Buying a new home can be an exciting time. But once your new home is under contract, it’s time to sell your current one. Selling your home is probably not as exciting as buying one, and it can be pretty stressful.
Home sellers sometimes compound that stress by making mistakes that can sabotage their efforts and lead to longer times on the market, lower sales prices, and more hassle in general. Recognizing this danger of self-sabotage can be crucial, so here some ways not to sell your home:
Price it incorrectly
Many home sellers see the list prices on other homes in their area and assume they should copy those to set their own sales price. Or they know what they need to “clear” to pay off the existing loan and put a down payment on a new home.
Those things are not necessarily the driving factors in determining a sales price, and coming up with one too high will turn off potential buyers. Pricing it too low means costing yourself money.
A home priced correctly from the start usually will sell quickly and not require price drops. Let a market analysis of recent comparable sales determine your selling price, not what you want or need to “clear” on the deal.
Stop doing repairs
All too often, once someone decides to put their home on the market, they also choose not to do some of the things they had intended to do around the house. Maybe it’s a big, expensive project, or a bunch of little ones, but they decide to let the next owner handle them.
Price and condition, however, are the two main factors for home buyers. That means if walls need a coat of paint, worn carpeting needs to be replaced, or the deck needs to be re-stained, the home seller should do those things or expect time or money consequences in a sale.
Keep it personal
There’s a reason you keep hearing about neutral colors on walls. That bright red kitchen you love is a personal thing. To appeal to a buyer, they, too, have to love bright red walls. Neutral colors are less personal and keep the pool of potential buyers larger.
The same goes for any other personal touches in your home. Your collection of snow globes should probably be packed away during the showing, as should the deer head hanging above the mantle. Even personal belongings such as coats or shoes in a foyer should be out of sight.
Buyers want to picture a home with their belongings in it, and that won’t be so easy if your personal touches are visible everywhere.
Let it grow
It sounds cliché, but you only have one chance to make a first impression. For buyers, that begins the moment they pull up in front of your home. “Curb appeal” is a phrase you hear because it’s crucial to selling your home.
That means home sellers should weed the beds and mow the lawn regularly while the home is on the market. Hedges, shrubs, and trees need to be trimmed and stay that way. Nobody is going to buy your home because of the landscaping, but if your yard is a mess, buyers will be turned off.
Make it small
Homebuyers want to see as much functional space in a home as possible. Even in large homes, however, there can be a risk of making things appear smaller than they are. Home sellers need to know this.
A kitchen counter that has coffee makers, toasters, drying racks, bread baskets, etc., can appear cramped. So can a family room with a giant TV, furniture arrangement that divides the space, and eat-in kitchens or dining rooms with huge sets of tables and chairs.
Even patios should be de-cluttered. Minimizing the amount of “stuff” in a space can make even small-ish parts of a home seem more spacious.
Selling a home can be a daunting thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how NOT to sell a home can be a good start.
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