Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home
By David Reibstein
Selling a home is difficult. Especially when you have lived in your home for many years and the emotional attachment is engrained. Your home is where your memories are made and accomplishments are celebrated. But these memories will travel with you to your new home. And you need to make sure that they do not stand in your way of selling your home for the most money in the shortest timeframe.
In order to achieve the goal of making a smooth transition to your next home – a smaller house, a retirement community or other senior lifestyle community – avoid the common pitfalls that some sellers face. Sellers don’t control the real estate market but certain actions will enhance or inhibit how long and how much your home is sold for. Avoid these common mistakes:
Pricing a Home Improperly: Incorrect pricing is the biggest factor impacting whether a seller is ultimately satisfied with the home sale. And pricing is where there is the most opportunity for help. Real estate agents see homes every day. They know what homes in your neighborhood are listed for and what homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for. If you disagree with their price assessment, feel free to get a second or third opinion so you can increase your comfort with the state of the market. And then price your home so that you will get at least its current market value.
Not Interviewing Agents: Just like any other professional – from your financial advisor to your doctor to your accountant – taking the time to interview more than one is important. Choosing the wrong agent slows down the process of selling and increases your frustration level. There must be a good connection, understanding and open communication between you and your agent.
Underestimating the Need to Clean: When you are selling a car the first thing that you do is get it detailed. Selling your home is no different. How you show your home tells the buyer what type of care you, the seller, have put into your home. Cleanliness portrays the welcoming environment you want to provide to your buyer. If you don’t take the time to wipe away the grime that may have built up on your windows, tidy up the office or put the food and medicine away, then you’ll likely find that buyers will quickly move on to the next home on their list.
Lingering at Showings: While we all want to know how the open house or showing appointment went, hanging around during the event is not a good practice. Sellers who stick around during the showing often make the buyer feel uncomfortable. Buyers want to explore the home at their own pace and without any pressure from the seller. Sometimes the buyer will want to hang out in the living room and discuss the home’s possibilities. They are not going to do that if the seller is there, aware of their every move. Instead, go for a walk or relax at the coffee shop. As soon as the showing is over, your agent will let you know the buyer’s interest level.