Selling your home is no easy process, in terms of both the actual logistics and the emotional connection you often have to your home. While most sales don’t go 100 percent smoothly, there are some common home-selling mistakes you can avoid to help make the process less stressful and less emotional.
Whether you’re a first-time seller or you’ve been through the process before, being aware of what to watch for makes all the difference. Here are the biggest mistakes when selling your home:
Overpricing your home
One of the most important steps to selling a house is determining the right price — the price that will let you sell in a reasonable amount of time, for a profit that you’re comfortable with.
When listing your home for sale, one common pitfall is giving in to the temptation of a too-high listing price. Here’s why:
- It deters qualified buyers in your price range.
- It can make your home sit on the market longer. And the longer your home’s on the market, the less buyers feel like they need to put in an offer quickly.
- If you end up having to do a price reduction, buyers will feel like they have extra negotiating power.
- If your listing goes stale, you might end up selling for less than you would have if you had priced it appropriately from the start.
Selling at the wrong time
The timing of your sale can make all the difference in the price you’re able to get. In most places, the best time of year to sell is the second half of April. The typical U.S. home listed during this window sold for $9,300 more, compared to average points in the year. Weather can be a factor in your city’s selling window, so keep that in mind when researching the best times to sell in your area.
Another timing-related issue that you’ll want to keep in mind has less to do with the month of the year and more to do with how long you’ve owned the house. To avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of your primary residence, you’ll need to have lived in the home for at least two of the last five years.
Skimping on repairs
Even small defects can turn buyers off. If they walk through your home and find loose doorknobs, leaky faucets or wall dings, they’ll wonder if you’ve been neglecting bigger issues in the home as well.
Letting emotions interfere with your home sale
To successfully sell your home, it’s important to separate your emotional connection to the home from the details of the transaction. It can be hard to negotiate with buyers when you love your home, but acting like a professional is important.
Failing to prep and stage
Making the effort to help your home look its best before listing is time and money well-spent. A clean, uncluttered and bright home is what buyers are looking for.
Not hiring a professional photographer
Many real estate agents will cover the cost of professional listing photographs, but even if you’re not using an agent, professional photos are a must. After all, the majority (95%) of buyers search for homes online, and listing photos are your home’s first impression.
Most professional photographers only charge a couple hundred dollars, and the result will be photos that are crisp and clean with lots of natural light, highlighting your home’s best features.