Selling Your House can take a lot of time and be hard on your feelings especially if you’ve never done it before. Strangers will come into your home, open your closets and cabinets, and look around, which can sometimes feel like an invasion of privacy. They will criticize a place that has probably become more to you than just four walls and a roof, and to top it all off, Their offer will be lower than the amount you believe your home is worth.
Learn how to get the best price for your house
When selling a house for the first time, it’s easy to make mistakes because you don’t have any experience and it’s a complicated and emotional process. But if you know what to look out for, you can avoid many of these problems. Read on to learn how to sell your house for the best price, in a reasonable amount of time, and without going crazy.
When you sell your house, especially your first one, it’s easy to get emotional. You put in a lot of time and work to find the right one, saved money for a down payment and furniture, and made a lot of memories there. When it’s time to say goodbye, most people find it hard to keep their feelings in check.
Do you believe it’s impossible? It’s not. When you decide to sell your home, stop thinking of yourself as a homeowner and start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and salesperson. Don’t even think about the fact that you own the house. If you just look at the deal from a financial point of view, you won’t be as affected by the emotional parts of selling the property.
Keep in mind how you felt when you first started your house search. Most people who buy will also feel something. If you keep in mind that you’re selling more than just a house but also an image and a way of life, you’ll be more likely to do things like stage it and do some minor repairs to get the most money for it. These changes will not only help the price, but they will also help you feel less attached to your home because it will look less like a home.
Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent While Selling Your House
Even though real estate agents charge a high commission—usually 5 to 6 percent of the sale price of your home—it’s probably not a good idea of selling your house on your own, especially if you’ve never done it before.
It can be tempting, especially if you’ve seen a lot of “for sale by owner” signs on people’s front lawns or on the Internet. So, does it make sense to hire a broker?
Most of the time, a good agent wants what’s best for you. They will help you set a fair price for your home, which will make it more likely to sell quickly. An agent can also help keep things from getting too emotional by talking to potential buyers and weeding out people who just want to look at your house but don’t plan to buy it.
Your agent will also have more experience negotiating house sales, which will help you get more money than you could on your own. If there are any problems along the way, an experienced professional will be there to take care of them for you. Lastly, agents know about all the paperwork and potential problems that come with buying or selling a house, so they can help make sure the process goes smoothly. This means that there won’t be any delays or legal issues that come up out of the blue.
Should you hire an agent after reading all this? Only you can decide.
The Alternative to Using a Real Estate Broker or Agent
So you’ve made the conscious decision to forego using a broker. That’s okay because it’s not like it’s impossible to do. Some people are able to sell their homes on their own. Remember, though, that you’ll need to do some research first, looking at properties that have recently sold in your area and properties that are currently on the market, to figure out a good selling price. Keep in mind that most home prices already include an agent’s commission, so you may need to lower your price.
You’ll be in charge of marketing your home, so make sure it’s on the multiple listing service (MLS) in your area to reach the most buyers. Since you don’t have an agent, you’ll have to show the house and talk to the buyer’s agent about the sale. This can be time-consuming, stressful, and emotional for some people.
If you’re not going to use an agent, you might want to hire a real estate lawyer to help you with the details of the deal and the escrow process. Even with the cost of an attorney, selling your own house can save you a lot of money. But if the buyer has an agent, that agent will want to be paid. Usually, the seller pays for this, but you’ll still have to pay 1% to 3% of the home’s sale price to the buyer’s agent.
Setting an Unrealistic Price
Setting the right asking price is important, whether you work with an agent or do it yourself. Remember how you or your real estate agent did a comparative market analysis when you bought your home to figure out a fair price to offer? This is what buyers will do with your home, too, so as a seller, you should be one step ahead of them.
You may think your home is worth more, but be sure to set a realistic price based on similar homes in the area.
If there isn’t a housing bubble, homes that are too expensive usually don’t sell. In a survey done by the website HomeLight.com, which gives sellers information about selling their house, 70% of real estate agents said that overpricing is the biggest mistake sellers make.
Don’t worry too much about setting a low price because, in theory, this will lead to multiple offers, which will drive the price up to what the home is worth on the market. Underpricing your home can be a way to get more people interested in it, and you can always turn down an offer that’s too low.
Expecting the Asking Price
Any smart buyer will negotiate, and you may have to do the same if you want to make the sale. Most people want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers and still leave room for negotiations. This is the opposite of the strategy of underpricing, which was explained above. This might work, making the buyer feel like they’re getting a good deal and giving you the money you need from the sale.
Whether you get more or less than your asking price will likely depend not only on your pricing strategy but also on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market and how well you staged and updated your home.
Selling Your House During the Winter Months
Even if you don’t believe it, there is a right time of year to sell. House sales are usually slow in the winter, especially around the holidays. People have lots of social plans, and the cold weather in much of the country makes it more appealing to just stay home. Because fewer people are likely to be looking, it may take longer to sell your house and you may not get as much money. But you can take solace in the fact that even though there may not be as many active buyers, there also won’t be as many competing sellers, which can sometimes work to your advantage.
You might do better if you wait. If you don’t have to sell during the winter or the holidays because of something else, you might want to list when the weather starts to get warmer. When it’s warmer, most people are ready and willing to buy a house.
Skimping on Listing Photos
Because so many people look for houses online these days, and so many of those homes have photos, you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t have high-quality pictures of your home. At the same time, there are so many bad photos of homes for sale that if you do a good job, it will make your listing stand out and bring in more interest.
Good photos should be sharp and clear, and they should be taken during the day when there is a lot of natural light. They should show off the best parts of your house. If you can, use a wide-angle lens. This will give potential buyers a better idea of how the whole room looks. Instead of having your agent take pictures with their phone, it’s best to hire a professional real estate photographer.
Add a video tour or 360-degree view to your listing to make it even better. Any smartphone can be used to do this easily. You can definitely get more potential buyers to come to your house for showings. You might even get more offers if you show them around the property first.
Not Carrying Proper Insurance
Your lender may have made you buy homeowners’ insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you should make sure you do so in case a visitor gets hurt on your property and tries to sue you for damages. You also want to make sure that the property has no obvious dangers or that you take steps to get rid of them (For instance, make sure that any possible buyers’ children aren’t playing in your pool, and remove your dog from the premises, so that the home may be seen without distraction).
Hiding Major Problems
Do you think you can hide major problems with your property and get away with it? During the buyer’s inspection, any problems will be found. You can deal with problems in three ways. Either fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to make up for it, or list the property at a normal price and give the buyer credit to fix it.
Remember that if you don’t fix the problem ahead of time, you might lose a lot of buyers who want a house that is ready to move in. If you want to avoid expensive surprises after the house is under contract, it’s a good idea to have it inspected before you put it on the market. Many states have rules about sharing information.
Some laws say that sellers have to tell buyers about known problems with their houses if the buyer asks, while others say that sellers have to tell buyers about certain problems on their own.
Not Accommodating Buyers
If someone wants to look at your house, you have to let them, even if it causes you trouble. Before every single visit, clean and straighten up the house. A potential buyer won’t know or care if you cleaned your house last week. Even though it’s a lot of work, keep your eye on the prize.
Selling your house to Unqualified Buyers
A pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender or proof of funds (POF) for cash purchases shows that the buyer has the money to buy the home. When you sign a contract with a buyer, you might have to wait until they sell their own property. If you need to close by a certain date, this could be a big problem.
Can You Sell a House With a Mortgage?
Yes, a mortgaged home can be sold. During escrow, your lender will send you a mortgage payoff statement, or “payoff quotation,” showing the exact remaining debt. The escrow agent will pay off your mortgage by transferring the remaining sum to your lender once your loan is finalized.
Should I Stage My House?
Putting your house in its best possible light before listing it for sale can result in a quicker sale at a better price.
Not everyone, though, needs to hire a professional staging service. A few easy tasks, such as cleaning and decluttering, may have a significant impact on the selling of a property, and they should be completed before moving anyhow, even if the home does not sell.
How Much Will You Make Selling Your House?
How much you make from selling your house depends on the sale price, agent charges, closing costs, and mortgage balance. Before listing your house, a real estate agent should give you a “seller’s net sheet” that estimates your profit.
When you have accepted an offer and are in escrow, your lender will send you a closing disclosure that tells you exactly how much money you will get when your loan closes.
Should You Sell Your House for Cash?
Selling your house for cash is a quick way to avoid the hassle and stress of setting it up, showing it, making repairs, and juggling multiple offers. Most cash buyers, on the other hand, won’t pay more than 75% of the home’s value, minus any expected repairs.
It’s easier to sell a house for cash, but there’s a major cost that you should think about.
Learning the art of selling your house is a crucial skill. Even if you avoid these blunders, you should be prepared for the worst. If the market is going down, the house may be on the market for much longer than you expect. If you don’t find a buyer soon, you’ll have to pay two installments, rent out your property until you do, or risk foreclosure. However, if you avoid the blunders on this list, you’ll be well on your way to putting your best foot forward and completing the smooth, profitable sale that every home seller desires.