Selling your home is a decision that is not made on the spur of the moment, therefore, listing and marketing your home should be well planned and well executed. Here are some costly mistakes that you don't want to make when selling your home.
- Listing your home before it's ready. Never put a half finished home on the market. If you are replacing flooring, painting, or in the middle of updating, finish it first! Don't rely on a buyer's imagination or vision to see the finished product. If you want to sell quickly at the best price then your home must be show ready, not half ready.
- Over improving your home. Improving your home is great, going over board is not. Keep in mind the market that you live in and update your home to fit the market around you. Spending more than market value may make a buyer say wow but they will not be willing to repay you for your $60,000 custom kitchen upgrade, especially if it's not their style. If you are the one house in the neighborhood that sticks out and is priced well above the rest, it may put you in a negative bargaining position and make the sale of your home difficult.
- Pricing your home based on what you want, need or think it's worth. This is by far the hardest challenge. Every seller has an idea of what their home is worth. There are emotional factors, loan balance is a consideration and, as always, the amount of time and money you have put in. I hear it all the time, "I just put on a new roof, installed new windows, new hot water heater," etc. All of these things are wonderful, but they are all things that a buyer expects a home to have. The fact that you have updated them gives a buyer a sense of ease but may not make them want to whip out their wallet and pay more. It's all about the numbers. What you paid for your home has no bearing on what the value is now. The fair market value is what a buyer is willing to pay. If your home is priced significantly higher than what has sold in the past 6 months, you may be pricing yourself out of the market and becoming prey to those looking for price adjustments. Stick to the facts, know your current market conditions and what the average sold price is for your area. Keep it realistic and you increase your chance for a quick sale and a better bottom line.
- Trying to "cover-up" or down play potential problems. If your heat pump has been acting funny, your air conditioner wasn't working, your screened in porch floods when it rains, DISCLOSE IT! Simply disclosing a potential issue will not ruin the sale of your home, hiding it will. Sometimes an up front home inspection performed by the seller is a good idea. The money you spend will give you peace of mind when the inspection period comes into play. It may also reveal something that you hadn't known so you can address it ahead of time. Bottom line, know your problems, if any, up front and tackle them head on. That way you won't be dealing with it longer than you have to.
- Knowing your payoff and any other liens. So many times I have been surprised by that "home equity line of credit". Yes, this is a lien! What's a lien? A loan or monetary amount that has been attached to your property and MUST be paid in order to transfer title to the new owner. That home equity line is a second mortgage. It will need to be paid off in order to sell. Construction liens, back taxes, litigation, all of these things need to be addressed up front. Not disclosing these to your agent will be counter-productive and delay or possibly ruin the sale of your home.
Now that you know what NOT to do, what you should do is choose an agent! For assistance with the sale of your home or for a FREE in home consultation CONTACT ME.