Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
1. Pricing your home too high. Buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase today are looking. As a seller if you price too high, you will lose those buyers today. The most valuable day your home is on the market is day 1, it will decline after that. There is a difference between market value, automated value, appraised value, tax value. Understanding the difference between the 4 are important, price your home right the first time by understanding the differences below.
-Market Value: Typically the amount of money a buyer is willing to pay a seller. An experienced realtor should be able to provide a home owner with an estimated home selling value for free. It will be similar to an appraisers method of looking at comparable active / pending / sold listings.
-Automated value: Is the value a website will give you when you enter your address. The value comes from a mathematical equation the takes tons of public information (size of home, beds, baths...etc) and based on your homes public information will provide an estimated value.
-Appraised value: Is based on an un-biased third party appraiser comparing local real estate data. Usually it's a combination of active, pending, and sold properties. Then the appraiser adds or deducts for differences in comparable properties to give an appraised value.
-Tax Value: The value your local municipality established for their tax basis. Typically these values are updated on a regular basis and have less correlation with market value.
2. Not addressing condition / repair items. Buyers buy with their eyes. It will always costs a seller less to fix a problem or repair before putting their home on the market. Painting, lights, outlet covers, furnace service, etc... just to name a few are all items that will cost less if seller does up front. The more turn-key your home is, the higher price a buyer is willing to pay. Fix & repair those maintenance items you've been putting off.
3. Staging: This comes down to 2 points of decluttering & showcase a rooms purpose. Less is more, especially when there is purpose into the items you leave out.
-Declutter: Remove all personal photos & items as possbile. Buyer's will have an easier time imagining themselves in a space if they aren't looking at photos of your family. Start packing before you take marketing photos. Box everything up that is non-essential. Rent a storage unit if needed, use your garage to store things if needed.
-Showcase: Staging is as much removing items as it is showing what the room is used for. Curb appeal and Kitchens sell homes. What are you doing to showcase your curb appeal (potted plants, fresh sod, front porch seating...)? What about making your kitchen a warm & inviting heart of your home (nice place settings, inviting table/chairs...)? When it comes to other rooms in the home, what is the purpose? What about bedrooms, office, bonus rooms? Either declutter or showcase use is a good rule of thumb. It's there is a random bed in a bonus space does that speak to the next buyer?
4. Ego: Most of the time, a seller's first offer is the best offer. It's natural to have an attachment to the home your family grew up in, or spent a lot of quality time in, or that you improved with your bare hands. Yet when you've decided to sell your home it becomes a business transaction. Take your ego & emotion out of the negotiation to get significantly more money in your pocket at the closing table.
5. Selling Yourself vs Hiring a Realtor: What if saving thousands was actually costing you tens of thousands? Most seller's largest financial asset is their home. Do you actively manage your retirement portfolio, or have someone help you with that? Study after study have shown that selling your home yourself can actually end up costing you more money & time than if you hired a Realtor. The house prep, staging, photography, virtual tours, marketing, agent showings, negotiations, disclosures, inspections, appraisals, title & escrow...there are over 180 steps in a standard real estate transaction. And missing one piece of the process could cost you money. Get ready to invest time in the process of selling yourself or focus on what's most important to you and hire an experienced agent to negotiate & protect your largest financial asset.