Selling a house can be a roller coaster ride for any homeowner, but, with the right preparation, it can be a very rewarding – and profitable - experience. This special report lists five common mistakes sellers often make. Avoid these pitfalls, and you'll be ahead of the game.
1. Rushing on the price. Take your time when you're setting the asking price of your home. This is a crucial step that shouldn't be rushed. It's a tricky thing, and pricing too high is just as dangerous as pricing too low. The average buyer often looks at more than a dozen homes before making a decision. That means buyers have the advantage of comparison shopping. If your house isn't reasonably priced, you may lose that perfect sale. Work with your agent to set the very best asking price.
2. Thinking first impressions don't matter. First impressions count in a big way! If a seller hasn't taken time to declutter and clean his house, he may lose the sale before a walk-through even begins. Buyers can't help but respond to your home emotionally. It the house is messy or there's a strange smell coming from behind a closed door, they'll likely make a quick exit and look for another home. It may take some elbow grease on your part, but any effort you invest into preparing your home will pay off in the long run. These quick and simple steps will help you spruce up in no time.
On the outside:
• Cut and edge your grass
• Remove any clutter from your yard
• Trim hedges
• Weed gardens
• Wash steps, windows, railings, doors, etc
• Paint if needed
• Remove unnecessary clutter from garages
And the inside:
• Keep the home clean
• Shampoo carpets
• Clean tubs, toilets and showers and hang fresh towels
• Oil squeaky doors
• Turn on inside and outside lights
• Have soft music playing
• Make sure the house smells good
• Keep pets in separate area
• Open shades and draperies
• Open all doors inside home.
When buyers preview your home, they're more comfortable and will spend more time when you're not around. This would be a good time to run those errands or walk the dog.
3. Keeping a low profile. It's a competitive market out there, and this isn't the time for you – or your real estate agent – to become a shrinking violet. You want someone who will shout your home's praises from the rooftops (figuratively, of course)! Make sure your agent takes full advantage of all the marketing tools he or she can.
The majority of homebuyers start their search on the Internet. Is your agent taking advantage of that technology? Does your agent have a website? Can potential buyers easily find your home listed in a search and find feature? Once they do, is it easy to contact your realtor for information? Does your realtor list enough detailed information about your home? Buyers are often impatient and won't take kindly to waiting for a realtor to call back with information. They want to access facts about your home quickly and easily – or they might move on.
4. Breezing through the contract. Don't make the mistake of taking the contract lightly. Protect yourself and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. It's important that all of the costs, terms and responsibilities are included. Have you disclosed everything about your home? Share all known defects with your buyer in writing. It will protect you if she later becomes dissatisfied.
5. Choosing the wrong realtor. This is the time for you, the seller, to shop around. You'll spend a lot of time with the real estate agent you choose, so make sure he or she is someone you enjoy being around and can trust. Ask lots of questions. Are your communication styles similar? Do your schedules mesh? Is there an easy way to contact the agent? Is he or she someone others have recommended? Does she know the local area and the housing market? What are the agent's marketing strategies? Take your time and find a realtor you enjoy and trust.