Common Mistakes All First-Time Home Sellers Should Be Aware Of


The first time you sell a home it can be quite the experience. You need to pack and clean the house, you need to create an ad campaign, you need to schedule listings, you need to be ready to deal with negotiations, and so on. This long list of to-dos can drown a new comer to the world of real estate sales, causing them to make mistakes that could easily be avoided with the right training and education. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to, from the get go, hire an experienced real estate agent, like an agent from the Hughes Group of Silvercreek Realty Group. However, even if you do work with an incredible agent, it is important to stay informed so you can understand why the agent does what they do when they do it. So what are the common mistakes?

Putting Off Cleaning and Packing

These two activities are fundamental to a successful home sale. If these are not done and done well you will have a much harder time selling your home. All the same, they are arduous and mundane which results in many first time sellers procrastinating them until it is too late. But when is it too late? When people start calling for showings? Before an open house? When? The truth of the matter is, the time to clean and pack is before you even call your real estate agent that first time. Before you call your agent, before you even get photos take of your home, you will first want to cut down on the amount of stuff you have by a half. This will make your home feel less cluttered and more welcoming. Now, you don't need to get rid of this stuff or throw it away; you only need to get it out of the house. Pack it up and store it somewhere else-- somewhere off site-- until the moving day.

Then you will need to clean. Now, be warned, this is not a casual tidying that we are talking about, this is a full and detailed clean. Cupboards need to be wiped down, baseboards and doorframes dusted, windows and window tracks cleaned like a whistle, and so on. But why is this important? Well for one, you wouldn't want to buy a home that was still coated in the previous owner's dust and dirt; you want to buy a fresh slate you can cover with your own dust and dirt. The cleaner it is, the more likely people are to buy it. What's more, if you do a detailed clean when you list the house, all you'll have to do is tidy everything up when a potential buyer comes a calling, saving you time and energy.

Procrastinating Their Own Home Search

Strange as it may seem, this actually happens. People get caught up in the sale of their home and then all of a sudden, they've sold it and have nowhere to go. Now, there will probably be a grace period where you can finish moving that will last no more than a few weeks, but that time is for you to move, not to look for a house. The first thing you need to do after your home is cleaned and the amount of stuff you have is cut in half, is to talk to a buyer's agent about starting your home search. If your agent is from the Hughes Group, they are trained to do both sides of the transaction, making it much easier for you since you won't have to juggle to realtors.

Setting Limits on Showing Times

I may be tempting to say that you will only allow your house to be shown during certain hours of the day, but that will cause problems for you in the long run. People work all sorts of schedules. There are people who work days, nights, swing shifts, 12 hour shifts, and even 24 hour shifts depending on their occupation, which means their schedules will be anything but normal. Abnormal schedules mean abnormal showing times for you. It may be annoying to have to clean up the house and leave at 8:00 in the evening, but you may have to do it. Now, don't be worried that you're going to have your door knocked on at all hours of the night, but 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening is far from unusual.

Overpricing Your Home to Compensate For Negotiations

In many other markets where bickering and price negotiations are involved, this may be a sound principle, but it will not work when selling something as expensive as a house. Buying a home is a long and sometimes gruelling process, making people much less likely to use up their time on a home that is overpriced. A well-trained real estate agent can easily make an educated guess as to how much a property is worth and they will advise their clients against wasting their time on improperly priced property.

Not to mention, the way that people search for homes these days is much more precise than it used to be. With computers and internet searching, a potential buyer can look through all the homes available in their desired area only in their specific price range-- no more, no less. This means that if you list your home at $250,000 when it is only worth $200,000 a potential buyer who would love to buy your house won't even see it even if their budget would permit them to buy it.

Leaving Projects Half Done

Unless you are marketing your home as a fixer upper, you don't want to leave the home with half done projects, whether they be repairs or improvements. Just like you wouldn't want to move into a home that was still dirty with the previous person's dirt and dust, you wouldn't want to move into a home that was still half torn apart by their projects. If the house is to be sold as a fixer upper be sure that all of the projects and repairs that you are working on are as close to done as you can get them. Also make sure that the projects are safe to sit in their current states. You don't want any to get hurt because of it being in a dangerous state.

Wasting Money on Unnecessary Upgrades and Remodels

On this same note it is important to remember that you don't always have to remake your home to sell it for a good price. Many, many people start ripping out the kitchen or retiling the bathrooms the moment they realize they need or want to sell, acting like they're going to flip the property themselves. Resist the temptation to do that. Now, in certain situations a quick remodel or upgrade might help raise the value of the house, but in most cases it won't. In most cases people pour hundreds and even thousands of dollars into a remodel or an upgrade hoping it get them more money when the sale closes, but it hardly ever does that. It usually just ends up costing them more money. On the other hand, a quick paint job here or a replacing of hardware like doorknobs or electrical outlets may be just what your house needs to look good as new and attract more potential buyers.

Telling Potential Clients They Can't Come See the Home during Certain Times of the Day

Now, there are some natural limitations you can be assured people will follow when it comes to viewing your home. For instance, you will most likely never have someone say that they want to see your home at 4:30 in the morning, but most other times of the day are open game. There are sometimes people that want to see properties later in the evening or early in the morning and you need to be ready to let them in within a matter of minutes, even when inconvenient. There are some people that won't let people in to see their home after 7:30 in the evening, which makes sense, but if you want to sell your home you need to be accommodating and that includes showing the home. It is important to know that requests to see a house at 9 or even 10 at night are not all that uncommon since people work all kinds of hours these days.

Not Planning for the Negotiations

Like any business deal, you need to know what you want-- a house closing is no different. Be sure to talk to your agent about your desires and expectations for the sale of the home are. Do you want a certain amount of money, do you want to have a specific amount of time between closing and moving out, and so on. Once your agent is aware of what you want out of the deal, he or she can help you create a negotiation plan.

Use your agent's knowledge and experience to your advantage at this stage of the process. They have been trained and tested on all the contracts and protocols that are involved in the closing. If you don't want their help anything else, let them help you during the closing; it is the number one reason to want a real estate agent on your side.

In conclusion: remember to pick a great real estate agent as they can help you avoid these common mistakes. Learn from these and other mistakes that people have made so that you will be able to successfully sell your home, getting the most bang for your buck. If you are selling your home, contact one of our agents, they can help you reach your goals. Keep researching the selling process as well-- the more you know the more successful you will be.