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Don't Make These Four Home Sale Mistakes

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With a housing market that's recovering from hitting bottom, putting your home up for sale can be an intimidating prospect. The way that you approach the preparation, listing and showing will contribute to how quickly you close on the sale. Here are a few common mistakes homeowners make when selling and tips to avoid them.

Selling Too Soon

If you've decided that you're going to sell, putting your home on the market can be exciting. But don't let that excitement lead you to put your home up for sale before you're really ready to do it. Sometimes, in the rush of the adrenaline, people will list a home only to realize that they weren't really ready to commit to a major move. Take time to talk through the whole process with your family and be sure that you know where you're headed before you put that house up for sale.

Not Preparing Properly

To get the most from your home sale, you need to make sure you're presenting the best possible version of your home that you can. Before you put your house on the market, take some time to do some prep work. Do a complete walk-through of both the interior and exterior of the house. Inspect everything, looking for areas where you may have flaking paint, damage or other issues that need to be fixed. Make the repairs before you list your home so that you reduce the reasons for people to discount their offer.

Once the repairs are done, you need to stage the house. Work through the house one room at a time, removing personal items such as pictures, collectibles and family heirlooms. The goal is to allow every prospective buyer to imagine themselves living in your house, not to see you and your family in it. If you aren't very good with decorating, consider hiring a staging company.

Trying to Sell By-Owner Without the Skills

You've probably heard about people selling their homes on their own and earning the entire profit. When you don't use a real estate agent to sell your home, there's no sales commission to pay. Unfortunately, many people don't have the skills to handle a home sale on their own. There's far more that goes on behind the scenes than you'd think.

Not only would you be left to plan and handle open houses, showings and negotiations, but you'd also be dealing with real estate agents representing the buyers. That means you're going to be negotiating with people who've been trained to buy and sell homes. If you don't have that same expertise, you may be at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with offers and purchase agreements.

Pricing Outside the Market Range

One of the things that can ruin your sales potential quickly is pricing your home improperly. Whether you're pricing too high or lower than the current market, it can be tough to secure a buyer. Many prospective buyers will see your home's listing in comparison to others in the neighborhood and may hesitate to even look at it. A price that's outside the current range for your neighborhood often indicates there's either something wrong with the home or you're simply not ready to sell, so buyers will look elsewhere.

You can avoid this by working with a real estate agent who can do a thorough market evaluation of your home to determine how much the house could sell for in the existing market. This gives you a range to price your home at, ensuring that your listing price makes sense when compared to others around you.

Working with a realtor is the best way to ensure that your home is really ready for the market. He or she will also help you develop an effective sales listing, including a reasonable market price. Talk with your local agent today to avoid making these mistakes when you sell your home.