Selling your home is a stressful and emotionally challenging time, especially if you’ve never done it before. You will have to cope with strangers coming into your home, poking around in your cupboards and if no offers are forthcoming, it can feel like a personal slight. With no previous experience to draw on and the emotional attachment involved, it’s easy for first timers to make mistakes. In this article, we look at some common pitfalls to avoid so that selling your home is as smooth and stress-free a process as possible.
- Emotional involvement
If you’ve lived in a house for some time, it can be very hard to see it as other than a home with all the memories and emotion that it suggests. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, try and distance yourself from the fact that it is your home. Picturing yourself as a home seller or business person will help to take some of that raw emotion out of the process. You will then have a much cooler and clearer head with which to approach the negotiations that are an inevitable part of the process.
- Not using an agent
Although real estate agents charge a commission, if you haven’t sold your house before, it’s well worth investing in the expertise and support of an agent. A good agent will have more experience of negotiating home sales than you will ever have. They could potentially help you get more money for your home than you could achieve on your own. In addition, an experienced professional is likely to be able to deal with the inevitable problems that crop up and will also be familiar with the paperwork and processes involved in buying a house. The real estate agent can also interact and negotiate directly with potential buyers thereby taking a great deal of pressure off you.
- Not preparing your home for sale
This may seem very obvious but it’s amazing how many people fall at this hurdle. Presenting an uncluttered, clean, odourless house at open homes or viewings will not only help you get a better sale, you will also achieve a sale more quickly. In addition, make sure that you fix any minor issues, for example, a broken door knob, otherwise, potential buyers may think that there are other more costly issues that haven’t been addressed. If possible use your agent or a friend as a fresh pair of eyes as your familiarity with your home will make you immune to any shortcomings.
- Not accommodating potential buyers
If you are really serious about selling your home then you should make the effort to accommodate potential buyers if someone wants to view your home outside of the set open home times. This also means that you will need to clean and declutter your home before every viewing. It might be a hassle, but try to stay focused on the possible reward.
- Try not to sell in winter
If you have the choice, then it’s best to avoid putting your house on the market in the winter season. Winter is typically a slow time of year for house sales and the cold and wet weather often encourages people to simply stay at home. In addition, you may not be showcasing your home at its best. If you have a large and colourful garden, for instance, it can be difficult to appreciate it fully by looking out the window because it’s too wet to go outside. Moreover, because there are fewer buyers looking in winter, it may mean that you don’t get as much for your property as you could do at other times of the year.
Selling your home is a difficult and stressful time for every home owner. Avoiding these costly mistakes, however, will help to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. You may even get through it all with your sanity intact!