Selling a home is a complicated process that most people only go through a few times in their lives. Here are 8 costly mistakes that home sellers often make, and how you can avoid them.
It was a great home, but now it’s an asset you need to maximize. Now it’s your property. This means you need to look at your property objectively, and develop the best strategy to get the best return on your investment.
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Preparing your property for market will directly affect how long it takes you to sell, and the sales price you ultimately realize. While you don’t want to go overboard with unnecessary improvements, there are many repairs & improvements you can make that will realize a positive return on investment (ROI.) Landscaping, touch up paint, & deep cleaning almost always return well, as does property staging. Sometimes, upgrades like new flooring or countertops make sense. A professional stager/decorator can help you make these decisions.
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Sellers most commonly price their homes too high, but pricing low can also cost you money. If you price too high, your property will wither on the market and buyers will wonder “What’s wrong with that property?” when they see a long-listed property for sale. Conversely, even if a low price results in a bidding war, there’s a chance you left money on the table. When pricing your property, it’s important to first understand the inventory in your specific market, which tells you how much leverage you have, and to price accordingly.
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While purchase price is one of the most important points to any contract, it’s important to know which fees are typically assigned to which party. If a buyer offers you asking price, but assigns $5000 in buyer fees to the seller, you need to view this offer as $5000 below asking. Likewise, it’s imperative that you understand typical deadlines like the buyer’s option & financing periods.
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Cash purchasers need to prove their funds through a bank statement, letter from their CPA, or letter from their asset manager. Most buyers will finance the property, and need to provide a pre-approval letter that describes the terms of the loan. It’s always good to call the party who issued the letter, and it’s important to understand the common loan terms in your current environment.
This may sound simple, but many sellers grow fatigued after a few weeks on the market and stop accommodating potential buyers. If you don’t get a fast sale, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook, and to let as many buyers through the property as possible (within reason.)
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Potential buyers will want to see your seller’s disclosure & survey as soon as they’re express interest in the home. If you’ve made significant upgrades or repairs, they will want to see documentation. If you don’t make these easily accessible, a hot buyer will cool.
The right Realtor will help you avoid these mistakes, and a slew of others. While your college roommate, brother-in-law, and neighbor might all be agents, that doesn’t make them the right Realtor to help you sell your property. Interview agents and ask hard questions until you’re sure you made the right decision.
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