If you’re selling your home, do you know that there are a million things you’re supposed to do – and a million mistakes to avoid. This guide explains the five biggest mistakes first-time sellers make and how to avoid them.
5 Mistakes First-Time Sellers Make (and How to Avoid Them)
If you’ve never sold a home before, or if it’s been quite some time since the last time you put a house or condo on the market, check out these five simple mistakes that many people make:
- Being unavailable for showings
- Sticking around during showings
- Failing to stage
- Skipping an agent
Here’s a closer look at each.
First-Time Seller Mistake #1: Overpricing
Many people make the mistake of overpricing their homes. Although it’s not a guarantee that you won’t sell, overpricing can be a tremendous mistake that ends up costing you money in the long run. That’s because overpricing means that your home has to compete out of its league; buyers will be looking at your home alongside homes that are properly priced, and yours is going to come up short.
Eventually, you’ll be forced to lower your home’s price so it’s competing with its peers. By that time, though, your listing will be “stale” – and that means homes that have more recently hit the market will outshine it (and appear higher in search results online). House-hunters can see that you’ve reduced your price, and they may wonder what’s wrong with the home and why no one has purchased it yet. Your best bet is to price your home properly from the beginning.
Related: 3 home improvements you can probably skip
First-Time Seller Mistake #2: Being Unavailable for Showings
Though it can be difficult to pack up and leave when you just want to settle in and relax, you should make your home available for showings as often as possible. Some people can only carve out time to look at homes after work in the evenings or on weekends, which means your home has to be available for showings during those times.
The more available your home is for showings, the more likely you are to find qualified buyers. Try to be as available as possible so you don’t miss out!
First-Time Seller Mistake #3: Sticking Around During Showings
When people come to tour your home, head out. Even if you think it’ll be helpful because you’ll be there to answer questions, it won’t; it’ll only make buyers uncomfortable. They won’t want to ask their agent questions in front of you and they may feel awkward poking around (which they need to do in order to make an informed decision about buying your home). Further, your presence may feel overbearing and increase the pressure on them – so the best thing for you to do is leave.
Take your kids and pets with you, too. (And while you’re at it, remove pet food bowls and toys. Some buyers aren’t huge animal fans, so it’s best if you remove evidence of their presence.)
Related: Exterior renovations to consider if you’re selling your home
First-Time Seller Mistake #4: Failing to Stage
Staging a home is the art of making it appealing to prospective buyers, and it’s an essential step toward getting your asking price. The purpose of staging is to highlight your home’s best features, and your agent can give you some pointers on how to do it right (or recommend a professional stager if you’re interested). You may also find these articles helpful:
First-Time Seller Mistake #5: Skipping an Agent
For most people, the best way to sell a home is through a REALTOR®. Your real estate agent can help you settle on the proper selling price, list your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), market it to all the right buyers, negotiate when it’s time, and walk you through the closing process. You don’t have to worry about any of those things when you’re working with a highly skilled real estate agent who knows the area well.
Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Baltimore County or Howard County?
If you’re ready to buy or sell a home in Baltimore County or Howard County, we can help. Check out these listings:
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