Selling your house can be one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. While many potential sellers understand that selling a home isn’t a walk in the park, too few people don’t realize just how much work must be done before officially listing your home on the market. Here are five of the most common ways people lose money selling a home that they could have otherwise made a sizeable profit on.
- Skipping the Renovations – Let’s say you’ve decided to sell a home that’s been in the family for years. It’s not enough to simply clean the house and spruce up the furniture. You also have to consider some major renovations if you want to keep your house competitive with others on the market. Look at your house through the lens of a potential buyer: how does the roof look? Are the kitchen appliances up-to-date? Is there any hidden mold or rot? If someone is buying a home in Miami, for example, they may bring an HVAC expert in to test for mold due to high humidity levels. If you dive deep into your property and leave no stone unturned, then you’ll have no reason to worry when a scrupulous buyer comes to the table.
- The Price is Wrong – You’ve done your work and made the renovations, now it’s time to name your price. Instead of just pulling a number out of thin air or picking what you think your home deserves based on the amount of money you put into it, take the time to do some research on your area. What’s the current state of the market? How does your home compare to others in your neighborhood? A good method you can use to tell if your home is reasonably priced is to check how much homes in your area have sold for in the past three months. If you’re somewhere in the ballpark, you shouldn’t have to worry about your home being stuck in “for sale” purgatory.
- You Didn’t Read the Fine Print – One of the worst feelings is being taken for a sucker. If you receive a quick offer that seems too good to be true, don’t forget to read every page of the offer twice. If you see bloated closing costs, inspection fees, home warranties, and seller fees, then be prepared to negotiate a counter offer or even increase the sale price to negate the hidden fees.
- Passing on the Marketing – In this day and age, you can save a lot of money by avoiding outsourcing and taking the initiative to do things yourself. Selling your home is almost like selling any other large product, you can have a polished, valuable piece of real estate, but if you don’t get the word out, the buyers won’t come. Take the time to work with local graphic designers or even buy some ad space in a local paper. Also, when advertising, be sure to list clear, quality photos that show your property inside and out. Putting some more money into the advertising process will pay off tenfold in the long run when you attract more buyers that are willing to meet your asking price.
- Not Willing to Negotiate – Let’s be honest, when it’s time to negotiate your sale price, egos tend to get in the way. After all, you’ve taken so much time and energy to list your property, made the necessary renovations, and come up with a fair price, why doesn’t the buyer see that? The truth of the matter is, buyers tend to have options, especially if you’re in an area that is blowing up in popularity. If an offer comes in that still puts you at a profit, don’t be so quick to dismiss it, because you never know what will come down the pipeline later. For example, if you get a few good bites on your home in fall, you don’t want to brush off a good buyer only to have winter to come around and find your property listed longer on the market and the buyers fading away as the cold months come. Qualified, responsible buyers can be hard to come by, so be sure to keep that in mind when you receive a well-presented offer.
If you’ve decided to sell your home yourself, you probably already know that you’ve entered a challenging world, but it can certainly pay off in the end. By avoiding agents, you can save yourself a few thousand dollars in fees and commissions alone, but just know that with those savings come a slew of other responsibilities to make a solid sale happens in a timely manner. Start by doing your most diligent research, making a checklist of tasks and renovations, and remembering to breathe and keep your head on straight! There are many stressors involved when it comes to real estate, but if you’ve done your proper research, you can breeze through the process and have a smooth, successful sale.