Selling your home? Don’t fall into these common traps!
In this post, we take a look at some of the mistakes we come across most often. If you’re guilty of one or more, don’t feel bad – most of them come down to human nature. Just remember to keep an eye on yourself (or your other half!) before signing away your home.
Selling your home? Don’t make these 7 mistakes!
When a property goes on the market, a competition begins between the seller and their potential buyers.
Sometimes it’s a friendly back-and-forth, and sometimes it’s outright battle. Whichever way it turns out, the ideal outcome is when both the seller and the final buyer are happy.
If you’re the one selling, there are a few ways of making sure you don’t end up with the worse end of the deal, and the first place to start is by avoiding some of the common mistakes that sellers make.
Here’s our round-up of the top seven mistakes to avoid when selling.
- Asking for too much money… or too little
As we’ve mentioned before, setting a price is more than just putting a nice-looking number down and hoping for the best.
More often than not, sellers are on the side of profit – that is, they tend to want to start high (by which we mean “higher than they should”).
Doing this can cause a number of problems, the biggest being discouraged buyers. This can lead to a home sitting on the market for longer than it should, which inevitably leads to “there-must-be-something-wrong-with-it syndrome”.
On the other side of the coin, setting the price too low can stimulate too many enquiries, which can end up with the seller getting frustrated and accepting a low-ball offer.
- Expecting the home to market itself
We all have personal networks of sorts, but no home is going to sell itself, unless maybe it’s a well-known prestige property.
There’s no way around it: homes need marketing. Sellers sometimes feel their home will simply sell without having to spend a cent on advertising, but the reality is that they’re competing with tens or hundreds of other similar properties around Brisbane.
The solution? Commit to some marketing – preferably online (it’s usually better bang for your buck).
- Keeping the home too “you”
The idea of moving into someone else’s home can be off-putting to some buyers. While you may absolutely love your vintage Disney memorabilia, your potential buyers probably won’t.
It goes without saying that your home should be clean and well presented, but it can help a lot to go one step further and tone back the personal touches. This will allow your buyers to project themselves into the home and imagine themselves living there.
Don’t go too far and make it look clinical – a little lived-in charm does wonders. Just not too much!
- Not using an agent
We’re not trying to toot our own horn, but it’s fairly common knowledge that using an agent can make the whole selling process easier and quicker, while also netting you a bigger sale price.
By all means, if you have the know-how and spare time to do a good job of preparing, marketing, showing and selling your home, then go ahead. But if you don’t think you have the same skill set as someone that sells homes for a living, maybe consider taking a supporting role.
- Picking the first agent that comes along
Following on from the above point, it’s also a good idea to exercise some sceptical thinking before signing up with an agent.
Do your homework, interview a couple of different agents, and make sure they know what they’re doing. We’ve heard more than a few horror stories that resulted from people realising they weren’t up to selling their homes themselves, and then, feeling exasperated, signing with the first agent that came along.
Just as a buyer shops around for the right home loan, you should shop around for the right agent.
- Rejecting offers outright
If you get an offer that’s lower than you’d like, don’t just shoot it down. Sure, it might be an opportunistic buyer trying to low-ball you, but it could also be a perfectly reasonable human being trying to negotiate.
You don’t have to only negotiate with price either. There could be additional value you could add or remove according to the home’s features (e.g. appliances, furnishings, etc.) that could make the difference between a low offer and a palatable one.
- Equating personal attachment with actual value
When my brother-in-law bought his first brand-new car, he loved it to bits. For five years, it was his pride and joy. Then, when he went to sell it, he was shattered to find out that no one would pay what he thought it was worth.
Homes are even more personal than vehicles. Your kids might have grown up there, or you might have fond memories of installing that deck or swimming pool.
But unfortunately, sentimental value doesn’t equate to dollars. It’s painful, but it’s true.
We recommend trying your hardest to think of your sale as a business transaction and nothing more. It takes some effort, but it’ll leave you with a level head and make the selling process easier on everyone. I promise.
These seven mistakes aren’t the only potential pitfalls out there. If you’re thinking about selling, take a moment to think about what you’re embarking on, and if you reckon you’ll need some help along the way, contact the team at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate on (07) 3355 6845. We’re here to make the journey as positive as possible!