The biggest house selling mistakes to avoid

Blog post courtesy of Peta Stewart Conveyancing

Selling your home can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Take the edge off the task of putting your home on the market by paying attention to the traps and avoiding the blunders that can hinder your sale or decrease your final selling amount.

To achieve maximum results you need to play the game like you’ve sold a hundred homes before, so here are the rookie mistakes to steer well clear of.

Underestimating the power of staging

Staging can be considered an extravagant expense or a waste of time, however, staging gets proven results. Preparing just two of the rooms of your home through staging is proven to reduce the time your home is on the market and get you closer to the asking price.

Staging works by bringing a room as close to the buyer’s dream as possible.

It engages them on a personal level which helps convince them of the investment.

Bringing in a professional is worth the money and will certainly save you time, they know modern décor trends and can see angles and potential in your home you may have overlooked. Otherwise, if you want to reduce your upfront selling costs you can stage your home yourself by researching who is most likely to buy and setting your home up to speak directly to them.

Look at the demographics of your local area as well as your home’s facilities. Will you be selling to a family, a retiring couple, a single professional? Attend other opens to see what they achieve with their space and design and who they are appealing to.

When you dress up your home do it with style, going cheap here will simply look cheap. Consider antique pieces, wallpaper or new paint, carpets and rugs as well as furniture. If your current furnishings don’t make the grade ask to borrow from a friend or short term hire them.

You don’t need to stage every room, look at maximising visual impact in the main living room as well as either the kitchen or bathroom.

Ignoring repairs

The first impression people get of your home is the one that lasts.

Basic and obvious repairs that get left untouched creates hesitation that can cost you the sale or have your home hanging on the market for longer. It’s not that the buyer isn’t happy to make the repairs themselves, it’s the doubt that lingers; if this is the damage I can see, what about the damage I can’t see?

When your home is well-maintained people will assume that the entire home is solid and well kept. On the flip side, any glaring issues will have them automatically assuming other hazards are present.

Make sure your doors are oiled, your flyscreens are intact, the air conditioner is working and the paintwork is pristine. Steam clean carpets or replace those that have stains that won’t budge.

Overspending on décor

New installations usually don’t pay off. While you want to stage, you don’t want to overhaul. Spending big on renovating kitchens, bathrooms or laundries at the last minute won’t add much value to you or to the buyer. Unless they are run down and falling apart there is no need to go all out on expensive renovations.

If your home is a little older chances are a new owner will want to renovate these areas themselves regardless of whether you do it first or not, so give them space to do it their way. Instead of renovations go for small impact and easy options like a fresh coat of paint, new cupboard handles and proper cleaning.

Getting personal

Even celebrities have difficulty moving a home that has too much singular style. While you might love having a semi-trailer as part of your bedroom wall not many other people will share your passion.

Most buyers react well to a modern minimalistic style, this way they can easily picture themselves moving in and bringing their own personal touch.

Keep rooms as neutral and modern as possible and remove any personal trinkets that may mark the territory as your own.

Pricing too high

If the price you want and the price the real estate agent gives you are different know that the real estate agent has the professional edge.

The current market value may be well under what you originally paid for the home, however, it might be the only realistic price. If you are unhappy with the value you are given it might be better to wait for a change in the market rather than go to sale with an asking price that is too high. Having your home on the market for a while can spook buyers, so even if you relent and drop the price later the damage may already be done with people asking, ‘So, what’s wrong with it?’

Be realistic about what your home may fetch to avoid disappointment and possible difficulties down the track.

Covering up significant problems

While you might be tempted to cover up a significant problem during an inspection, it may come back to haunt you during the building inspection. If you have termite damage or rising damp it’s best to get them attended to yourself straight away rather than hope you can offload them to someone else.

Have your home completely compliant with health and safety regulations well before going to market to make sure that when you find the perfect buyer they stick around to settlement.

Hiring the wrong agent

Most people don’t spend enough time choosing an agent to represent their home. The five-minute walk through that happens before they give an evaluation is not the equivalent of a job interview. Sit down with your potential real estate agent and have an interview meeting where you go over their credentials, selling track record, active buyers lists and get a feel for their personality. If it’s not a perfect fit, move on to the next one. You can ask for a different representative within the same office or go to another estate agent that has experience selling your type of home in your local area.

It also pays to know who the auctioneer will be if you plan to go to auction and see them in action at another sale to know if they will be able to work the crowd and maximise your buying potential

Selling your home pays off if you take the steps to do it right from the very beginning.