Have you been waiting impatiently to sell your home? Now that the housing market is starting to show some signs of recovery, the time is almost ripe for putting that house on the market. That’s the good news. The bad news is that everyone else in the neighborhood might be thinking along the same lines. Can you imagine a whole street full of “For Sale” signs?
In that kind of situation, it pays to be ready. Walking into the sale with firm determination and plenty of knowledge can help roll the dice in your favor.
Don’t make these rookie mistakes
These mistakes are some of the most common that homeowners make when they are selling a home, and the fallout in an already saturated market can be significant. Read, remember and take steps to avoid these hard lessons learned:
- Don’t market the house before it’s ready.Make sure all your improvements are done before you open the doors to that first potential buyer. First impressions count, and that means the old carpet in the living room and the not-quite-ready paint job in the hallway are going to be noticed. Buyers want to be able to picture their furniture in your rooms, see themselves cooking in the kitchen, and imagine jumping into the pool. A nice, neat and completely finished home gives their minds a clean slate to wander, and that can be a good thing for you.
- Don’t try to cover up problems. Most states require full disclosure of any problems your house might have. Fess up to the problems or fix them. Though it might be tempting to paint over the fiber cement siding to cover up the mold problem, or you might want to ignore that leaky valve in the pool, keep in mind that those little problems can come back to haunt you with a big lawsuit if you don’t keep everything above-board.
- Don’t forget the fine print.Before you put up that sign, look at the paperwork. Look at your finance plan to determine what you need to get out of the house. Look at your mortgage paperwork for details on early payment penalties and the like. Look at the market and what other houses are selling for in your area. The more research you do now, the more prepared you will be when it’s time to start the marketing of your home.
- Don’t make too many improvements. Remodeling that bathroom with a new jacuzzi or going top-of-the-line with cabinet refacing might sound like a good idea, but it could also price your home right out of the neighborhood market. Make only the improvements that are necessary to make the house more appealing, such as replacing the worn flooring or giving the entire house a nice, new paint job.
- Don’t cut corners. It might be tempting to save money by asking that real estate agent you went to high school with to handle the sale, or to bypass the home inspection, termite inspection and other things a potential buyer might request. Rather than look at saving a little money now, go ahead and do those things, knowing that it could mean big money sooner rather than later.
Selling your home in a tough market is all about strategy. Start now to determine what needs to be done, what kind of financial situation you are in and what to expect in the coming months. The more prepared you are, the more likely you will be to roll with any punches that come your way during the battle to sell your house in a highly saturated market.