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Avoid These 8 Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Each year, hundreds of thousands of homes are sold in the U.S. Though the housing market is continuing its slow ascent from the economic downturn of the 2008 recession, the forecast for 2018 is bright. As the Millennial generation–who have been notoriously absent from the housing market thus far–age, experts are predicting that more will be purchasing homes this year.

What does this mean for homeowners? Well, if you’ve been contemplating selling, this may be the year to do it. But if you are a first-time seller, know that the process can be time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. Streamline the process and set yourself up for success by avoiding the following mistakes when selling your home.

Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your Home

To obtain the highest return on your investment, it pays off to avoid the eight biggest mistakes when selling your home.

1. Not Hiring a Professional

With everything that goes into selling a house, the first mistake to avoid is attempting to close a home sale on your own. Unless you are a real estate agent or have sold previous houses this way, trying to sell your home by owner is usually more trouble than it is worth. You will have to invest a serious amount of time and effort into listing, showing, and negotiating. Though the price of a realtor’s fee may seem hefty (on average, commission is usually 5-6 percent of your home’s sale price), their expertise is priceless. In fact, houses that are listed for sale by owner commonly take longer to sell and fetch a lower price than those sold by a real estate agent.

2. Using Poor Quality Photos

As with most purchases, the first place buyers look for homes is online. If the photos that accompany your online listing are low quality, or, worse yet, you fail to include photos of your home, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Good listing photos are those that are taken in the daylight, focused correctly, and show off the best attributes of your home.

3. Overpricing Your Home

There are many reasons people overestimate the value of their home, whether it’s emotional investment, misunderstanding the local market, or relying solely on comps. The number one reason houses don’t sell is because of an unrealistic asking price. And often, the longer a home stays on the market, the lower the sale price will be.

4. Skipping Prep Work

After deciding to sell, many homeowners rush to get their house on the market. But skipping over home improvements and prep work, such as cleaning, painting, and completing minor repairs, could cause potential home buyers to pass on your home. If you decline to eliminate odors, declutter, or improve curb appeal, potential buyers will wonder what other issues you haven’t addressed. The very last thing you want as a home seller is for people to see your home in disrepair.

5. Failing to Disclose Major Issues

If you opt out of rectifying significant issues with the house or property, they will eventually become the new owner’s problems and must be disclosed. Attempting to hide property problems is a futile practice; the buyer’s inspection will always uncover them, wasting you time and money in the long run.

6. Showing an Empty Home

Showing an empty home is a common mistake because it doesn’t allow prospective buyers to imagine themselves living there. If you move out before the house sells, consider hiring a home staging company to bring in furniture, lighting, plants, and other objects to give your empty home life.

7. Declining Proper Insurance

Because of the number of people who will be on your property attending showings and viewing the house, you’ll want to make sure you are properly insured. If someone falls or has an accident on the premises, they could sue you for damages. Be sure all hazardous objects such as an in-ground pool or cracked sidewalk, are removed or gated off. Talk to your insurance company to verify your coverage during the selling process.

8. Not Getting a Pre-Listing Inspection

One proactive step that could prevent mistakes when selling your home is to receive a pre-listing home inspection from an inspection company, like Inspect-It 1st. Pre-listing home inspections can pinpoint potential defects, giving you a full picture of what exactly needs to be repaired or replaced. Being able to market your home as ‘pre-inspected’ gives interested buyers confidence in their potential purchase. Plus, it also distinguishes your home among the competition.

Are you in the process of selling your home and in need of a pre-listing home inspection? Our certified professionals can ensure that your home is up-to-code and ready for sale.