10 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Since buyers are viewing your house with fresh eyes, they often notice the small faults in a home that the seller does not. That leaky faucet you never notice anymore? A buyer will certainly notice. It is important to put yourself in the position of a home buyer when selling your house. Here are ten common mistakes that sellers make when trying to sell their home:

1. Poor MLS Photographs: Most buyers today begin their search for homes online. For a seller, this means you’ll need to have pictures of your house taken and edited by a professional. Nicer photos will draw more attention from buyers. If you do not put up any pictures at all, expect very slim interest from buyers.

2. Clutter: While listing your home, be prepared to live uncomfortably for the months prior to the sale. You’ll want to hide all unsightly items – even if you use them every day. Do not assume that buyers will understand that your living room is cluttered with toys because you have kids. Buyers want to envision themselves in your home, so be sure to hide any of your own clutter.

3. Poor Lighting: When buyers are viewing the house, be sure to open all of the curtains and blinds. The more light the better. A dark, poorly lit house will give an air of gloomy, bleakness. People want a bright, well lit home because it produces feelings of cheerfulness.

4. Poor Curb Appeal: Even if you did everything else correctly—perfect photos, great set-up, well lit rooms—if the outside of your house is drab and dingy, the deal will be over before it even began. The appearance of your house from the street is a high priority for many buyers. Be sure to keep your front lawn manicured, the plants and bushes maintained, and the outside looking great.

5. Dirt, Stains, and Smells: There are plenty of home upgrades that are simply out of the questions for sellers. However, even if your home is old or appears outdated, it is important to keep it clean. Buyers will make many compromises, but they will be hesitant to agree to a deal if the house appears dirty or overly used.

6. Paint: Although the color of walls and ceilings are easily changed, many sellers do not want to deal with the hassle. This is a big mistake. Your daughter’s bright pink bedroom walls may be perfect for her, but it is doubtful that any buyer will appreciate the color in the same way. To be safe, paint the walls a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.

7. Open Houses: When you are making plans with your realtor in regards to selling your home, make sure they intend to put on several open house events for your house. This is a vital in getting foot traffic into your home. Buyers will be more likely to consider purchasing a house after having seen it in person.

8. Listing Price: Often, home are listed for too high of an asking price. If you try to sell your home at an inflated price you should expect it to stay on the market for a much longer time. List your house at a reasonable price and you will benefit in the long run.

9. Large Furniture: Some homes are stuffed with oversized furniture that can make a room appear smaller than it actually is. It would be wise to remove what you can into a portable storage unit in order to open up space. This will make your home feel larger and less cramped and will also save you some time on packing when you are ready to move.

10. Listing by Owner: By choosing to list your house yourself, you are ensuring that your pool of buyers will be infinitely smaller. The fee you pay a realtor will be well worth it in the long run.

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher currently living with his family in Austin, Texas.  When Wendt’s family increased in size, he knew his house needed to as well.  Before placing his home on the market, Wendt trusted the experienced real estate agents at Austin Properties Group to help him along the process.  The friendly agents sold his home and made the entire process seem much less daunting.

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