Many years ago, I wrote a little book called 365 Rules about Real Estate. This blog subject “mistakes that home sellers make” could have been called “365 Mistakes that Home Sellers make” as it is turning out to be quite exhaustive. And exhausting. If you haven’t read the first two in the series, go back and read them. There are some great tips in there that you probably haven’t thought about.
OK. Here we go, home stretch:
Selling a vacant home
Although it is true that you can see the true room sizes in a vacant home, you can also see all of the flaws. And although a vacant home does not need to be depersonalized or decluttered, they often seem cold and unwelcoming.
Not having your utility costs and contracts in order
Buyers may ask about utility costs and will want to know if your water heater and other chattels are rented or owned.
Negotiating a discounted commission
If your Realtor agrees to discount his or her commission, how good will they be in negotiating the sale price of your home. You want your Realtor to be on your side.
Not doing enough research before hiring a Realtor.
Can you trust the online reviews? Can you believe the marketing material of the agent? What is best is to find unbiased opinions of those who have actually worked with the agent.
Not getting a pre-listing home inspection
There are many reasons for having your home inspected prior to listing. You will be able to repair any deficiencies before listing. You will give the buyers confidence in the home. You will speed up the sales process and you will make it easier to get multiple offers.
Not giving yourself enough time to prepare the home for sale.
Generally speaking, whatever work you have to do to get your home in its most marketable condition will take twice as long as you think.
Thinking you can do it yourself
Selling a home is not rocket science, but it will take time, marketing, staging, and negotiating skills to do it. Are you willing to put in all the work necessary to compete head to head with professional real estate sales people?
Continuing to think of your home as yours during the sale
Living in a house and selling a house are very different things. Once your home is on the market, you have to start thinking of yourself as a house guest.
Not being involved in the listing process
It is often true that the home buyer is very similar to the home seller. What you have enjoyed about living in the home will be important to your buyer too. Get involved in the home selling process with your agent by going over the text ensuring that it reflects all that is great about your home and neighbourhood.
Not being resilient
Selling a home can be tough work emotionally. You will be inconvenienced and frustrated during the sales, negotiations and closing processes. Hang in there.
Not being ready for the costs of selling
Besides commissions, selling a home includes the costs of home staging and prepping for the sale, later and other real estate fees, moving costs and sometimes the fees associated with breaking your mortgage.
Not being a ready buyer
Sometimes home sellers focus so much on selling that they forget to be a ready buyer. You should have some idea of where you will be moving after the sale.
Trying to hide small flaws
Home buyers can be pretty suspicious and will likely have two or three hours in your home with a home inspector. Fix or disclose the flaws before they find them.
Going against conventional local practices.
If the local commission rate is 4% then offer 4%, not 6% or 3%. If the local practice is to do a pre-listing home inspection, then do one. If the most open houses are Sunday 2-4, then have your open house Sunday 2-4.
Setting your price based on how much you want to walk away with
The market sets the price, not you and not your agent. It is irrelevant how much you want or have to net
Leaving things behind
Most real estate contracts stipulate that all personal items and rubbish must be removed from the home prior to closing and that the property must be left in a swept clean condition.
Not negotiating in good faith
Negotiations are not a game. They should be approached not in an antagonist way but in the spirit of cooperation.
Not understanding bridge financing
Talk to your lender and investigate the cost and qualifications needed to obtain bridge financing. It will give you more flexibility and make your move much easier.
Not understanding the tax implications of selling an investment property.
Half of the property’s profit will be added to your income as a capital gain.
Not understanding mortgage qualification for an investment property
It has gotten much more difficult to finance your property investment.
Not maintaining your home until closing
The sale does not happen until closing day. Although you might have mentally moved on, you must take care of your home until the transfer takes place.
Using a discount brokerage
In my opinion, you are better to sell your home privately than to use a discount brokerage.
What to read next:
What to do it your home is not selling