Common mistakes made when selling a home

10 November 2021 | Life Style

Real estate is one of the most important investments one will ever make. When it comes time to sell the property, it could be financially devastating to make a mistake.
Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says there are a few common mistakes that sellers can avoid to ensure that they maximise their return on investment.
“There are several errors that can be easily avoided if one is aware of them. That is why I always recommend that the first step every seller takes is to partner with a real estate professional. As experts in their local suburb, real estate professionals can share all the tips and tricks so that seller avoid making costly mistakes when listing their home,” says Goslett.
In a recent blog, RE/MAX LLC writes that sellers who avoid these five preventable mistakes could close a home sale following a smooth and worry-free process…

1. Neglecting necessary repairs
Some sellers ignore major repairs in hopes of closing the sale before anyone notices. However, these are almost always identified during the home inspection process, and it will likely halt the sale until repair – or an agreement – can be reached. To streamline the selling process, assess any serious repairs before listing the home. It may feel unnecessary to spend money on repairs when the home is being sold, but it will ensure that the property passes inspection, and it could possibly even ensure that higher offers are made on the property.

2. Failing to prepare the home for showings
An important part of preparing a home for showings is to minimize the amount of visible clutter and other personal items. Buyers are better able to envision themselves in a depersonalized space, so it is advisable to store away any clutter that would distract an interested homebuyer when they enter a room. Tidy up all surfaces, including bookshelves, end tables and kitchen countertops. By cleaning up any clutter, rooms should also appear larger, which could also lead to higher offers being made on the home. It is important to remember that buyers will likely form an opinion of the home before they enter the front door, so remember to tidy up the exterior too. Depending on the season, this could include anything from weeding flowerbeds, to putting out planters or touching up chipped paint on the house’s exterior.

3. Not taking professional listing photos
These days, the home buying process often begins online. Listing photos can make all the difference when attracting homebuyers. Even the most luxurious of homes will receive far fewer clicks if they aren’t presented with high-quality photos. Having a professional photographer take the listing photos is always best. Photos should have ample lighting to help a room appear more spacious. The home should also be prepared just as you would before a showing to make sure the home looks at its best in the photos.

4. Leaving ‘room to negotiate’
Many sellers set the asking price higher to ‘leave room to negotiate”. This often just leads to buyers overlooking the home as it falls outside their price point. A real estate professional can help guide sellers to a realistic listing price. Sometimes, setting a price that is disproportionate to the value of the property means that the home will sit on the market for longer. The longer the home is on the market, the cheekier buyers get with their offers because they assume that the seller will be desperate to sell. The closer a home is listed to fair market value, the quicker it will sell – and often for a higher price than if it were originally listed at an over-inflated price.

5. Underestimating the closing costs
There are various costs associated with the selling process that many sellers often fail to budget for. There might be costs involved in getting the home ready for sale, including some routine repairs, staging costs and possibly professional listing photos. As the sale progresses, there will also be various closing costs associated with the transfer and registration process, moving expenses, and real estate agent commissions that will need to be paid.

The best way to avoid any surprises along the selling process is to involve a real estate professional from a reputable brand. “Selling a home is a complicated process. There are many spots where homeowners could get it wrong if they do it alone. Involving a real estate agent should be viewed as an important investment decision that will secure maximum profits on the sale of the home,” Goslett concludes.

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