5 Costly Blunders to Avoid When Selling Your House
Selling your home can be emotionally draining and time-consuming. And most of the time, it feels awkward because strangers will come into your house to look around. Others will criticize the design and even offer less money than the value of your home.
With no experience and a substantial financial transaction on your hands, it is easy to make costly mistakes. Your home is the most expensive item you’ll ever sell. And a simple mistake can drop a bomb on your financial goals.
But with some knowledge, it’s possible to avoid these snares.
Ignoring Home-Selling Costs
Selling a house means you’ll get the cash, and someone gets the house, and that’s it! Sadly, this is not the case. Not preparing for expenses associated with the home-selling process is a big mistake.
Surprisingly, the cost of selling a home is approximately 15% of the selling price. So, if you’re selling a house at $400,000, you may incur about $60,000 to cover selling costs. That might sound a lot, but the costs change based on various factors.
Some of the selling costs include:
- Agent Commission – The listing agents will need some commission, and you, as the seller you have to cater for this cost. According to several real estate websites, the cost might be about 6% of the home price.
Is it worth it? Definitely! A reliable agent will help you meander through a cumbersome selling process. More so, they can help you negotiate a better price, enough to cover the selling expenses.
- Staging Costs – Home staging is where you display your house to entice buyers. It’s worth the effort because it will fetch you more money. On average, a staged home sell 88% faster than non-staged homes.
As you stage your home, ensure you take account of the target market. Keep the décor neutral but don’t be afraid to use some solid colors. Declutter as the clutter makes people feel uncomfortable.
Make sure you remove personal items such as pictures, framed certificates, family plaques, among many others. Finally, never put an empty house on the market. Selling a vacant home is challenging.
With all these activities, you must incur costs.
- Closing Costs – These expenses include a title transfer fee, sales tax, attorney fee, and a title company. The expenses are usually 1-3% of the selling price.
- Your Next Home – Selling your home means moving to another house. Whether you’re sizing down or up, ensure you can cater for your new house expenses.
- Moving Expenses– Relocation is a stressful affair, whether local or international. The cost will depend on the distance, the weight of your items, and hiring movers. And if you’re moving to a new home, you’ll be forced to account for warehouse and rental fees.
Selling it by Yourself
“For sale by owner,” popularly known as FSBO, might seems like an exciting way to save some bucks. After all, hiring real estate agents will cost about 5-6% of the selling price. Given the percentage, you might think acting your own seller is worth the savings.
Unfortunately, you may end up losing more. The buyer’s agent understands that there is no professional on the other end. The agent may discourage making an offer citing risk and hassles.
More so, you might not be able to negotiate for a better price, forcing you to sell the house at a snow-ball price.
Real estate is a full-time job. It’s cumbersome, complicated, and time-consuming. Will you be able to rush home every time a potential client wants to inspect the house?
Will you have ample time to market your home out of a busy schedule? Do you have experience in marketing homes? Probably, no.
An agent is working full-time and will cater for all errands. They will meet potential buyers at any time of the day. Agents are professional and knowledgeable in this field.
Agents access large networks, and they can sell your home pretty fast and at a great price.
Failure to Repair Your Home
Buyers look for homes that need few or no repairs at all. A little prevention will spare you from reselling your home at an extremely low cost or watching a buyer walk away. The renovation will also enhance the value of your house.
Ensure kitchen appliances such as dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator are in good shape. The bathroom and kitchen cabinets should be free of water damage. Water features must run leak-free, and drains should operate clear and free.
Repair nail holes and dents in the drywall. You can paint your walls to freshen up your room. From carpet to laminate, everything should be in excellent condition.
When it comes to the exterior, Ensure the doors and all codes are functional. The handles and weatherstripping should be intact. Repair the windows and replace them when necessary.
You can use casement windows, which offer superior ventilation, better views, and excellent security. There should be no missing tiles, ridge caps, or shingles. Fix any damage, blisters, cracks, and bubbles.
Not Using Authentic Photos
Technology advancement makes buyers cruise for houses from the couch. Research shows that most home buyers found their homes online. Therefore, your photos online should be authentic.
It can be disappointing to find a house in lousy shape, yet the pictures show no faults. If you post false images, the client will walk away. That’s why the photos should be a true reflection of the home in question.
Invest in a good camera to take crystal clear images. Alternatively, you can hire a pro who will make your house shine on camera.
Setting Unrealistic Price
Setting the right price is critical, whether you’re selling it yourself or working with an agent. Unrealistic prices will only drive potential buyers away. You may also not sell the house at all.
Conduct a market analysis and determine the right price tag to put on your home. Buyers also know the market prices, so you should be ahead of the curve.
The Bottom Line
Selling your home can be unnerving. Being a significant financial decision, you must ensure you avoid the above mistakes, lest you dive into financial pitfalls. Set the right price, market your home and work closely with a professional.