First time selling a house? Then you should know there’s a lot to know about the selling process and how to prepare for it. You should also know it can be exceedingly easy to mess things up. And if you do make a mistake, it could potentially cost you the sale — or a significant amount of money — depending on the type of mistake you make.
Fortunately, avoiding mistakes throughout the home-selling process isn’t terribly difficult. But to successfully dodge them, you’ve got to know what those blunders look like and how to navigate the circumstances surrounding them.
Here are five common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when selling your home.
1. Listing at the Wrong Price
The price you’d like to get for your home and the price prospective buyers are willing to pay might be two very different numbers. And if you’re unaware of what the market is currently doing or how much comparable homes in your area recently sold for, you could easily list your home way too high or, worse, far too low.
If you want to sell quickly while earning what your home is really worth, you’ll want to list your home for fair market value, which not only reflects what the market is doing but also the condition of your home. To get an accurate assessment of your home’s value, you’ll either need to hire a professional home appraiser or work with an agent or investor who knows your local market well.
2. Underestimating Your Expenses as the Seller
Selling a home the traditional way can be expensive. And if you don’t anticipate all of the expenses associated with the process and transaction, you could get hit with a pretty big shock. What kind of expenses are we getting at? Here’s just a handful:
- 5%–6% in agent commissions (that’s $12.5K–$15K on a $250K sale)
- Closing costs (which are typically 3%–5% of the mortgage loan amount)
- Cost of any necessary repairs and/or renovations
- Cleaning and staging costs
- Capital gains tax (if you don’t qualify for the exemption, which you can learn more about from the Internal Revenue Service)
3. Failing to Prepare the Home for Showings
First impressions are everything in real estate, so if you want to make prospective buyers fall in love with your home, you must make it look appealing. That means you’ll need to:
- Thoroughly clean from top to bottom
- Spruce up your curb appeal
- Remove personal items and declutter
- Fix minor defects that detract from the overall appearance of your home
- Stage your home for maximum aesthetic appeal
If you want to sell your house fast for top dollar, preparation is key. According to realtor.com, properly prepared, carefully staged homes not only sell an average of 88% faster than their nonstaged counterparts but also sell for approximately 20% more.
4. Neglecting Major Repairs
If you’re planning to sell on the open market, you’ll likely deal with some scrupulous buyers. And many (if not most) of them won’t be willing to buy if there’s anything seriously wrong with your home.
Most prospective buyers will require your home to pass a prepurchase inspection before they’ll move forward with closing, and many mortgage lenders will require the same. If your house can’t pass, it’ll likely languish on the market for a long time.
If your house is visibly damaged, has failing or nonfunctional equipment (such as a furnace, air conditioner, or plumbing system), has glaring safety issues, or has structural defects, fix those things. Otherwise, you could wait many months to find a buyer, and if you need to sell quickly, that’s certainly not ideal.
5. Not Considering All Selling Options
If you need to sell in a hurry, chances are you won’t sell as quickly as you’d like to if you list with an agent on the open market. And if you attempt the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route, the same idea applies. That’s especially true if your house needs any major repairs or even more minor renovations to either bring it up to code or make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
If you only consider listing on the open market, you could be left spinning your wheels, waiting around for a serious buyer for many weeks or even several months.
But if you consider selling for cash — to a cash home buyer (aka a real estate investor) — you’ll be much more likely to find success. Cash home buyers can purchase your property, no matter what kind of condition it’s currently in, and they can close deals within a matter of days. You won’t pay commission fees, you don’t have to make any repairs or even clean your house, and you won’t need to wait around for a serious offer.
If you’re looking to sell quickly and easily while getting as much money as possible for your as-is property, be sure to keep the cash home buyer option on the table.
Sell Your House the Easy Way With We Buy Houses Chattanooga
If you’re looking to sell your house fast and get as much money as possible for your as-is property, get in touch with our team at We Buy Houses Chattanooga to request an offer! We’re cash home buyers and can purchase your house in a matter of days, with no commission fees, closing costs, or other hidden fees. We can put a no-obligation offer in front of you within 24 hours of our first conversation, and from there, all you need to do is decide whether you’re ready to sell