Selling your property in the competitive Seattle housing market can be a challenging endeavor. To maximize the potential rewards of a successful home sale, you should know and understand what you need to do. But just as important is being aware of the possible missteps and pitfalls you need to avoid…
Watch out for these six common home-selling mistakes:
- Not hiring an agent or choosing the wrong one to work with
- Overpricing your property
The first costly mistake you can make when selling your home is deciding not to hire a real estate agent.
With an agent by your side, you gain access to relevant market information, expert insights and invaluable advice on how to increase your home’s marketing appeal. You also gain the advantage of strong negotiation skills. Their experience and services are crucial if your goal is to maximize the value of your home.
When you do hire an agent, set a high bar. Your agent must have local area knowledge, years of industry experience, and technological savvy to leverage your marketing efforts. Look for important personal qualities like integrity, passion, personality and accessibility, as well.
While it’s understandable that you want the best returns for your property, setting the correct list price is crucial in your overall success. Work with and listen to the advice of your agent in reviewing current sales data on comparable properties in your area.
Don’t let personal bias and sentimentality lead to an unrealistic, overblown price tag. Overpricing your home is the most costly mistake you can make, as savvy buyers and agents will not only ignore it…but they will use it as a comparison with homes offering better values. Homes that linger on the market typically require multiple price drops and often ultimately sell for below the actual market value.
Buyers nearly always prefer a move-in ready house over a fixer-upper.
Identify necessary repairs in and around your home and take care of them early. Address even small things like unhinged cabinet doors, leaky faucets, cracked tiles, fresh paint, replace worn carpets, etc.
Don’t be tempted to avoid these types of repairs in an effort to save on costs. Your buyer will have the home inspected before closing, so any deferred maintenance will be revealed eventually. Neglecting repairs can give your buyer more leverage to negotiate for a lower price or worse, such as backing out of the deal.
Getting your home in peak condition to attract serious buyers or possibly multiple offers requires more than just a thorough cleaning and basic repairs. Staging your home properly showcases its best qualities in compelling ways that potential buyers can connect with emotionally.
While staging your home is an activity that you can attempt to do on your own, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional. Use the advantage of an experienced eye and someone who has connections with furniture and decoration rentals to boost the marketing appeal of your home. It’s money well spent in the end.
Professional photography and videos are crucial to any successful marketing strategy. An experienced broker will be able to make recommendations for a photographer that can maximize the marketing appeal of your property.
When you put your home on the market, be prepared to make it accessible for viewings. Limited viewing schedules is a strong deterrent for potential buyers.
Be prepared for some inconvenience at this stage. Some buyers might only be able to visit in the evenings after work or at odd hours, so you might have to step out at dinnertime or frequently adjust your plans to allow an agent to tour potential buyers. You might also need to spend a few of your weekends outside your home until you get an ideal offer.
Be patient and thorough when reviewing offers. Avoid getting too excited with the first or highest offer that may come your way. Remember: a buyer’s offer price is only the starting figure for your negotiations.
Be conscious of the contingencies that you and your buyer must satisfy in order to close the sale. Work with your agent to weigh these conditions and look for potential loopholes before committing to any deal.
If your buyer is not paying cash, look for a mortgage pre-approval. This will give you confidence that your buyer can secure the loan to complete the purchase.
Look into timing and closing fee concerns, too. Be fully informed of the risks involved in contingent sales offers, which means the buyer can’t close the deal until they sell their own home first. Pay close attention to which party – you or the buyer – is required to cover the closing costs.
Let’s discuss how we can make the most out of your home selling experience. Get in touch with me for more home selling tips at mary(at)marypong(dotted)com or 425-829-3417 today.