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7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Meghna Wani Mar 12, 2019
Planning to sell your current home, but feeling nostalgic about it? Just start treating your home as a commodity, and yourself as a businessman, and you'll see the difference. Read this WealthHow post to know more.
Images speak louder than words. Click some high-resolution pictures of the most striking aspects of the house. It will help you in marketing your house in a better way.
Shifting to a new house can really give you mixed feelings. On one hand, you feel the excitement of moving into a new home, on the other, you start feeling all mushy and sappy about leaving your current home, where you have been residing for so many years, and unknowingly created so many memories.
But the reality is that you still have to face the separation, so why not do it with as much practicality as possible, and bag the highest dollar for your home? Makes sense? So, allow WealthHow to give you a lowdown on some of the common mistakes that you should avoid when selling your home.
Put forth are some strategically-smart moves which you can use to make a buyer walk in through the door. A simple step to know what the buyer wants is to just put yourself in the buyer's shoes and contemplate his needs.

A Few Home-selling Mistakes and Ways to Avoid Them

Neglecting to Declutter the Home

Before you set your house for sale in the market, you have to do a thorough decluttering of the house. If you are still staying in the house that you want to sell, take one glance at your house and assume that you are a buyer.
How would you feel in a house that has endless clutter? Even if you know that it is going to become vacant after the current occupant moves out, you have to set the stage and present your house in the best possible shape.
Too much clutter can make your house look smaller than it actually is. Therefore, start with picking up all the knickknacks that are haphazardly scattered in the house. If you have additional furniture or exercising equipment, you can move it to less-occupied spaces.
The idea is to create as much visible free space as possible. Overflowing closets and cabinets, stuffed kitchen sinks and counter tops, crowded tables and countless whatnots portray a clumsy image of your house.

Neglecting to Fix Broken Things

After decluttering, the next step is fixing all the broken, worn-out, withered, faded, leaking, and reeking things.You shouldn't completely revamp your house by spending too much. Just replace a handful of the old stuff.
If the buyer spots a worn-out carpet with animal stains, he is likely to get repulsed by it. Similarly, loose handrails, off-track latches, jiggling door knobs, too much mildew on the walls, withered and cracked walls, leaking faucets, squeaking hinges etc., need to be repaired.
Get the cracks filled, and the walls repainted with one coat of paint in neutral color, oil the hinges, tighten the loose rails, clean the mildew, replace the latches and knobs. Do whatever it takes to make the home appear fresh and as good as new, and increase its perceived value. This is truly a case of spending a little money to crack a big deal.
Tip!: The exterior of the house is also equally important. Check the driveway for oil stains, the garden for dried patches of grass, overgrown shrubs, and annoying weeds. Plant a few flowers, cut the shrubs, replace the dried grass, and make the exterior as lively as possible.

Pricing Your Home Unrealistically

After you redo your home and make it buyer-ready, it's time to fix a price tag to it. You have to do this very carefully. Analyze the market. Ask the people around you who have similar homes. Check online for prices of homes like yours.
You should not be under the impression that it is still worth the price that you had bought it for. Prices do not always appreciate. If you set a price too high, then you may reduce the number of potential buyers, and your property may just sit in the market for months together.
One more disadvantage of high pricing is that your property may actually sell for a price that is lower than the desired price, just because it was there in the market for a long time and nobody opted for it.
If you set a price too low, you may just give away your hard-earned property because you didn't know what the current market price was. To tell you the truth, as a seller of the equity, you will only get what the market will allow.
Tip!: If you stay very close to a historical monument, or any such hotspots, it is likely that you may overlook its importance, since you drive past it every day. Missing such obvious things could make you lose out on a good deal.

Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

It usually takes a lot of time and effort to pull off a 'For Sale By Owner' deal. With so many laws to abide by, and piles of paperwork required, it usually becomes difficult to sell a house without the help of a real estate agent.
If you are not sure about the procedure, then handing over the reins to a real estate agent would be the best option. Always choose a seasoned pro with a proven track record.
You'll see fast results with a real estate agent as he/she will know the market trends, have potential buyers ready, and would also give suggestions that can help increase the price of your home. He/she would make your home available to the largest audience by creating an MLS listing. The agent would be able to differentiate the 'buyers' from the 'lookers'.
Tip!: Some good professionally-shot photographs of the striking aspects of your house should be handed over to the agent for the purpose of marketing.

Lingering Around in Showings

You as well as your real estate agent must be aware of the fact that the seller should not be overpowering during showings. You or the agent, whoever is showing the house, should show the buyer around, and then make yourself scarce.
This will give some breathing space for the buyers to discuss the home's potential. If you keep hovering around them constantly, they would not feel comfortable to talk in front of you. You should not appear as someone who is desperate to sell the house. Let your house speak for itself.
Tip!: It is suggested that you should also keep your pets away when buyers are visiting. There may be a possibility that some of them would not like pets to be around, or could be even allergic to them. Their incessant noise could also deter potential buyers.

Not Being Flexible

It is seen that, usually, the first offer that a seller gets is the highest. It is because as the time period for which the house has been in the market goes on increasing, its value may go on reducing. People may start thinking that something is wrong with the house.
Therefore, you should never reject the first offer. Being flexible to close the deal is the key. Instead of just refusing the offer right away, you could negotiate a little to reach a win-win situation for both, the buyer as well as the seller.

Not Reading the Contract of Sale

You think that once the deal is closed, you may just have to sign a few papers and it's over. But what you may not realize is that signing the documents without reading them properly could land you in a soup.
Sometimes, the contract may say that the buyer will be responsible for any additional repairs required after moving out, or the buyer has to handover the house with the appliances installed. As a result, you may have to give up appliances that you didn't want to just because you signed the contract without reading the fine print.
Tip!: Read through all the papers thoroughly, in the presence of your real estate agent and a legal representative, before you pick the pen to sign.
Don't forget, fantastic first impressions go a long way in finding a buyer, so strive to create them. And keep all the given home-selling mistakes at the back of your mind to avoid the pitfalls and sell well.