Selling Your House? Avoid These Mistakes – Part I

Here’s some very useful advice for all those who may be thinking of selling their home which, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers will come into your home and poke around in your closets and cabinets. They will criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and then, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for first-time home sellers to make lots of mistakes, but with a little know-how, many of these pitfalls can be avoided altogether. Read on to find out how you can get the highest possible price for your home within a reasonable time frame—without losing your mind.

An agent can also help take some of the high emotion out of the process by interacting directly with potential buyers, so you don’t have to and eliminating tire kickers who only want to look at your property but have no intention of putting in an offer.

An agent will also have more experience negotiating home sales than you do, potentially helping you get more money than you could on your own. Further, if any problems crop up during the process—and they commonly do – an experienced professional will be there to handle them for you. Finally, agents are familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly.

Mistake No.1: Getting Emotionally Involved

Once you decide to sell your home, it can be helpful to start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and a home seller, rather than as the home’s owner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property that you’ve undoubtedly created many memories in.

Also, try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling not just a piece of property but also an image, a dream and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and perhaps some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home. These changes in appearance will not only help the sales price, but they’ll also help you create that emotional distance
because the home will look less familiar.

Mistake No.2: Not Hiring an Agent

Although real estate agents command a hefty commission (usually 5-6% of the sale price of your home), trying to sell your home on your own, especially if you haven’t done it before, is probably ill advised. A good agent will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a
quick sale.

Mistake No.3: Assuming You Must Hire an

On the other hand, some people do manage to sell their homes themselves. You’ll need to do your own research on recently sold properties in your area and properties currently on the market to determine an attractive selling price, keeping in mind that most home prices have an agent’s commission factored in and you may have to discount your price as a result. You’ll be responsible for your own marketing, so you’ll want to make sure to get your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in your geographic area to reach the widest possible number of buyers. Also, you’ll be the one showing the house and negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, which can be time-consuming, stressful and emotional for some people.

If you’re forgoing an agent, consider hiring a real estate attorney to help you with the finer points of the transaction and escrow. Even with attorney’s fees, though, selling a home yourself can save you thousands. Keep in mind, however, that the buyer’s agent will expect to be compensated, so you won’t be able to
save the entire commission, as you’ll need to pay 1-3% of the home’s sale price to the buyer’s agent.

Source: Investopedia Amy Fontinelle