by Rebekah Bell
From moving in with your partner to welcoming your child home, your first house is undoubtedly filled with many special memories. Whether you’ve decided to put your home on the market to buy a bigger house or you’re moving to be closer to family, it can be hard to part ways with your first home and any home for that matter. But by planning ahead, you can avoid making any unnecessary mistakes when navigating the process. Here are five things to avoid when selling your home.
Not Pricing the Home Correctly
When it comes to selling your house, it’s helpful to keep the story of Goldilocks in mind. You don’t want your asking price to be too hot (too high) or too cold (too low); instead, you want it to be just right. Rather than relying on Internet wisdom or your intuition about how much you *wish* the house was worth, talk with a licensed realtor who is familiar with your neighborhood to get an accurate idea of how much you should list your home for.
Working with a realtor to price your home correctly ensures you won’t lose thousands of dollars by accepting an extremely low offer. It will also safeguard against the risk of having your house set on the market for months on end if you set a price that is too high.
Not Taking All of the Costs into Account
Most people are aware of many hidden costs involved in buying a home, but there are also plenty of payments associated with selling one. From repairs and home staging to agent commissions and closing costs, these fees for parting ways can often add up to around 10 percent of the final sale price.
Make sure that you’ve budgeted properly for these expenses so they won’t be a financial burden. And don’t forget to take carrying costs (like utilities, taxes and storage fees) into account if you end up buying a new home before selling your first one. By adding up all the expected costs and planning properly, you can avoid maxing out your budget when selling your home.
Not Investing in Good Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, so when you’re trying to sell your home it’s vital to have photos that accentuate its best angles. With so many more people looking at homes online in the midst of the pandemic, it’s well worth shelling out the necessary money to have an experienced real estate photographer take photos of your house. For best results the photos should be taken when there’s plenty of natural light streaming into the house. You might even want to take a video that can be posted alongside the photos.
Not Staging Your Home
Staging your home doesn’t need to be expensive, but it is a worthwhile step to take. Start by repairing little things around your house that can be easily fixed (such as replacing a burnt out light bulb or broken blinds). Next, remove personal effects like family photos and personalized knick-knacks so would-be buyers can more easily picture themselves there. You should also declutter and deodorize the house thoroughly. And don’t forget to add some simple finishing touches around the house, from throws over the couch to candles on the dining room table.
Not Working With an Agent
While it can be tempting to think you can handle selling your home on your own, working with an experienced real estate agent can be especially helpful for first-time sellers. Real estate agents will work with you by setting a fair price, negotiating to get you the best possible offer, and putting out the inevitable fires that pop up during the process. Because agents are well-versed in the paperwork involved in the real estate transaction process, they can also help take unwanted pressure off you.
Not Being Upfront About Repairs
It might be tempting to want to hide your home’s problems from potential buyers, but it’s best to be upfront. Serious buyers will likely request a home inspection after you accept their offer, so it’s best to avoid unwanted surprises that will delay your closing date or cause the buyer to pull their offer altogether. It’s a good idea to pay for a home inspection so you’re aware of any issues with the home. Make sure to relay that information to buyers so they can make a well-informed decision.
Looking to Sell Your Home?
Working with an agent who has your best interests at heart will make the process as painless as possible. If you’re selling a house in the Los Angeles area, contact the Suarez Team to help walk you through the process. Our team will ensure you have all the tools and knowledge necessary to sell your first home without any unnecessary stress or pressure.
Rebekah Bell is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.