Even in the best of markets, selling a house is a complex event, and there are many steps involved in a successful transaction. It can also be an emotional time for many sellers, so it’s not uncommon for sellers with the best intentions in mind to make a number of emotional mistakes when selling their house.
Fortunately, the majority of these mistakes can be prevented. In fact, most involve swallowing your pride so that you can act in your own best interest. The best advice is to keep your emotions at a distance and to look at the house as a financial asset rather than a treasured possession.
Learn These Five Emotional Mistakes Homes Sellers Make and How You Can Avoid Making Them!
Mistake #1. Hiring an inexperienced real estate agent
Choosing The right agent can help you sell your existing home quickly and for the most money, the market will bear. The wrong agent can cost you time on the market and even worse, money! You need to choose an agent based on their experience and their ability to do the job, not someone because you like them personally. You need an agent that knows the market, has access to buyers, has a profound online presence, and has a wide range of marketing tools.
An experienced REALTOR® will know what marketing and sales tactics work best in your area. For example, in some parts of the country holding frequent open houses work well in bringing potential buyers while in other areas they don’t work well at all. In some areas, print advertising still works well while in others it doesn’t. Find an agent with a comprehensive marketing plan and one who has your best interests in mind.
Mistake #2. Pricing the house too high
This seems like a no-brainer but it’s still quite common for sellers, and real estate agents to overprice listings. Sellers often have a price in mind that they would like to get and are willing to ‘test the market’, even when the market data says something quite different. In today’s market, there are many sellers who need to net a certain amount of money from the sale in order to pay off the mortgage, so they price the house at that price hoping they can get it.
The fact is that no matter how great you think your home may be, it’s only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it and in most cases, that price will be similar to what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for. Your home may sell for more money if you have added square footage or have some standout features such as a pool, but this isn’t always the case. Research the market, listen to your real estate agent, and price your home accordingly.
3. Failing to prepare the home to show at it’s best
First impressions do matter – It can be the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. Prospective buyers don’t just shop on the weekends but may call at any moment wanting to see the home, so you need to have the home ready at all times. This means keeping the house in impeccable condition. Vacuum the house a few times a week, keep the kitchen clean and clutter free, keep the beds made, and make the bathrooms shine.
Selling a house can be a real pain and it, more than likely, will disrupt your daily routine, but you really don’t have a choice if you want to sell your home in a reasonable amount of time and for top dollar. In a buyers market, you may only have one chance to make a first impression so create a schedule and a list of chores that need to be done and have everyone contribute and do their part and most importantly, stick to it. If this isn’t possible, you may consider hiring a cleaning service.
This is an emotional mistake made by many sellers because they allow their emotions to get in the way of following the steps that are required to sell for the most money. Having the attitude, ‘my house is fine the way it is’ is an attitude that will result in less, if any, offers being made and may cost you thousands of dollars.
4. Not even considering low offers
Some sellers will not consider low offers. They don’t think the buyer is serious, so they just disregard the offer, and some even get offended. Having this attitude can cost you a sale. You should keep an open mind to all offers if you want to get the most money possible because you never know what a prospective buyer may be willing to do.
Consider this; a prospective buyer likes your house enough to make an offer to purchase it. Although the price may not be what you would like, consider this an opportunity to negotiate a good deal for you. When countering a low offer, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes…. what would be most important to you? Price? Help with closing costs? Quick closing? Ask yourself those questions then craft your counter-offer accordingly. You may just get the price you’re looking for if you’re willing to give on some other items.
The bottom line is, never give up on the sale until you’ve exhausted all options you have available with that particular buyer.
5. Taking home inspection issues personally
More than likely you’ve spent a significant amount of time, effort and money getting your house ready to sell. You have it looking the best it’s looked in years. Unfortunately, often there are problems that are found through a home inspection that sellers didn’t know they had, and this makes some sellers upset.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, some of the most common problems that are found during the home inspection include roofing issues, leaking, inoperable, or inefficient windows and doors, poor grading and drainage, structural issues, electrical issues, deficient heating systems, and plumbing defects. These are all problems which, if left untreated will continue to get worse and possibly cost even more money to repair.
If any of these issues, or any others, come up on the inspection report don’t allow your emotions to get in the way of making the best decision for you, your family, and your situation. Taking this information personally will only get in the way of making the sale.
Again, if you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes then address the problems that would be a concern if you were buying the home you will avoid many costly mistakes. Selling a house is a business transaction so treat it as such. Letting your emotions, no matter how heartfelt, dictate your decision making will usually end up costing you the sale.