end up with two mortgages to be repaid. But in a scenario where the mortgage is higher than your sale proceedings, or when the value of your property has gone down, it is not advisable to sell the property. This is termed as an upside-down mortgage or negative equity. Get a clear picture of the mortgage situation and all the factors involving repayments before you arrive at any conclusion.

If you have an upside-down mortgage, it is better to hold on to the house for a bit longer. Selling your home in such a scenario would lead to losses. If you can break even, it is better than negative equity but still not good enough for you to move ahead. If you are not facing an emergency or bankruptcy, it is better not to sell your home right now. You should wait until the value of real estate goes up.

Making your home look better than new can get expensive. Shutterstock.

Doing Expensive Renovations

Making expensive renovations to the place is going to cost you more than you can procure for it while you sell your home. Before you consider making any pre-sale improvements, do make sure you understand the return on your investments. The ease of frugal living has set in, and the buyers would not like to have something expensive just because it’s stylish since they would already feel they are paying for it in the cost of the house.

Interior designing is significant, but try not to go overboard with making changes. Choose budget-friendly options and leave space for buyers to make a few choices of their own. If you go overboard with your designs, the buyer would not be left with many options to customize the house as their own. Before making any renovations consider taking opinions from your estate agent about the return on your investment and the current requirements of the market.

Once you’re ready to sell, remove all your personal belongings from the walls to make it easier to stay detached. Shutterstock.

Ignoring De-Personalization

So you have finally decided that you want to sell your home and you have gone through all the things you should and should not do. You have a tidy house and an excellent real estate agent, you have priced your home correctly, and also you have the advertisements right. Still, there is something that the buyer cannot connect to your home. That is your connection to the home. Look around to see how personalized your home is — all those photographs and memories in plain sight that connects you to the house.

As soon as you decide to sell your home, it is vital to de-personalize it. Remove all those photographs from the walls and tables. Remove your personalized cushions or mugs or the other showpieces. Keep in sight only generic decorations that do not connect the house specifically to you. The buyer then would have a space to connect to the house. It may not sound like such a significant impact, but there is a robust subconscious impact on the buyers.

Selling your home isn’t easy and requires a lot of patience and backbone. Shutterstock.

The Bottom Line For Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a crucial decision to make, and it will have a massive impact on you financially as well as emotionally. There are many mistakes that you could be making while selling your home, and this could have both emotional and financial repercussions. You may not be able to go back and rectify them, leading to them impacting your future plans. To do it right, make sure you avoid the mistakes that have been listed above and follow our suggestions.

Do not make emotional decisions regarding selling your home. Selling your home should be a purely financial and business decision. No matter how many opinions you take and how experienced the experts are, the final decision of selling your home, the price you sell it for, the person you sell it to, and the way you sell it should be a decision made by you entirely.