I want to highlight 10 mistakes commonly made when selling a house.
These errors can cost homeowners thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
Do you want to make a $10,000 mistake when you sell?
With house prices soaring, any minor mistakes are now amplified. And this means if you make an error, you miss out on cash at closing!
If you are in the market to sell your home or even in the early planning stages, I highly suggest you spend just a few seconds skimming this article.
That way, when you go to sell your home, you can be confident that you will avoid any costly home selling mistakes.
Are you ready?
Waiting For The Right Time To Sell
The first mistake you can make when you sell your house is waiting for the “Best” time to sell. Many articles out there tell you to sell in the Summer to get a higher offer or that the fall will get you more money.
While some of this might be true, these articles do not take into account the extra money you will have to spend on your home while you wait to sell it like:
1. Monthly insurance premiums
2. Property taxes
3. Extra wear and tear (imagine if your roof started leaking or the water heater went out!)
If you have decided that you need to sell your property, do not fall into the trap of trying to time the market. Take all the necessary steps and get your house sold as soon as possible.
Perhaps the biggest mistake many homeowners make when selling their house is not working with someone to guide them through the sale. And it doesn’t matter if you are selling the traditional way or decide to sell to a real estate investor.
“Having a trusted person on your side is key to selling your house successfully,” said Shaun Martin, owner of We Buy Houses Denver. “Selling your home could be the largest financial transaction that you are ever involved with. It is imperative you get it right, right? Getting it “wrong” could mean you leave a bunch of cash on the table, OR it takes forever to sell your house. These are two huge things you must avoid when you sell your house.”
Not Verifying What Your House Is Worth
If you don’t know how much your house is worth, you could list it for a price way under market value. Now, this would result in a quick sale, but you would be leaving a lot of cash on the table, right?
Alternatively, if you list your home for too much, it could sit on the market for a long time. Eventually, potential buyers will think there is something grossly wrong with your house. This is an ugly situation you must avoid!
The way you determine the value of your home is called running comps. If you work with a real estate pro, they will do this for you. However, I am a “trust but verify” kind of person.
So, even if an agent or home buyer runs comps for you, I highly suggest you do it yourself also. It’s pretty easy. Jump online and watch a few tutorials and pretty soon, you will be running comps on your own, like a pro!
Not Looking at Trends
Real estate is all about trends, and if you don’t follow them, you could cost yourself a ton of money when you sell.
What is the right color to paint? (I like Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams – It’s been very trendy the last few years.)
Which light fixtures are trending? A cheap upgrade like that could cause your house to sell for more.
Or if you are selling your house as-is, who are the best home buyers in your area? Another trend you must be aware of, right?
Make sure you spend some time researching what is selling and what is not. Who is buying and who is not? Ultimately this will help you sell your house significantly more successfully.
Not Disclosing Problems
Legally you must disclose problems and issues with the house you are selling. This is all part of real estate disclosures. It’s the law in many states.
However, if you want to sell your house fast and get a reasonable price, building trust with your potential buyers is a key element.
To do this, you absolutely must be transparent.
It may seem counterintuitive, telling buyers about all the problems. However, anecdotal evidence suggests it is a cunning pro tactic.
“I always disclose any issue with the property,” said Shaun. “In fact, I use this as a way to guide potential buyers to problems I am willing to fix. This way, when they come up in inspection, they are excited that I agree to address these. PLUS, as I give them these concessions as my choice, they feel obligated to give me something in return. That is, they let something else on the inspection slide. Make sense?”
Refusing To Listen To Feedback
It is a big mistake if you ignore feedback from showings. Comments from actual people that have walked through your house are invaluable.
Of course, take everything with a grain of salt. Some feedback may be helpful. Other comments, not so much.
Be sure to run the information you get past your trusted friend, agent, or home buyer that is helping you get your house sold. It’s times like this when their expert knowledge of real estate is vital.
Not Willing To Negotiate
Successfully selling your house is all about the give and take. Ideally, the buyer gives you concessions, and you take them, right?
That said, it is a massive problem if you can’t successfully negotiate when you sell your house. Many real estate pros suggest creating a list of things you must achieve to feel good about the sale.
An obvious item would be how much cash do you want at closing?
Knowing the amount of money you want to get after all commissions, fees, and taxes will help determine if you can afford to fix things during the inspection period.
By the way, did you know that you can absolutely sell your house without fixing anything! In fact, there are legit companies and home buyers that will purchase your home 100% as-is.
That’s a discussion for another topic but something every person selling any real estate should be aware of.
Making Emotional Decisions
We all become attached to our home, which can lead to one of the biggest mistakes of all!
Basing decisions on your emotions.
Maybe you choose not to sell to someone because they mentioned the color of your walls. But what if their offer is the strongest? What if their offer is the best?
It would be silly to ignore it. Not just silly but downright costly!
This may seem an obvious example, but it happens.
To eliminate emotions, you should make a plan for selling. The plan should include some objective measures such as:
1. How soon do you need to sell your house?
2. How much cash do you want to walk away with?
3. Do you want to sell without making repairs or fix it up first?
Spend some time upfront, make a plan, eliminate emotions, and eliminate this huge mistake!
Listing Your House With A Bad Agent
Listing your house with the wrong agent is a huge mistake! You must avoid this at all costs!
If you list with a lousy agent, your house could sit on the market for months. This will lead to you having to reduce the price, and a stigma will grow around your property. Your anxiety and stress levels will go through the roof!
But how do you avoid listing with the wrong agent?
A great rule of thumb is this.
If they promise a selling price that seems just too good to be true, then guess what?
Look, I am not here to beat up on realtors. There are a lot of highly experienced and legitimate real estate agents that will help you sell your house faster and for a great price!
However, there are some unscrupulous ones too!
AND to get your listing, they will promise you that you will sell your house for loads of cash!
The problem is, after listing it for an exorbitant price, you will have ZERO OFFERS!
This is a huge problem!
You know why!
You need to get rid of your house, remember?
And the only way to sell it is to get some buyers submitting offers, right?
So, if you choose to list your property with an agent, you MUST DO THIS before you sign.
Ask them what they would list your house for and why. Ask them for comps.
And then go run your own comps. Running comps is easy, and you can do it yourself for free. Trust me, I do it all the time.
Ok, are you ready for Costly Mistake Number 10 that you must avoid when you sell your house?
Here it is!
Over-Investing And Fixing Things That Don’t Add Value
Did you know you can easily spend $20,000 fixing up a bathroom, but this is a HUGE mistake?
And why is this?
The average homeowner will get 80 cents back for every dollar they spend on home renovations.
So, if you spend $10,000 renovating your house, the value will only go up by $8,000. This is according to This Old House, a highly respected source of home renovation and real estate information!
Don’t make this costly mistake if you plan to sell your house.
In fact, recently, there has been a growing trend of people selling their homes without making any repairs. This is also known as selling AS-IS.
There are many benefits to selling as-is, which include:
1. It’s a faster way to sell a house because:
_____a. You don’t have delays from contractors
_____b. Your typical as-is buyer has more experience closing deals
_____c. AS-IS eliminates many 3rd parties that slow down the sale process
2. Selling as-is is significantly less stressful (remember that working with contractors can be like herding cats)
3. Often, if you don’t make all those costly repairs, you end up with more cash in your pocket!
If you need to sell your house, it is essential that you do not make any major mistakes. Mistakes when selling can cost you a lot of money.
If you want to sell your house successfully and without making any errors, you should heed the advice in this article.
I wish you the best of luck selling your property and moving on to the next chapter of your life.