The old adage says "what you don't know won't hurt you". The fact is what you don't know will cost you a lot of wasted time, money, and possibly even a home sale altogether. Home selling in Johnston County is a process that requires the seller to understand several factors that range from timing to pricing to market analysis and everything in between. Here are the top ten mistakes you could make as a seller that may have your home going nowhere fast:
1. Choosing the Wrong Realtor
First things first, do not go it alone when it comes to selling your property and be sure to choose the right agent. Don't simply bring on the first agent you see. Research them thoroughly including seeking out testimonials from previous and current clients of theirs. The wrong agent can make the process stressful and cost you thousands of dollars. The right one can make your home sell quickly and with little worry (and often for more money).
2. Too Fast. Too Much. Too Soon.
Fools rush in. We've all heard it before. This sage is actually extremely accurate. The worst decisions are usually made when we are in a hurry to reach a goal. This is not the time to apply pressure to get the home sold by Thursday of next week. An unrealistic goal will only create more frustration on your end and, in your frustration, you may even entertain accepting less money for your property. It can also scare off a buyer. It gives the assumption that something is wrong with the home and you're trying to ditch it.
3. Overpricing The Property
One of the best things a home seller can do is to research the market they're in to determine comparable home values. If the other homes that are similar in size and amenity to yours are selling for thousands less, why would a buyer consider yours? The answer is: they won't. Even if you have an improvement or two that the others are lacking, by scaring off the buyer with a price that they can't justify they'll never meet you to find out. Be smart about the numbers.
4. Totally Ignoring Curb Appeal
Your property could be the most lavish and appointed in the area, but, if the outside of it looks like a cardboard box then to home buyers it's just that: a cardboard box. The curb appeal of your home needs to be clean and well-kept so that it invites the buyer in to eventually discover all the greatness that awaits them. Give the home a chance to sell by making sure she's wearing the right dress. Home selling is a beauty contest first and foremost.
5. Banning Home Viewings
Open your doors to your home buyers. No smart buyer purchases a car without test driving it first so don't expect them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your home without stepping one foot inside of it. This is a huge handicap to selling your property. Remember that although this is currently still YOUR home, the goal is for it to become THEIR home. This means they deserve the right to inspect it and see if it fits them well. Buyers love home viewings.
6. Not Staging the Home Correctly (or at all)
Once you open the doors, don't have buyers running for the hills because the home wasn't staged for the viewing. There shouldn't be toys on the floor from little Sammy's play date with laundry awaiting near the dryer. This is the chance to impress the buyer so make sure the home is spotless and all repairs are done. Leave the house and let your agent handle the showing. Have neutral music playing and light some (calming) fragrance candles. Playing to the buyers emotions will go a long way to selling your home quickly and for more money.
7. Skipping a Home Inspection
We get it. Your home is perfect. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's best you understand that your home is not perfect at all. Even some newer homes have flaws. You'll want to know about these flaws well before the buyer does. This way you can repair them or at least articulate them to the buyer. If a buyer does their own home inspection and catches you off guard with maintenance needs, this will be a terrible impression and also sets back your sale tremendously. An added benefit of a seller having a home inspection is the confidence it invokes with the buyer.
8. False or No Info to Buyers
Once you determine if anything is needed to repair or alter in the home, be truthful at all times with the buyer and their agent. Always maintain integrity. Never mislead or provide false information to sell a home. An experienced buyers' agent will eventually find out the truth about the home anyway (to protect their client) and there are also laws that require full disclosure. Not doing so will open you up to serious litigation down the road. Just be honest.
9. Not Stepping Into the Buyers' Shoes
Remember, again, that although this is your home now it's on the market to become someone else's. With that said, you'll need to take off your homeowner's cap and put on your buyer's fedora. When you were looking to buy this home, how did you see it? What scrutiny did you put it under? The next buyer will most likely do the same or more. You may already know the home is great, but, they don't. You'll have to convince them with curb appeal, staging, pricing, etc.
10. Fido Is YOUR Best Friend, Not the Buyers'
Everybody loves animals, right? Wrong. I love them. You may love them also. Can you promise yourself that every buyer does, though? No, you can not. Some are even allergic to them. When it's time for home viewings, be sure to have the pets stay elsewhere and thoroughly clean, clean, clean. You do not want your buyers needing a shot of epinephrine during the viewing or walking into a property that smells like Mitten's "litter art".
Having the Right Team Goes A Long Way
Avoiding these 10 home selling errors will put you in a great position to sell your home much faster and you'll also be able to justify a higher asking price in some cases. At Marlo Wells, we have the resources to help you sell your home with little stress to you. When you're ready to list your property, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us partner with you to reach your goals. You can see some other common errors on Trulia. Happy selling!