There are many things to consider and plan for while selling your home, and there are mistakes to be avoided if you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
Though it may be tempting to sell your own home so you don’t add to the cost of selling the house, the risks far outweigh the rewards. Selling a home is a complex legal transaction with many steps along the way, and just one misstep could be costly. We’ve summarized below the mistakes to steer clear of to ensure a smooth home sale.
Hiring the wrong real estate agent
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This is probably the most important tip on the list. Finding a good real estate agent will exponentially increase your chances of selling your home. A good Seattle real estate agent will have an in-depth understanding of the local market and will be able to price your home accordingly.
They will also have a network of potential buyers and a wealth of knowledge about the home-selling process. Additionally, a good agent will be able to negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible price for your home.
Neglecting curb appeal
Your home’s curb appeal
is its first impression — and first impressions matter. Potential buyers will often make up their minds about a property before they even step foot inside, based solely on its outward appearance. If your property looks unkempt or uninviting from the street, it could be turning away potential buyers before they even walk through the door.
You don’t need to do extensive landscaping or outdoor upgrades to make your property more appealing. Sometimes, simply power washing the siding and walkways, giving the front door a fresh coat of paint, and adding colorful plants can enhance the appearance.
Pricing your home too high
One of the most common and costly mistakes sellers make is pricing their home too high. In a seller’s market, where there are more buyers than homes for sale, you might be tempted to add a hefty premium to your home’s listing price. But even in a strong market, overpricing your home is a mistake.
Your home will likely spend more time on the market if it’s priced too high, and buyers will begin to wonder what’s wrong with the property. In some cases, buyers might even be put off by what they perceive as unrealistic pricing and choose not to look at your home at all. The longer your home sits on the market without any interest, the more likely you are to have to lower your asking price — possibly below what you would have gotten had it been priced correctly from the start.
Consult with your real estate agent to determine a competitive but realistic listing price for your home. They will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA), which takes into account recent sales of similarly sized homes in your neighborhood to arrive at an appropriate pricing range for your property.
Not staging your home
An empty house — or one that is very cluttered — isn’t welcoming when potential buyers walk through your door. An expertly staged
home can give people a much better sense of how the space could actually be used and help them visualize themselves living there.
If you decide to stage your own home, keep things neutral; take down any personal photos or items with religious or political significance, and remove any large pieces of furniture that make rooms feel cramped (staging should highlight each room’s best features).
Also, having good photos of the home’s exterior and interior is essential as most people start their home search online. Great imagery is crucial if you want to sell your home quickly. Make sure to hire a professional photographer who knows how to make the spaces look their best.
Leaving clutter around the house
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Be sure to declutter every surface; buyers don’t want to see countertops crammed full of small appliances or coffee tables covered in magazines and knick-knacks. Your closets, cabinets, and drawers should all be organized and free of clutter before showings begin. Potential buyers will open up doors and poke around — it comes with the territory — so make sure everything is tidy ahead of time. This also gives buyers peace of mind knowing that there is plenty of storage space in the house.
Not removing bad odors
Bad smells — whether they're from pets, smoking, or something else — can be a major turn-off for potential buyers. Before showings, make sure your home is free of any unpleasant odors by cleaning surfaces thoroughly, opening windows to air the house out, running fans in bathrooms and kitchens, and investing in air fresheners or scented candles if needed.
Skipping the pre-listing home inspection
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One of the first things you should do when putting your house on the market is to get a pre-listing home inspection. This will alert you to any necessary repairs or renovations that need to be made before listing your home.
Buyers will likely get their own home inspection as part of their due diligence anyway, but if they find anything major that needs to be fixed, they may back out of the deal or ask you to lower your asking price. By getting a pre-listing inspection, you can budget for any necessary repairs and avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future. You should fix any required repairs that the inspector reports before showing your home.
If you’re ready to search for luxury homes and condos
for sale in Seattle, Washington, contact Stephanie & Matt Stanford
. They have the expertise and knowledge of the Seattle market to successfully guide you through the real estate journey.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock