Homeowner’s who have experience with selling a home are very lucky. Home sellers that are selling a home for the first time have a huge learning curve ahead of them with many obstacles on the road to a achieving successful sale. Although many of the obstacles are common with first time sellers, some of these obstacles are not so obvious.
1. Properly Preparing the House for Sale
“Prepare your house for success,” is most likely the best advice for home sellers. Just as you wouldn’t expect to get top dollar for a car without cleaning the interior and detailing the exterior, the same goes for the sale of your home.
Nobody will buy a dirty house, so cleaning the house is the first step. The biggest incentive for you to drag out the cleaning supplies and put on the rubber gloves is clean houses sell quicker and for more money.
One of the biggest real estate companies recently did a survey that showed how a $402 investment in decluttering and cleaning a home realizes a 403 percent return on investment. That is a whopping $2,024 in your pocket at the closing table.
It is vitally important to get the cleaning, painting, repairs and staging done before the house goes on the market, no matter how impatient we are to move on to the next phase of our lives.
2. Not Pricing the Home Realistically
The time your home will get the most traffic is in the first few weeks that your house is in the local Multiple Listing Service database, which is known as the “honeymoon period.” This is the time when it will get the most traffic. All the traffic in the world, however, won’t compensate for a price that is too high. Buyers and their real estate agents are smart. They are well aware of current market values in the areas they are searching and will know that the home is overpriced. In the meantime, you’ve exhausted the honeymoon period. By the time you lower the price, agents and buyers will think there is something wrong with the house or that the seller is just not motivated.
3. Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Yes, you will pay a real estate fee when the home sells. The flip side to hiring an agent is going it alone. If this is your first time selling a home, that would be a huge mistake. First, unless you are a lawyer, how will you know how to protect your interests during the process? How will you understand the contracts and which ones to use when? Then, consider the negotiating process. Without an agent to advise you or to negotiate for you, you may make costly mistakes.
Finally, a 2008 Stanford University study showed that “the use of a broker increases the probability of a sale during the first month on the market by nearly 25 percent.” In other words, homes sold by owners remain on the market significantly longer than those sold by real estate agents.
4. Trying to Hide Problems
Full disclosure of everything you know about the property is not only the law, but it protects you as well.
Home sellers are legally required to disclose anything that affects the home’s desirability or value. This doesn’t mean just the big stuff, but neighborhood nuisances such as the weekly parties the college kids next door hold or the yappy dog that keeps you up at night. A buyer can sue you in a court of law when the defect is discovered if you didn’t disclose it, in writing. Remember, you are only required to disclose issues that you know about. There is no need to hire an inspector to learn if the house has defects you don’t know about. That is the buyer’s responsibility.
5. Being Inflexible
Buyers look at houses when it is convenient for them, not for you. Many look at homes after work or on weekends – busy times for most families. It’s important to try to accommodate showings, even if it’s inconvenient for you. You never know, these may be the buyers who fall in love with the home. It’s important to understand, and let your family understand, that, although the situation is uncomfortable, it’s only temporary.
If you’ve been thinking of selling your Greater Riverside Area home, now might be a good time to start the process. To get an idea of what your home might sell for in today’s market, check out this home value calculator, which takes into account recent home sales in your neighborhood.
With the right real estate agent you’ll avoid most of these mistakes, experience a smooth transaction, and soon be on the road to your new life.