Have you finally decided to sell your house and walk away with a good amount of sweet cash? It’s one of the most important financial decisions you are ever going to take (unless you are in the real estate business obviously!),
so don’t rush.
Selling your first home is an overwhelming experience. It is surprisingly time taking and emotionally challenging. Some challenges may be greater than others but if you sum it up, you will be spending a lot of energy and time before collecting your money.
I think that’s enough with the scary business and let us talk about how it is possible to get through it. You may have checked various guides about what to do and how to do it. Well, knowing these is not only important but critical for making the right decisions. But this post is going to be different. Rather than teaching you what to do, the following is a discussion of what NOT to do.
Once you know which mistakes to avoid, you can prevent yourself from falling into scams. You may not always get the best possible price but you won’t be walking away with less than what you deserve!
Key Mistakes To Avoid When Selling House
- 1. Getting Emotional
- 2. Not Hiring A Real Estate Agent
- 3. Not Including Or Underestimating The Home Selling Costs
- 4. Selling Your Property When You Are “Upside-Down”
- 5. Not Including Moving Costs
- 6. Setting Very High Asking Prices
- 7. Pricing It Too Low
- 8. Skipping Home Inspections
- 9. Leaving Your House Floor Old And Worn Out
- 10. Avoiding The Hassle Of House Staging
- 11. Relying On Your Photography Skills
- 12. Selling Your Home Without Enhancing Its Curb Appeal
- 13. Not Paying Attention To The Time Of The Year!
- 14. Listing Your Home Without Energy-Efficiency Considerations
- 15. Not Firing A Bad Real Estate Agent
Without further due, let us dive into the 15 mistakes to avoid when selling your house for the first time.
1. Getting Emotional
When you are living in a house for years and all of a sudden you have to leave it, it's normal to feel sad, nervous, nostalgic, and somewhat excited at the same time. If you are feeling the same way, you have got a lot of company. But understanding what you feel and why you feel is essential at this phase.
Address your emotions but don’t let them come in between your house selling deals. When you think of selling your first house, detach yourself from it for a while and think like a businessperson. It is going to be an important real estate transaction of your life.
A lot of homeowners get carried away with the emotions and make mistakes they keep on regretting for years. A reality check is all you need!
2. Not Hiring A Real Estate Agent
Another major mistake made by first-time home sellers is that they try to do it on their own. Saving on some commissions may seem lucrative from a distance. It is no secret that the professional agent will charge you some money for selling the house for you. But that’s the price you pay for their expertise. Exclude this expertise from the scenario and your struggles with the selling will increase manifold.
A reliable real estate agent understands the business, has no emotional attachments with your property, and a lot of experience in selling properties. All of these things combined together with the expert level negotiation skills of an agent make it the perfect choice to hire one.
Although selling a property without professional help is not impossible, you will have to understand the real estate business pretty well before doing it.
3. Not Including Or Underestimating The Home Selling Costs
This is the mistake almost all of the sellers make. It’s an objective assumption that selling a house means getting money. It’s true, you will get a good sum in the end. However, underestimating or not including the home selling costs can be a major blow.
Don’t let some of these home selling costs catch you by surprise. If you are working with a professional, there will be agent commissions, staging costs, closing costs, seller concessions, and home inspection costs. If you live in a fairly old home, be prepared for the major repair costs.
4. Selling Your Property When You Are “Upside-Down”
If you were still paying the mortgage installments but had to proceed with a house sale, you can use the proportion of the money to pay your debt off. But what if the cost of the house is less than the debt you have to pay? This happens!
Make sure your house is worth more than your remaining mortgage. It's best to consult a real estate professional before making any decision. If you find yourself stuck in such a situation, wait, and build equity on your house.
5. Not Including Moving Costs
Making budgets is essential. More often than not, moving costs are left out of the budget. Be smart and think about the money you will need to move out of this house and settle in a new abode.
If you want to limit your expenses, you can always manage a DIY move but that that takes a lot more time and hard work. A lot of homeowners prefer hiring professional moving companies. Shop around for the most reliable moving companies in your area.
6. Setting Very High Asking Prices
Setting the right asking prices for a property is an art and science. More importantly, it’s a genius approach to set a price that is good enough to sell your house faster but not without the profits.
It takes a good amount of research, updated information about the current market trends, and some intuition. If you set a very high asking price for your home, you are reducing your chances of getting less than the worth of your house. But what if no one is ready to even check out such an expensive property? You could turn away serious buyers or run the risk of wasting a lot of time.
7. Pricing It Too Low
The next big mistake a lot of homeowners make is setting a price that is too low. You could miss out on thousands of dollars on profit. I am pretty sure that not what you want after spending years building and improving that property.
The first step is to analyze the worth of your property. You can check some online calculators. Get in touch with a professional who can offer you their keen insights into the housing market. And don’t forget to keep a room for buyer’s concessions.
8. Skipping Home Inspections
Never skip pre-listing home inspections. Period. Whether you are selling your first house or tenth, not hiring home inspection services is something you would always regret. Most of the states require such inspections by law but even when you are not bound by law, search for reliable home inspectors.
Discuss what’s included in their home inspection reports. Get your house checked for hidden water damages, mold growth, and pest infestations. Get it fixed before a potential buyer insists on huge discounts due to these issues.
9. Leaving Your House Floor Old And Worn Out
What is the first thing you see when you enter the house? You may not have realized it but as soon as you step into the house, the first thing that you notice is its flooring. It could be a game-changer when it comes to real estate values.
When was the last time you actually inspected the house floor? Take this as an opportunity and get it repaired. Start thinking of refinishing your hardwood floors. Clean the carpets and upholstered furniture to attract potential buyers.
10. Avoiding The Hassle Of House Staging
House staging may seem a bit too dramatic for some. If you are seriously interested in getting the best price for your house, by all means, get into the hassle of house staging. About 21% of agents told the National Association of Realtors that staging a home increased its’ sale price by as much as 10%. That makes it a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Accentuate the key features of your house to sell your house faster.
11. Relying On Your Photography Skills
With high-definition cameras in our mobile phones, it is tempting to cut out the professional photography costs. Even though the portrait you clicked last week is good enough to be on a portfolio, you are not ready to photograph your house.
Unless you are a real estate photographer yourself, it's best to hire a well-reputed professional. It’s not about the equipment but they understand the angles that best sell a home.
12. Selling Your Home Without Enhancing Its Curb Appeal
Several surveys have been conducted to analyze the most attractive aspects of a house listed for selling. Almost all of them conclude that curb appeals and the house exterior matter the most. The improvements on the house exterior are among the top ROIs.
There are no second chances with first impressions. Take a walk around your home and note down everything that’s affecting the curb appeal of your house. A coat of exterior paint, some retouching with the fence, and repainting your front door are some of the least expensive, yet the most effective changes.
13. Not Paying Attention To The Time Of The Year!
Yes, there is a good time and a bad time to sell properties. You have to understand the local market trends before choosing the perfect time to list your house.
14. Listing Your Home Without Energy-Efficiency Considerations
A recent study by the National Association of Local Realtors found that 33% of homebuyers see high-efficiency HVAC systems as an important factor. Make sure your house is properly insulated, the appliances are energy-efficient and you have smart thermostats. These simple changes can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your house.
15. Not Firing A Bad Real Estate Agent
It’s pretty normal to rely on your real estate agent for all the important decisions. But if you are not comfortable working with them? And what if you realize it after you have hired them? Fire them right away. It is never too late to find a better one!