Now that you’re serious about selling your home, it’s time to get realistic about your goals. Most home sellers want to sell quickly and for top dollar. No matter how perfectly they execute their plan for doing so, however, there’s bound to be bumps along the way to a successful sale.
As a first time home seller, your instinct is to do everything right. On the other hand, what you do wrong is worth considering when it comes to one of the most important real estate deals you’ll ever make.
Here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid when selling your Houston home.
Assuming The Sale
Selling a home FSBO (for sale by owner) in Houston can spare you real estate agent fees around 6% of the selling price. Before you consider that money in your pocket, you must also consider the fact that less than 10% of FSBO homes actually end up selling. Optimism is one thing. Assuming the quick and profitable sale of your home is another, especially if you are unrealistic about the competition or state of the market.
Overly confident home sellers have a tendency to check the boxes; they price it, list it, show it, then step back and expect a quick sale. In one sense, they’ve already given up. Instead of responding to lack of interest, the tendency is to do nothing. This is a grave mistake that costs precious time better spent reevaluating a new strategy.
It is also a mistake to assume your buyer. Perhaps the young, Millennial buyers are interested in other houses in your neighborhood; that doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in your home, no matter how comparable. In today’s market, savvy buyers aren’t biting on overpriced homes.
Check your assumptions at the door and adjust. Know your alternatives. If you aren’t getting any bids, you may want to consult investors who buy houses for cash.
Not Showing Your Home At Its Best
When it comes to open house, your objective is to create a space that buyers want to imagine themselves in. Unfortunately, this can be done in a lot of wrong ways!
Don’t make the mistake of not cleaning between showings. If you’re inhabiting the house you’re selling, it’s imperative that you tidy up prior to every visit from potential buyers. Inexperienced sellers often forgo proper home staging. While this isn’t always a mistake, it could be a big missed opportunity. Staging doesn’t necessarily involve hiring pricey professionals and rental furniture. More accurately, home staging means spending time and effort to make your home appear spacious, bright, clean, and depersonalized.
Acting On Attachment
You have to be willing to say goodbye to the house. Maybe you’re selling a property that has been in the family for generations. Home ownership is very much about the memories made while living there. Emotional attachment is normal but acting on it can be costly during the home selling process.
Attachment is often indicated by sellers who overprice their home. Some simply refuse to believe the numbers generated by the market and set a higher asking price anyway. Others disregard good advice, whether from an agent, appraiser or contractor. Unfortunately, being stubborn doesn’t work with buyers.
Surround yourself with trustworthy friends and knowledgeable experts and listen to them. They have the perspective to correct mistakes you don’t realize you’re making like leaving family photos on the walls during open house, or failing to upload the most neutral, recent photos of your home for online listings.
Once upon a time, staking the FSBO sign out front and baking cookies was the pinnacle of efforts in marketing your home for sale. Today, a lot more is required to reach your target audience of buyers. Virtual tours, aerial photography, social media and other forms of digital advertising are key to greater exposure. Solid marketing also means getting listing on the MLS, and sites like Redfin and Zillow.
If you aren’t uploading high-resolution images of the front, back, inside and out of your home, you’re making a grave mistake. Users are almost always drawn to the most visually attractive photos. They’re also likely to skip your listing if it doesn’t show the home in its entirety. Hire a photographer if you have to. Even the sharpest smart-phone photos aren’t going to cut it.
Another mistake is not emphasizing your home’s location. Remember, Houston home buyers are shopping for good schools and a great neighborhood as much as they are shopping for a new home.
Not Fixing The Most Important Things
First time sellers often fret about how old the roof is or how they’ll explain the fickle water heater. These issues are far less important compared to the feeling a buyer gets as they tour the home. Concentrate your efforts on quick fixes that make your home up-to-date and attractive.
Fixes, repairs, and renovation projects add up quickly so you’ll want to prioritize. Start with things based on your home inspection. If you’re unwilling or unable to fix something, make sure you’re ready to address it. Otherwise, buyers will notice the problem and are more likely to demand an adjusted price than a work order. The last thing you want to do is deny there’s a problem at all.