Selling your home is a complicated process. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of details involved, but the experience can be very manageable when broken down into its component parts and plotted out into steps. The following is a list of common pitfalls encountered during the home-selling process. Use these as a guide to help your journey remain a smooth one.
1. Faulty Pricing
It is essential you determine the asking price of your home based on its market value. Too many times home-sellers let emotions or needs influence their asking price, drawing from numbers based on the price paid for the house, or the amount of money they’ve invested. Ironically, over-pricing your home actually increases the chances that your home will sell for less than it is worth.
2. Neglecting to showcase your home
Take the time to ensure you’re offering the best possible first impression of your home to buyers. A few improvements done to your home before placing it on the market can increase the chances of selling quickly, and for more money. When buyers spot an area of your home in need of repair, they consider this perceived cost when deciding upon an offer price.
3. Choosing the wrong realtor
Many sellers choose the realtor who tells them the highest asking price. This should never be the sole basis on which you choose a realtor—you must have confidence in the full spectrum of your realtor’s experience and abilities. Keep the following questions in mind: can this agent explain to you all aspects of the selling process? Does s/he have a good grasp of the market? Does s/he have access to a large pool of buyers and a marketing plan to attract them?
4. Trying to “Hard Sell” During Showing
Buying a home can be an emotional and stressful decision, and potential homebuyers don’t want to feel pressured when viewing a home. So, let your home speak for itself. Allow potential homebuyers to comfortably view the house and property. Good realtors let buyers discover the house for themselves, only pointing out features they’re sure will be of interest, and being receptive to any questions the buyers might have.
5. Mistaking “Lookers” for “Buyers”
An experienced realtor is trained to separate the “Lookers” from the “Buyers.” Realtors should usually establish a potential buyer’s savings, credit rating, and purchasing power. If your realtor hasn’t looked into a buyer’s financial background, you should take the time to investigate.
6. Limiting the marketing and advertising of the property
A good realtor will ensure that your property is showcased and marketed in the best, most effective manner possible, employing a wide spectrum of marketing techniques. He or she should be committed to selling your property, making the effort to distinguish your home from the hundreds of other homes on the market. Lack of realtor availability, limited viewing times, not allowing a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn, can all affect the exposure your home gets to the pool of potential buyers, and will ultimately affect your bottom line.
7. Being unaware of your rights and responsibilities
It is essential that you are thoroughly aware of the details involved in your real estate contract. These contracts are often complex—but no matter how confusing and convoluted the language, the contract is legally binding. As you soon as you sign your name, you are responsible for all of its contents. Have an experienced realtor explain the contract to you, or get your lawyer to review it, before you accept.
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