While buyers need to beware of how and where they spend their money, especially on something as major as a home purchase, sellers, too, need to make sure they follow a set of rules that will lead to a smart and hopefully, quick sale. Selling a home is a big deal and you want to get it right. The following list of do's and don'ts can potentially help you sell your home faster and smarter.
What You Need to Do to Sell Your Home
1. Talk to a Realtor: Even if you're considering taking the DIY route in selling your home, you need a basic foundation of knowledge on which to proceed. Once you speak with a real estate agent and see how complex and potentially precarious the situation could be going it on your own, you'll probably rethink doing it yourself. Either way, the information you gather will be invaluable in helping you prepare for a successful sale.
2. Price the Home: Pricing is where an agent can really help you, because you need to know where the current real estate market is at and what homes comparable to yours are selling for. Over-price and you could be stuck in sales mode indefinitely, but under-price and you lose out on a lot of money.
3. Prep the Home: Staging your home is one of the most important elements of a successful sale and nobody does it better than a real estate agent. You need to know how to present the entire property, in order to attract the most qualified buyers who are genuinely interested in your particular home.
4. Photograph & Market the Property: Professional quality photographing is a necessity, as most home buyers will first see your home in an online search. You'll need inside and outside pictures that really show off your home in the best light. Marketing, too, always works best with a professional touch, and you want to reach far and wide in your prospective buyers spectrum.
5. Disappear During Showing: If you've hired a great agent, they'll work better when it's just them, the home and the buyers. While real estate professionals can work their magic under any circumstances, when you're not there, the buyers can more easily picture themselves living there and there's no interruption in conversation between the person who can make the sale happen, the agent, and the people wanting to move in.
What You Never Do During The Process Of Selling Your Home
1. Appear Over-eager: When listing or presenting your home, if you seem in too much of a hurry to get it sold, people can easily become suspicious. Since buyers are investing so much in a home, they're not likely to continue looking into any place, if they think there's a secret waiting behind closed doors. This is another aspect of the process that an agent is most suitable for: Their consistent and reassuring tone puts buyers at ease.
2. Negotiate Price Directly with a Buyer: If you do come in direct contact with a potential buyer, you never want to talk pricing. Agents are trained in negotiating and recognizing the most appropriate bottom line between would-be buyers and houses. They will price a property based on a number of important factors, some of which you may not be familiar with and you could potentially sabotage your sale by getting into the money matters too deeply.
3. Talk About What's Wrong with the Home: While the law guides the rules of disclosure and home inspections work to protect the buyer from inheriting major problems, talking about even small problems can turn people off to your property. For example, complaining that you've never liked such-and-such or that some sink is always stuck may make it seem as if you can't wait to vacate the premises, leading prospects to believe they'd never want to actually move in.
4. Tell Anyone How Long the Home Has Been for Sale: Homes can take time to sell, no matter how accurately they are priced and represented; that's just a fact of life. However, telling people you've been trying to sell for months, even if there's nothing wrong with the home, can instantly lead them to believe there is something amiss. They could easily think, "If nobody else wants the home, it's probably not even worth looking at." Keep such details out of any conversation you have, allowing optimism to prevail, instead.
5. Second-Guess Your Realtor: Even if you know more about your house than anyone else, you likely don't know the intricate details involved with pricing, preparing, marketing, presenting and negotiating, nor are you familiar with the tedious and overwhelming paperwork involved. Because the realtor does this all the time, they know what to do, not do do and why or why not. Sit back and let them work their magic, without running any interference. Before you know it, your home will be sold and you'll be on your way to the next chapter of your life.
It's not just buyers who need to beware, but sellers also. A rookie mistake in this process could literally cost you a cool 10 grand; thus, you want to make a list of your own do's and don'ts, check it twice and work closely with a real estate professional throughout the entire course of selling your home.