9 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling a House

So you’re thinking of selling your home.  Your dreading it because your co-worker told you what a horrible experience they had when they recently sold theirs and you don’t want to go thru the same thing.  You’ve looked online and read all of the information on the dos and don’t but . . .

Get the value of your home in todays market.

These are 9 mistakes that I have seen made many times.  To get TOP Dollar for your home you want to AVOID them.

  1. Not Prepared - Selling a home is not easy and it’s not fun.  Its hard work.  Be prepared to get your home into great condition.  Prepare the family to keep it clean and tidy.  Be ready for buyers to walk thru.  Start looking for your next home so you are prepared to move when you get that offer.   Have the mindset that for a while complete strangers will be walking thru your home and that’s a good thing.
  2. Personal Belongings - A potential buyer can’t picture what their things will look like in the house if all they see are yours.  It may be difficult to pack some personal items away, but it will go a long way towards getting your home sold in your timeframe.  Remember you’re moving too, so think of it as getting a head start on your own packing.  It will send a strong signal to the buyer that you’re ready to go and that this will be an easy transaction.
  3. Pet Odor – You live there, you’re used to the smell of your pet.  But when anyone walks in the first thing they hits them is the smell of the home.  Ever why some REALTORS® bake cookies? Ask a friend their opinion and listen to them.  Get the carpets cleaned or replaced if needed.  Clean the animals’ area and put their food up.   Ideally the potential buyer won’t even know you have a pet.
  4. Poor Curb Appeal – the first thing any potential buyer does is sit in the car and look at the home.  Your home really does have only one chance to make a great first impression so take some time to look at it from the curb.  Do the hedges need trimming?  Maybe a little color by the front door?  When the buyer pulls up you want to WOW them. 
  5. House Not Clean – The best thing to do is have the house professionally cleaned.  If that is not possible then really, really do a deep cleaning of everything.  I am always amazed when working with a buyer the things that they look at; baseboards, window tracks, top of fans.  A clean home feels good walking thru it.  A dirty home can cause their thoughts to start down a slippery slope of negative thinking/feeling.
  6. Dirty windows – nothing will make your home sparkle like clean windows.  Again, professionally cleaned is the best.  They will clean the tracks, the screens and leave the buyer thinking they are brand new windows.  If you do it yourself make sure you do the tracks and screens and use a mild cleaner that won’t leave streaks.
  7. Showing Availability – you must realize that no one will buy your home if they can’t see it.  Especially in the first couple of weeks make every effort to allow it to be shown as much as possible.  You may want to take a vacation, or plan on some dinners out.  Sometimes an agent may be driving a client to another home and happen to see your sign, they can look it up on their phone and if they call try to let them show it.  If you pass you may never have another opportunity with that buyer, they may buy the very next home they see without ever looking at yours. 
  8. Over Priced – Your home should be priced at or slightly below market value to draw the most interested buyers.  Buyers have likely been looking at homes in your area for months before they actually started looking at homes so they know if your home is overpriced.  You may think you’re “leaving room to come down” but they are on to a home down the street that is priced correctly and may never look at yours.  Buyers are looking for a fair deal and don’t want to haggle as much as you think they do.  Besides it is always better to have multiple offers!
  9. Not Hiring A Professional – Hiring a professional who gets paid after a successful sale just makes sense.  It’s the same reason you hire an attorney.  They know how to market the home and get it on ALL of the best websites so that as many potential buyers as possible will see it.  They can advise and guide you on all of the above suggestions and can provide a complete list of service providers to help.  The whole process will be easier, quicker and will likely put more money in your pocket.  Which is really what you want, isn’t it?