Selling a home is hard work and is all about preparation, both of your home and of yourself . Before you open your front door to the, hopefully, eager hoards of potential buyers, review these all-too-often costly mistakes that sellers make so you can avoid them.
Home Sellers can either make too many, too few or the wrong repairs
There’s a balancing act in preparing your home for sale between doing the repairs necessary to make the sale, doing those that are cosmetic and investing in large renovations. A pre-sale inspection report will identify all the repairs that your home needs, and you can choose which ones to make so that it’s structurally sound and looks well-cared for. Cosmetic changes, such as a new paint job throughout and updated light fixtures, are not necessarily just “nice to haves” but do make a lasting impression on potential buyers. And you may need to invest in big-budget renos such as a kitchen upgrade to get the purchase price you’re after.
Mis-pricing the property
Asking too much money for your home is a frequent mistake and may put off potential buyers who just don’t have the budget. On the other hand, under-pricing your home will also lose you money, though it may lead to a bidding war. Work with your realtor to investigate how much other properties in the area have sold for but be careful to compare your home to others that have similar features. Be realistic about how much value any unique renovations and additions have made to your house – they often don’t add as much as you think.
Neglecting your Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is one of the key factors in whether people decide to buy a house. Will prospective buyers pull up to your home, take one look and rapidly drive away? Will they yawn but come in anyway, without much enthusiasm? Or will they jump out of their car and bounce excitedly through the front door, eager to see what else the property has to offer. Increasing your home’s curb appeal can be as simple as weeding the yard, adding a few new plants and washing the windows and siding. Perhaps a punch of colour on the front door to draw the eye or repainting any fences and gates. Increasing curb appeal can be done thoughtfully and creatively and not necessarily expensively.
Making it personal (and emotional)
Your home is not about you. Sure, you’ve enjoyed many years of great times there, but now that you’re moving on, your home is just a building, a piece of property to be sold for the best possible price. And selling your home is not personal – there’s no room for emotions. You need to detach yourself emotionally from the home and be objective: about the selling price and about negative comments that potential buyers may make. And you must remove yourself personally from your home. Clear out all your clutter and personal items before you start to show the property; your viewers should be able to imagine themselves in the space. And don’t be there, or have your kids and pets there, during viewings and especially during an open house. It’s awkward for everyone, makes the viewers leave quickly and you can miss a sale.
Selling a home is both an art and a science, and really hard work. Your realtor is your partner in this, so check out our article on the questions to ask your realtor when you’re selecting her or him.
How to Choose a Realtor