Are you an “Empty Nester” that is thinking about a new home in the future? If you’re thinking of downsizing, retiring, or just ready for the next chapter in your life you’re probably looking for a place to start. Here are 6 mistakes to avoid when selling your home and looking to get the best return possible.
What’s An Empty Nester?
Empty Nesters are the parents of kids who have just recently moved out of the home for the first time. Usually college; so often this happens when the kids graduate high school or college. Reports of loneliness and grief follow these instances which lead to homeowners rethinking their immediate and distant future plans.
Typically over the time of raising a child to young adulthood, homeowners have built equity into their homes and generally risen the value of the property. This combined with the upward trends of increased selling prices on single-family homes makes it a very advantageous time to put your home on the market. Even if you haven’t considered it before, there’s a good chance this may be the best time to start your next chapter in life.
Mistakes To Avoid That Could Cost You Thousands
1) Selling Your Home By Yourself
Selling your home by yourself may seem appealing – to have full control and cut down on commission fees – but very often this is not the case. When you sell your home yourself you now take on the responsibilities of a realtor which can be extremely time consuming and stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. You now become in charge of not only prepping the home to go on the market, but you also become the person marketing the property on multiple social platforms, answering all inquiries, showing the home, hosting open houses etc. There’s a hundred things that could go wrong. It’s never a bad idea to have an educated realtor by your side, especially through such a long and important process.
Here at Pearson Realty Group, we pride ourselves on our realtor’s ability to make clients feel comfortable through the whole sale process and more importantly, on being experts at what they do. If you’re interested in taking the first step down the path of selling your home, visit our What’s Your Home Worth page to get a free valuation of your property.
2) Not Planning For Selling & Closing Costs
There is more involved in selling your home than the sticker price on the listing. A laundry list of potential fees, costs, and payouts turn a simple number into a complex equation. If you’re not careful in the planning of your finances closing time can become a real pain.
This is another great example of a time where having a realtor on your side is invaluable. Not only can they help you prepare financially and mentally for the closing, but they are also experts in these costs & fees – making sure there are zero surprises when closing day comes. Taking a look at the City of Chicago’s Closing Costs for Sellers shows us that there is a multitude of factors that you have to consider that change from situation to situation. An experienced agent can walk you through the typical and most common closing costs, as well as preparing you for any unexpected costs that can occur during, before, and even after closing.
3) Bad Listing Photos
Listing photos are one of those things that you don’t give much thought to when it’s done correctly, but when it’s done poorly, it is glaringly obvious. Good listings photos that accurately show your property and living space are one of the most vital aspects of selling your home today. Bad lighting, messy spaces, and blurry low-resolution photos can immediately turn eyes off your property. Remember, this is a buyer’s first impression of your home.
With a quick Google search, it’s not too difficult to find some truly bad and sometimes downright funny listing photos. In the age of smartphones and social media, it’s not hard to snap some great-looking photos without much effort. Even so, the ceiling of photo quality is very high with modern digital DSLR cameras that put it in another league entirely from the camera in your pocket.
This is another advantage of hiring a dependable real estate agent. A good real estate company will have a shortlist of professional photographers they work with on all their properties. Proper lighting, staging rooms, engaging angles, and external camera equipment creates photos that are eye-catching and attractive to potential buyers, greatly increasing the interest in your home.
4) Skipping or Hiding Minor & Major Repairs Areas
If you’ve raised a child in your home for 18 years or just lived solo, chances are certain areas of the home are in need of repairs. Over the years, little (or big) things accumulate into a list of to-dos before listing your home. Skipping these repairs can lead to issues moving the property and even legal problems after the sale.
Your agent will help direct you to the best possible course of action for all areas of concern. Some smaller items like gutters, doors, or lighting fixtures are relatively small in scope and can be completed in a timely manner. Whereas larger items such as a damaged roof or undesirable features need work ASAP. This one is simple, fix her up!
5) Pricing Is Unrealistic
Right behind bad listing photos, one of the biggest turnoffs for a potential buyer is the price tag. It goes without saying that behind the location, price is the most important buyers consider. Potential buyers are more likely to eliminate your home from their potential pool at a high price alone. On the other hand, pricing that’s too low can cause buyers to make assumptions about the state of the home in a negative light.
You want a price that reflects the true value of the home that is also grounded in reality. Keeping in mind factors such as market inventory, location, and interest rate trends when setting an expectation for the selling price. But the absolute best and most foolproof way to properly price your listing is with the help of an agent. A Pearson Realty Group agent can not only give you a valuation on your home but direct you to the best selling price as well. Using a network of trusted and experienced estimators and inspectors can get your home to the best possible selling price.
6) Not Being Flexible or Negotiable with Potential Buyers
One thing you’ll pick up fairly quickly when selling your home is how much smoother things are when you’re a workable person. This is a factor in all the above items – pricing, contract terms, and more – so it’s good to keep that in the back of your head. Some buyers will be okay with repairs being left alone, while it may be a deal breaker for others. No matter what the potential buyer brings to the table, being malleable in negotiations will help everyone in the long term.
When negotiating a price it’s important not only to be flexible but not take any part of the process personally. A slight against the price is not a slight against a homeowner. Even though you’re dealing with personal property, it’s purely business. This is another instance where it’s invaluable to have a realtor by your side. They can do the negotiating for you with the buyer’s agent, displacing that stress for you. If you find you’re being overwhelmed by this process, allow your realtor to take control and make your life easy.
Overall, the biggest takeaway from our 6 mistakes to avoid when selling your home is to plan ahead and prepare. Knowing the potential pitfalls in the selling process is the first step in making sure you avoid them. Do your homework and adapt this list to your specific situation. Different homes, markets, regions, and demographics have a multitude different of unique needs. Remember if you’re selling, you’re also a potential buyer to someone else. Keep this in mind as you set the pieces on your selling roadmap.
The best way of preparing to sell your home is to work with a trusted real estate agent. As mentioned above, they are there to guide you through this entire process, problems both big and small. Not only do they have the knowledge to answer all your questions but the resources to help with almost any issue. So the last piece of advice is to not be afraid to make your realtor work for you – that’s what they’re there for! Reach out to Pearson Realty Group anytime to speak to an agent about selling your home. Or visit our home valuation page to get the process started.