Selling your home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging especially if you've never done it before. At times, it may feel like an invasion of privacy because strangers will come into your home and poke around your closets and cabinets. They will criticise a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it's easy for first-time home sellers to make lots of mistakes. But with a little know-how, you can avoid many of these pitfalls altogether. Read on to find out how you can get the highest possible price for your home within a reasonable time-frame—without losing your mind.
So many buyers look for homes online these days, and so many of those homes have photos that you'll be doing yourself a real disservice if you don't have any visuals of your home. At the same time, there are so many poor photos of homes for sale that if you do a good job, it will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest. Good photos should be crisp and clear and should be taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. They should showcase your home's best assets. Consider using a wide-angle lens if possible—this allows you to give potential buyers a better idea of what entire rooms look like. Ideally, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top quality results instead of just letting your agent take snapshots on a phone.
Having your home inspected before listing is a good idea if you want to avoid costly surprises once the home is under contract. Further, many states have disclosure rules. Many require sellers to disclose known problems about their homes if buyers ask directly, while others decree that sellers must voluntarily disclose certain issues.
Have a friend or agent, someone with a fresh pair of eyes, point out areas of your home that need work. Because of your familiarity with the home, you may be immune to its trouble spots. Decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and getting rid of any odours will also help you make a good impression on buyers.
If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate them, even if it inconveniences you. And yes, you have to clean and tidy the house before every single visit. A buyer won't know and care if your house was clean last week. It's a lot of work but stay focused on the prize.
Make sure you prepare mentally and financially for less-than-ideal scenarios even if you make don't make any of these mistakes. The house may sit on the market for far longer than you expect, especially in a declining market. If you can't find a buyer in time, you may end up trying to pay two mortgages, having to rent your home out until you can find a buyer, or in dire situations, in foreclosure. However, if you avoid the costly mistakes listed here, you'll be a long way toward putting your best foot forward and achieving that seamless, lucrative sale every home seller hopes for.