Selling a house comes with a range of emotions, logistical challenges, and unwanted expenses. Whether you are excited about the future or sad to be leaving a place you called home, putting your property on the market is an intense process. At Adair Homes, we have worked with thousands of families who have sold their old homes to move into new custom homes. Along the way we have seen some avoidable mistakes that can keep the process from going smoothly. We hope you can learn from these lessons as you embark on the journey to sell your home and build a new one.
1. Poor Pricing
Pricing a home to sell is a combination of science and art. So many factors go into the decision that it can feel overwhelming to inexperienced sellers. A few considerations of the many include:
- Condition of the home
- Comparable homes in the same area
- Market trends
Overpricing can lead to lowball offers that go nowhere, or future reductions that influence potential buyers’ perceptions of the home if it’s on the market too long. Remember, the longer a house is on the market, the more leverage the buyer feels they have, even if you’re not in a hurry to sell. On the other hand, underpricing can result in profit left on the table. Work with a qualified realtor to establish a price that feels right to you. If you’re not sure about their suggestions, get a second opinion before the listing goes live.
2. Poor Conditions
One of the unfortunate ironies many sellers experience is that it is only when they decide to sell that they make home improvements. While it might not be necessary to do major renovation work before selling, some basic (and often affordable) improvements can go a long way toward increasing curb appeal, making a strong first impression, and getting a better price. As you prepare your home for sale, consider investing the time and resources in:
- Removing clutter
- Making minor repairs
- Planting flowers and plants
- Cleaning carpets
If you have storage options, you might even consider removing and rearranging some furniture to make the house feel more open. Although these are only cosmetic improvements, they can make a major difference, so take the time to make the house look its best before taking photographs and hosting open houses.
Take your time and get it right the first time. Fix all those pesky little items that are bugging you. Often times sellers get in a hurry and just want to get their home on the market. Buyers are picky and will notice those little items you haven't taken care of. You only get one chance at a first impression! Don't rush it!
- Travis Fox, Realtor. www.travis-fox.com
3. Poor Presence
Speaking of open houses, don’t go to them. Yes, you should absolutely work with a realtor who shows the house as needed and hosts open houses to drum up interest. However, as tempting as it might be to talk to potential buyers about how great your home is, it’s generally not a good idea.
Having the owner present can make buyers feel uncomfortable about asking questions or sharing feedback because it feels so personal. Being in the room with the current occupants also makes them feel like they’re in your home, not what might eventually be their home. Selling a home is a business transaction, not a personal one. This is why your realtor is there to act as an intermediary—let them do their work and find a fun activity to distract yourself on open house days.
4. Poor Professionals
One key element to selling a home is working with a great realtor who has experience. Working with an inexperienced realtor—or worse, trying to sell your home without one—often results in lower pricing and less time on the market. Interview several agents to find the right mix of experience, past success, and personality. It’s important to have a strong sense of trust in this relationship, so if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. If you’re looking for a referral Adair has a large network of realtors we’ve worked with and are happy to provide some recommendations.
5. Poor Photography
Even the most gorgeous homes will not look appealing if they are poorly photographed. Invest in professional photos that will truly showcase your home with good lighting and the best angles. Yes, it will cost a little money, but it will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
These common mistakes can have a major impact on the price you ultimately get for your home. The good news is, they are largely avoidable with a little forethought and effort on your part. Selling a home takes time and energy, but it’s all worth it to move into a new custom home that fits your family’s lifestyle.