A 2014 National Assn of Realtors (NAR) survey found 83% of people see their home as a good financial investment. The average seller lives in their home for 10 years, according to NAR. And, most people consider their home the biggest single investment they own.
It is also filled with memories, so when it comes time to sell the property, people can let emotions get in the way. Yet, if people actually want to get a return on their investment in their home, they need to be smart about how they approach selling it. Letting emotions, not logic, drive decisions means you're more likely to make mistakes.
You can increase your chances of a successful real estate transaction if you avoid these five mistakes when selling your home.
1. Be realistic about your home's value
What you think your home is worth, and the price you can actually sell it for, is often two very different numbers. Sellers need to be careful not to get too greedy when picking a listing price. Properties that are overpriced tend to eventually sell at a lower price than they would have if they had been appropriately priced from the start. Choose a reasonable listing price based on homes sold that are similar to yours. If you're not getting many showings, or no offers, adjust your strategy. The market is telling you the price is too high. Want an Estimate of Your Home's Value --- CLICK HERE.
2. Not taking the time to make your home look its best
At a minimum, homeowners should do a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. You want to make sure the buyers can imagine their furniture in the room. Make sure the home is well-lit and fix any outstanding issues. We have all watched enough HGTV shows to know that good staging and curb appeal help to sell homes. Keeping rooms tidy with a little inexpensive staging touches like a bowl of fruit, cut flowers, candles or rolled towels in the bath can go a long way to help give a pleasant feel to the buyers. 3. Refusing to negotiate and turn off qualified buyers
You should start by setting a fair and reasonable price for your home, but you also need to build in some wiggle room. Quite a few buyers today need help paying closing costs to purchase. Helping buyers pay some closing costs is a win/win, especially if you want to sell quickly.
Just like you need some wiggle room, so do buyers. Buyers don't normally offer the best they are willing to pay on the first offer. They expect most times for you to counteroffer. Expect this and don’t take it personally. Negotiation is all part of selling. Don't be offended if you get a lowball offer. It's your house and you are in charge of accepting or rejecting their offer. Some buyers who think they can snag a deal at your expense. Holding your ground and answer as you would any other offer will let them know you will not play their game.
4. Hiding the truth about your home comes back to haunt you
Sellers who want to be rid of their property quickly may be tempted to try to hide problems with the home from prospective buyers. Trying to cover up serious flaws, like foundation problems, leaky roofs, or mold, could come back to haunt you later. If you aren't up front about your home's issues, the buyer may well discover them during the home inspection. If the issues are serious and are discovered after the sale goes through, you could end up caught in a messy, protracted legal battle. Full disclosure is the best way to avoid a lawsuit.
5. Always have a backup plan
If all goes perfectly, you're able to smoothly navigate the transition between selling your current home and buying your new one. In reality, sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. Savvy sellers have contingency plans in place to avoid either getting stuck with two mortgages at once or not having a place to live, or to protect them if a sale falls through.
You may also want to be prepared to find temporary housing, like a rental or staying with family, in case your home sells quickly. If you must move before your home sells, make sure you've budgeted to afford the carrying costs of the old home. Finally, if there are multiple people interested in your home, you may be able to accept backup offers, which involve agreeing to sell to a second buyer if the first one backs out.
Hope this helps.
Kathy McKinney, Realtor
Platinum First Realty, 708 Main St, Harleysville, PA 19438
Office 267-647-6800 ext 412
Author:Kathleen McKinney Phone: 215-500-3424 Dated: June 1st 2015 Views: 184 About Kathleen: My experience level is at your disposal ! My background in mortgages and rock solid understanding of...
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