Envision yourself standing in the driveway of your property, covered by sweat from head to toe, with an icy glass of water in your hand. Your heart beating momentously. Your senses heightened, refreshed in a way no other activity would have achieved than the DIY improvements you just did to your home.
After twenty years of bonding, it’s time to let go. You’ve cried, you’ve laughed, you’ve loved. Now it’s time for goodbye. Deep down, you know it isn’t easy, but it had to be, because your desires to relocate could not be tamed. It was one or the other, and you’ve justified to this point: to sell your home.
It’s a typical scenario many homeowners come to when it’s time to sell their homes. But selling a home as an idea is one thing. Knowing the pitfalls to avoid when selling a home is another.
We get it! Without being well informed on how to go about selling your home, it can often be somewhat contemptuous, unless you’re a real estate professional.
The goal of this article is to help you understand the seven things that foreshadow the selling process, and why you should avoid them.
A checklist is also provided at the end of the article to keep you in line with your goals in the process.
1. Failing to enlist an agent
Unless you’ve sold a dozen properties and this will make your hundredth, never underestimate the expertise of a real estate agent. Overlooking an agent means ignoring the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
One of the most unavoidable mistakes you would make in selling your home is thinking it is quite easy. Unfortunately not!
Do you know what it takes to get the best price for your home? Do you understand the current market trends? Do you know how to leverage your selling strategy to get the best out of the market trends? Do you know why you need good quality photos of your house? Are you able to sell your property with an effective description in order to sell your home quickly?
If you’ve answered “No” to these questions, then that’s what you’ll be missing out on, when you forgo the expertise of a real estate agent.
Every seller wants a good ROI, and that's traditionally understandable, because why else would you be selling? There's no such thing as Selling-For-Free or a Free Sale.
Needless to say, it's humanly natural to want a little bit more than what was originally intended - a quality that is in itself more mundane than it should be.
One of the biggest mistakes you would make in selling your home is to overprice your home. Unless you’re a clone of the Wolf of Wall Street, overpricing depicts the greater of two evils and does more harm than good.
A menacing fact about the real estate industry is that a property that sits on the market for quite some time tends to depreciate in value and impact, and is a telltale sign of costing an arm and a leg. This is what overpricing can do for you, and it’s a position you don’t want to find yourself in.
A river, for example, cannot be beaten into submission. Rather, you must surrender to its current, and use its power as your own.
Be realistic. Be reasonable. Be content with what you have and can utilize. Always opt for the fair market value or slightly less.
3. Scant marketing
Or so the saying goes.
In an age where buyers normally begin their searches online, everything traditional about getting the word out becomes irrelevant.
You see, attention is a scarce resource nowadays. The moment you put up your house for sale, at the back of your mind you’re tempting buyers. And what better way to tempt buyers than to market the meaningful aspects of your house?
The only way to get a successful sale is to utilize all the marketing options available to you. That means quality listings description backed by high quality photos for adequate coverage. Then you have newspapers, notice boards, agent websites and Hausples.com.pg.
Unlike in the past, where you would rely on just one photo of the house, a ‘For Sale’ sign thumped into the front lawn, and few kina and toea to do the marketing for you.
What you want is to generate as much interest as possible. The more people who see your house, the better the chances of selling it.
Again, a professional agent will make it all the more smooth for you.
4. Home is unfit for viewing
Whether it’s getting prepared for a hair cut or for buyers to view your home, being well prepared goes a long way in any given cause.
Removing clutter, rearranging the furniture, mowing the lawn, brushing up on every inch of your home in order to be presentable in the eyes of prospective buyers can mean the difference between success and despair.
It’s all about presentation. When you feel happy inside, you look presentable outside. When you upgrade the decor of your home, you indirectly accentuate the outward appearance of it.
Bare that in mind.
5. Poor quality photos
Think about this article for a sec. Did you look at the images first or the words?
Most often than not, you’ve heard the cliché, “a picture tells a thousand words”, yet it cannot be stressed enough. There is real value in using quality photos to promote your listing description.
Photos or images not only tell a thousand words, but a story. Your life’s story, your values, and your inspirations.
Human beings are visual creatures, which is why about 75 - 80% of the human brain actually dedicates itself to visual processing. It’s no wonder photos/images easily grab our attention before words, when both are combined.
Therefore, you need to have quality photos of your home. If you can’t meet this standard, engage a professional photographer. If you can’t find one, your agent can - provided you enlisted an agent in the process.
So, learn as much as you can about the importance of images and use that knowledge to your advantage when selling your home.
You just don’t know what language it might speak to prospective buyers.
6. Being present at the time of viewing
One of the most misunderstood elements of selling a home - never be present during the time of viewing by prospective buyers. The fact of the matter is, buyers prefer to examine a home in peace and leisure. They prefer discussing stuff with their partners or agents in private, rather than in front of you.
At this point, it becomes the wading pool of both a professional agent and your home. This is where your home and the agent team up to negotiate with buyers. This is where your absence is mandatory, in order to successfully close the sale.
Emotions and unanticipated showing of areas that mean nothing to your prospective buyers.
So to avoid that, when it’s viewing time, let your house and the agent do the selling while you go visit the nearest second hand clothing shop, come what may.
7. Being emotional
Of course, you have a special bond with your home. A bond forged by every moment of your childhood journey to your adulthood; a lifetime of memories bundled into one, to be sold in a matter of months.
But understand this, buyers do not share your emotions.
Buyers see your home as it is, not how far it has brought you, what memories you shared, how much you’ve spent on renovations and whether or not it holds a special place in your heart.
Remember, a decision is a battle between two arguments. At the end of the day you will have to settle for one over the other. And If that argument is to sell your home, collect yourself and do what needs to be done. Sometimes you just have to forget what you feel, and remember what you deserve, what you must do - and this is true in the selling process.
The absence of emotions lives you with discipline, self-control and intelligence. But when emotions are in control, what is meant to be accomplished remains unaccomplished, discipline drops away to nothing, time drags on and self control becomes an imagined word thrown around by men worthy of inaction and baseless talk.
Moreover, if you’re serious about selling your house, set aside every emotional attachment and focus on your goals.
Enlist a professional agent: selling real estate involves an array of marketing, contracting, negotiations, evaluation and closing. Hausples partners with a variety of real estate professionals you can talk to today.
Don’t overprice: pricing your home too high will disinterest prospective buyers from making any offers, and your property could sit on the market idle for months on end. A realtor will have a good idea of similar houses on the market and the type of prices they’re garnering. Make use of that knowledge.
Declutter: tidying up in and around your home, storing away unwanted items and rearranging furniture in preparation for photographers and buyers only serves to market your home well. First impression is everything, you get the picture.
Good marketing: an experienced, licensed real estate professional will have the best tools, tips and advice to help market your home. Professional photography and video marketing contribute to the propensity of good marketing. If you want to get the best out of selling your home, you need the best help from an agent.
This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as real estate, or investment advice. Hausples encourages you to reach out for professional help regarding your own real estate situation.