If you need to sell your home due to a work relocation, budgetary constraints, or other change of circumstances, you’re probably already starting to think about the next steps and how to get the best price possible.
One way to help increase your chances of success is to avoid common mistakes many people make. Here are some of the top ones to be wary of.
Not Decluttering the Home
One of the critical errors many home sellers make is not clearing out a lot of the “stuff” that is taking up room in their homes. When potential buyers come to see a property, they want to get a good idea of the size of each space and think about how they might decorate it. If each zone is full of belongings, though, this makes the rooms appear smaller and makes it more difficult for people to imagine themselves living there and their possessions fitting into the spaces.
To help you sell your home more quickly, declutter ASAP. Minimize the amount of furniture and personal items in each room and put things into storage if need be. You may even want to take this time to reduce your belongings so you have less to move when the home does sell.
Failing to Clean Thoroughly
Similarly, you don’t want to make the big mistake of not cleaning your home thoroughly before opening it for inspection. It’s vital to do a big, thorough cleaning of the property inside and out before putting your home on the market so that it’s fresh, spotless, and smells and looks good. From there, you’ll just need to keep it neat, tidy, and clean as the weeks go by for each open house or private inspection.
Be sure to complete cleaning tasks like dusting, removing cobwebs, cleaning sliding door tracks, washing windows, mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing the grout on tiles, giving carpets a deep clean, getting grime off stove tops and ovens, etc.
Not Bothering to Boost Curb Appeal
Try to look at your property with fresh eyes from the street and see what you notice. Likely, the curb appeal of your place isn’t quite as fantastic as it could be. Avoid making the standard error of not bothering to boost curb appeal by spending as much time working on the outdoor areas as you do the internal ones.
For example, care for your lawn and get it looking lush, green, and healthy by regularly mowing and watering it, fertilizing it occasionally, and aerating it once or twice. You may also need to purchase some hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, garden shears, chainsaws, and other supplies to trim back hedges, shrubs, trees, and more, remove dead plants, and remove leaf buildup.
If your garden looks rather bare right now, invest in some pretty flowers to add color, and pop some potted plants near your front door to liven up the entranceway.
Other ways to improve curb appeal are to switch out old fixtures and fittings for new ones (e.g., a new mailbox, front door, door handles, garage doors, etc.), install pathway lighting to help buyers inspect the property clearly at night, and repaint the outside of the home if needed.
Lack of Neutrality in the Design
Many people don’t stop to think about whether or not potential homebuyers will be turned off by the décor in their property when they come to inspect it, but this is a mistake. To get your property ready for sale, make some changes to the design so it’s more neutral.
Bright or “out there” wall colors, light shades, rugs, furniture, etc., may be what you like, but it could be an issue for others and make them see your home in a less favorable light. It’s helpful, then, to repaint your home a nice neutral color and keep bright hues for accessories like artwork, vases, cushions, etc.
Skipping Market Research
Another common mistake you want to avoid when selling your home is skipping essential market research. Before you put your property on the market, learn who is most likely to buy your type of home, such as couples, young families, investors, retirees, or the like, and what they most look for when inspecting properties.
Knowing this information will help you see which renovation projects are best to tackle to improve your property before you list it for sale and which things might be a waste of money. You’ll also better understand how to set up furniture and generally stage your home for sale.
For example, many couples and families will be looking for a house with an office or study desks in bedrooms, while retirees might be more interested in spotting hobby rooms or seeing that the garden is easily maintained.
Other mistakes to avoid when you’re ready to say goodbye to your property are hiring an inexperienced or otherwise lacking agent, trying to hide problems that will just be spotted during building or pest inspections, and not making the home available enough for showings.
Selling a house can be a complex process, but understanding your options can make it smoother. Many homeowners who are eager to sell forget to explore their options in full. Traditional listings with a realtor are common, but they aren’t the only choice.
You might consider a ‘for sale by owner’ approach to save on commission fees, or sell to a real estate investor for a quick, cash sale. An alternative is working with real estate investors who offer quick home valuations and purchases.
Lastly, home auctions could be a viable option. Assess your priorities—speed, profit, convenience—to decide which option aligns best with your needs and market conditions.
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If you work to avoid all the above errors, you should find that your home sells faster and for a better price, and with fewer headaches along the way for you, too.