Tuesday, September 22, 2015 / by Bill Berning*
If you are prepping your home to be sold as a first-time seller, there are many pitfalls to avoid. Here are some things to watch out for as a first-time home seller.
First-time home sellers have one of the most difficult jobs to undertake. These jobs include the inspection of the property, prepping the home for open houses, as well as, dealing with the myriad of documents and legal matters related to the sale of a home. Doing all of this at once can be maddening and requires some research. If home sellers want to avoid major problems, home sellers should learn about the mistakes to avoid as a first-time seller.
Doing research prior to putting a property on the market is a huge task, but will pay off with each buyer that is interested in the property. As first-time home sellers considering what to do regarding the sale of the home, there are several obvious mistakes to avoid. Here are the most common mistakes first-time home sellers make.
Not Performing a Home Inspection
A home inspection is a key first step of selling your property. Many first-time home sellers underestimate the importance of this task, which can end up being a costly mistake. By scheduling a home inspection prior to listing your home for sale, especially if it is older, you can avoid the issue of having to negotiate down the sale price of your home because there are problems that a buyer has to fix. By getting the home inspection done early, you have to opportunity to address the issues on your own and likely at a lower cost than the buyer might suggest.
Skipping Out on Marketing
In order for your home to sell, you will need to have an effective marketing plan in place that utilizes both online and offline resources. It is essential that you have a budget dedicated to marketing your home. This is not an area in which you want to skimp on your efforts. Your real estate agent has the ability to tap into a vast network of home sellers and home buyers in order to increase the probability that your home sells quickly.
You should work with your agent to develop a complete pricing strategy and marketing strategy for selling your home. An experienced agent can guide you through the difficulties of pricing a home to sell and can also ensure that your home is being advertised online effectively in order to attract the most buyers. A home that has not been marketed effectively or has been incorrectly priced has a high probability of taking longer to sell. Therefore, if you want the best results, you should work with a Realtor to market your property.
Don’t Try to Sell on Your Own
Trying to sell your home on your own as a first-time seller is a serious mistake to avoid. Not only are you risking your investment in your home, you may also open yourself up to legal liabilities. "Some people don’t buy and sell houses more than once or twice in a lifetime, and there’s a lot of money at stake," Holly Mellstrom, a Realtor in Pelham, NY says. "And there are so many disclosure laws now. Depending on the laws in your state, you're really accepting some liability by trying to sell it yourself, unless you have a friend or an attorney who can guide you through the process."
An experienced Realtor can guide you through all of the important steps that are required to successfully market your home. In addition, a Realtor is also capable of doing the research to stay on top of the latest updates in regulations to ensure that the entire process is done correctly. As a first-time home seller, you may also want to consider hiring an attorney if you want additional guidance on making the best decisions with regard to the sale of your property.
Failing to Stage Your Home
First-time home sellers might make the amateur mistake of believing that cleaning the home is enough to impress buyers. The fact is, that the buyer wants to see the home from their perspective and not yours. A real estate agent may recommend a professional home staging in order to get your home up-to-par for buyers.
The home staging process may likely require renovations to your home. A real estate agent can make the best recommendations for staging your home based on experience and knowledge of what buyers are looking for, such as new bathroom fixtures. As a first-time home seller, you should ask for your Realtor’s assistance in getting your home ready for buyers.
Failing to Meet Deadlines
Selling a home is a serious matter in the eyes of the law. Therefore, as a first-time home seller it is important that you stay on top of all deadlines provided to you by your real estate agent. If it helps, make a calendar so that you can keep track of appointments and deadlines. By staying on top of the deadlines, you can ensure that the paperwork gets filed on time and that you are responding to buyers’ offers in a timely fashion that will facilitate the sale of your home.
Lack of Communication
As a first-time home seller, you need to make sure that you establish a good line of communication with your agent. This is essential for keeping up with deadlines and also helping your real estate agent to learn about your unique case so that he or she can effectively market your property. It is not okay to simply drop out of communication or fail to mention concerns to your real estate agent, as your actions could damage your agent’s ability to sell your home.
By watching out for these amateur mistakes, you can avoid many of the headaches that first-time home sellers experience.