Top 7 Mistakes When Selling a Property
Avoid these common missteps to sell your home in no time
The best thing about other people’s property mistakes is you can also learn from them and hopefully avoid making those errors yourself. After many years of helping people sell their properties privately, we’ve noticed the same innocent mistakes being made time and time again.
Here are some of the most common errors to avoid when selling your property:
1 – Not preparing the property for inspection
Quite a few sellers neglect to give their homes a thorough cleaning, and yet it ranks among the most important tasks when preparing your home for photography and Open for Inspections.
At a minimum, be sure to clear your home from unnecessary clutter, spruce up the gardens, and ensure every room in the house is sparkling clean. Go the extra mile by tending to fixtures around your home in need of repair, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, and if you really want to wow buyers, consider professionally staging your home.
2 – Cutting Corners on the Online Listing
Nowadays, most buyers use the internet to search for properties so it is important to not cut corners with your online listing.
The photos are the most important part of an online listing so make sure you use a variety of imagery to showcase the different elements your property has to offer. If you only post photos of one area, buyers may get suspicious that you have something to hide so include a number of different rooms.
Remember, buyers are especially keen to see wet areas (i.e. bathroom and kitchen), as well as some kind of outdoor space.
3 – Setting the price too high or low
Many vendors struggle with setting a fair and realistic sale price. If you set it too high, your property could languish on the market. However, setting it too low could see you losing out on extra profit.
The best way to avoid this common error is to be proactive in some simple market research, such as comparing the sales prices of similar, recently sold homes in your suburb. This research will guide you in setting the right asking price.
4 – Letting Emotions Rule
Selling a home can be an emotional process, but do your best to remain objective and calm throughout the process.
Keep an open mind with regards to the many comments you will receive from potential buyers. For example, if you overhear a buyer planning to redo the kitchen, take pride in knowing they see value in your space. If you think staying impartial will be difficult, ask trusted family or friends to point out their unbiased opinions before hosting Open for Inspections. This exercise will give you a helpful reality check before facing potential buyers.
Remember: you may have spent years of time, money and effort on your much-loved property, but it’s time to let it go and allow another buyer to create their version of a home in that space.
5 – Neglecting Important Repairs
It can be tempting to rely on short-term fixes for structural errors so you can save money. However, if buyers insist on a formal building inspection, and your handiwork is not up to scratch, you could be exposed. Instead of risking the loss of a sale, repair all major issues properly before listing your house. Alternatively, highlight the issue to buyers upfront as honesty is always the best policy.
6 – Dismissing Offers
It’s rare that the final sale price of a home matches the exact asking price. When entering into negotiations with buyers, it’s important not to burn your bridges.
It can be tempting to accept a high offer and dismiss lower ones. However, it’s vital to consider the financial situation of every buyer. A cash buyer who offers a few thousand dollars less can be far more suitable than a buyer who still needs to secure their financing. If the financing falls through, so could the sale of your home. If you’ve damaged your relationship with buyers that have previously made offers, those opportunities will be lost and you’ll be left to start from scratch.
Similarly, if you receive an unsuitable offer, respond politely and explain why you have set the price at that point, rather than dismissing the offer. Use tangible facts, such as recent sales history or evidence of expensive renovations that have added value to your home. The buyer may come back with a better offer after considering your response.
7 – Overlooking legal obligations
Many sellers fail to take into consideration their legal requirements when listing their property.
Some of our vendors have received offers after just a few days of listing on the market, so it certainly pays to be prepared. In fact, if your property is in New South Wales, you are legally required to have a Contract of Sale prepared before putting your property on the market.
Thankfully, at buyMyplace, we have done the hard work for you by partnering with national conveyancing experts, lawlab, who can arrange for not only a Contract of Sale to be drawn up, but handle the post-sale settlement process for a reasonable price.
Ultimately, selling real estate is all about planning and expectations. You need to prepare your home for sale and take care of your legal obligations, while ensuring your expectations are realistic and based on research.
If you can achieve this, you will avoid the most common errors vendors make when selling their home.