Are you planning to sell your house soon? Whether you want to downsize, relocate, or simply take advantage of a hot real estate market, you’ll want to avoid any missteps that could cost you money, time, and hassle. There’s no need to make the process more stressful than it should be – or sell for less than your home is worth. Here, we’ll explore some common mistakes home sellers make and how to avoid them:

  • Misjudging the cost of selling a home
  • Hire the wrong real estate agent
  • Set an unrealistic price
  • Do not declutter and clean
  • Skip professional photos
  • Limit the number of performances
  • Registration at the wrong time
  • Selling without a real estate agent

1. Misjudging the cost of selling a home

It costs money to sell a home, and closing costs are usually the biggest expense sellers incur. In 2021, closing costs nationwide were about 1% of the sale price, according to ClosingCorp. But this number may be higher or lower, depending on your condition and other factors related to your transaction.

Closing costs aren’t the only expense to keep in mind, either. You will probably have to shell out some money to get the house ready for listing. Depending on its condition, some upgrades or repairs may also be needed to get the right deals and close the deal smoothly.

2. Hire the wrong real estate agent

No matter where you are, there will probably be no shortage of real estate agents. Choosing the right agent for you can be difficult because there are so many options.

There are bad apples in every bunch, so it’s important to do your research. The agent you work with should be licensed to operate in your state, reputable, and have experience selling homes in your area. Consider asking family and friends for recommendations and interviewing a few candidates before selecting someone. And don’t forget to check reviews and ask for references. “Reviews from past clients say it all,” says Lisa Cole, Berkshire Hathaway real estate agent with the Michael Kaim team in Cleveland. “Look for reviews where customers really felt supported in the process.”

It’s not uncommon to see agents offering heavily discounted commissions to earn your business. But taking advantage of what seems like a good deal could cost you as a seller. “Discount agents are looking for a quick sale to get a quick payday,” says Cole. “They’re probably not spending the time and money on proper marketing. And they probably also reduce the commission offered to the buyer’s agent, which will lead to fewer buyers visiting your home. Other agents don’t want to work with them.

3. Setting an unrealistic asking price

Most sellers want the highest price for their homes, which makes it tempting to price high upfront. However, adopting this strategy can lead to less than favorable results. Prices that are too high risk scaring away what could be strong potential buyers. Also, if buyer interest is low, an overpriced home will stay on the market longer, which may cost you even more money or require a price reduction.

4. Refuse to clean and declutter

Potential buyers want to walk through your house and imagine it’s their home. Unfortunately, that’s hard to do if it’s a mess or if they’re distracted by an abundance of family photos and someone else’s personal items.

“Sellers underestimate the value of a spotless home,” Cole says. “A clean, uncluttered home drives up the price in the buyer’s mind. They can imagine living there. They have more peace of mind, and it leads them to make a more solid decision to move forward. Don’t overlook the small details, either: “It also pays to clean the outside of your furnace, hot water tank and air conditioner,” she adds.

5. Skip professional photos

It’s quick and easy to take snapshots of your home with your phone. But it’s a practice Cole says sellers should avoid, because amateur photos can hurt your chances of attracting the right buyers. These days, most buyers check online listings before visiting in person, and a good first impression is crucial.

“Spending money on professional photography – it makes all the difference in attracting buyers to your home,” she says. The more buyers looking at your home, the more urgency it creates, which can lead to more offers being generated.

6. Limit the number of screenings

The idea of ​​strangers visiting your home while you’re still living there is a major turn off for some sellers. Some even limit the number of visits to minimize foot traffic, and some who are always on the go don’t have much time to make their homes available for visits. Whatever the reason, says Cole, a home with limited showings probably won’t attract the best deals. Try to be open-minded about visitors and do your best to make room in your schedule to accommodate buyers – after all, the more people who see the house, the more there will be. of people who might want to buy it.

7. Registration at the wrong time

Sellers sometimes need to sell as soon as possible due to circumstances beyond their control, such as a sudden job change or the death of a loved one. But if you’re not in a big hurry, it’s a good idea to be strategic when listing. To maximize profits, certain times of the year are more conducive to selling than others.

“In the spring, inventory is at an all-time high, which means there’s more supply and you tend to sell for less,” says Cole. On the other hand, buying activity is generally stronger in the spring and summer, so there are more buyers looking than in the winter. Every local market is different, so be sure to consult an experienced local agent about the best times to sell in your area.

8. Selling without a real estate agent

In a real estate transaction, it is generally the seller who pays the commission, both to his agent and to the buyer’s agent. The amount is generally between 5 and 6% of the sale price, divided between the two parties. So trying to sell your house on your own to save money can be tempting. However, this approach can cause you to miss out on a significant profit, especially if you don’t have extensive real estate experience.

“A lot of times salespeople leave a lot of money on the table,” says Cole. “A qualified agent with good negotiation skills can list your home [appropriately] and negotiate with other agents or buyers to deliver that price to you. Also, when buyers see that no agent is involved, they immediately think they can put you down because you’re not paying commission.

At the end of the line

Selling a home can be stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By avoiding these costly mistakes, with the right real estate agent on your side to help you navigate the process, it’s easier to find the right buyer and sell for the best price. The commission you will pay for their services is well worth the headaches you will avoid.