Category Archives: fair selling price

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

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puzzle in shape of house for saleYou’ve heard of ‘must-haves’ during a home search? We’re turning the table on this common saying, and delving into the ‘must-nots’ of home selling; you know, the mistakes a seller makes when listing their home for sale—and how you can avoid them when putting your home on the real estate market.

Making decisions based on emotions

To be fair, most homeowners don’t intend to make emotional decisions when selling their property. If you want to get the best sale price for your home, and not get stuck with a house sitting on the market, you need to shed all of the feelings you have for your home. Listen to your real estate agent’s advice, and make as an unbiased of a decision as possible.

Using the wrong numbers to price your home

This is the most common home selling mistake by far; sellers want to use the amount they owe on the property, the numbers listed on their property taxes, or the selling price their neighbor’s house sold for. The latter item is the closest to the right way to price a home, if the neighbor’s house is a comparable property. A comparable property is a home that is similar in square feet and lot size (as well as few other factors). If you contact a realtor, they can compile a list of comparable properties in the area that have sold and make a suggestion for a fair selling price based on local sale prices.

Figuring “we can always lower the price later”

Yes, you can drop your selling price later, but you’re missing a prime opportunity to set a good impression with potential buyers. A property that is not priced fairly is a home that sits on the market, making potential buyers wonder what’s wrong with it—or if you’ll accept a low ball offer. Find an excellent local real estate agent that can help you determine the right price for your home, and take their advice right away—as soon as you put your home up for sale.

Not preparing your home for sale

The perfect home for sale is clean, staged for a quick sale, and clear of any red flags that could kill the sale. Clean your home with a white glove approach. Scrub your toilets, sinks and tubs. Mop and vacuum your floors. Carpet clean any carpets that are stained. If you have a lot of “stuff” in your home, rent a storage unit for personal effects, knick knacks, large items that take up a lot of floor space—anything that fills up a room and doesn’t allow buyers to see the size or selling features of a room. Resist the urge to throw all of those items in one room; you’ll repel potential buyers who are intimidated by your pile of stuff.

Choosing the first real estate agent your find

Don’t just flip open the phone book, close your eyes, and randomly point to the name of a realtor on a page. Use our tips for selecting the right real estate agent to sell your home. A good realtor is experienced, familiar with your area, and has good communication skills. Don’t wait too long to bring the right real estate agent on board; contact a realtor via phone, email or social media right away so you can use their advice to prepare your home for sale.

Ignoring red flags

The scary part of this mistake is that you can’t always see red flags that could kill the sale of your home. Hire a home inspector to find those red flags before you put your home on the market. A good home inspector can pinpoint any problems that could turn off a potential sale, such as foundation issues, electrical problems, water damage—the list could go on and on. If you find these problems before your home hits the market, you can control how much it costs for repairs so you don’t have to deal with delays to your closing date or a loss of a potential sale.

What is a fair sales price for my home?

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fair selling price for home“What’s my home worth?” and “how much can I list my home for?” are some of the most common questions we hear, and the most misunderstood. The final answer is also crucial to a quick sale, because an improperly priced house is a loss for everyone involved. A house priced too high is a house that is going to sit on the real estate market, resulting in price reductions that send all the wrong signals to potential buyers (“Is there something wrong with the house?” “Why has it sat on the market so long?”). If your home is priced too low, you’re not going to walk away with the top dollar you need, and no one likes to feel like they got ripped off. So how do you determine that sweet spot, a fair sales price?

Use comparable sales as a compass. The best way to determine the price of your home is to compare your home to all area homes for sale, or that have sold, with comparable lot sizes and square footage. A real estate agent can assist with the process, and use their experience to hit upon a fair sales price. Just remember to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Compare your 2,000 square foot home to another home, or your condo to another condo.

Replacement costs do not count. Just because you need $200,000 from your current home to buy another home does not mean you can ask that of your current home. In the same way, don’t factor the price you owe on your house when determine fair market value. While those numbers should be part of your personal financial calculations, those numbers mean nothing to potential buyers or the current real estate market.

Do not use tax assessments, or a previous sales price, as a guide. Even though your property tax form uses the term “fair market value,” the number is not applicable to your home sale price. That number is based on a formula created by the government. In the same way, whatever your house sold for previously—even just a year or two ago—does not factor into your sales price. To get the fair sales price, contact an experienced realtor who knows your area and local sales prices.

Be realistic. It’s hard to be objective when you’ve been in your home for many years, have raised children in your home, are attached to the property or have spent thousands of dollars in repairs. Unfortunately, none of that matters when agreeing upon a fair sales price for your home.

To get the most for your property, invest in a pre-sale home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection can save you money on repairs, give you a smooth closing process, and guarantee you a higher sales price for your home. We’ve written about the benefits of a pre-sale home inspection before, and would recommend it for any homeowner considering selling their home.

The first step to settling on a market price for your home is contacting a real estate agent. A real estate agent can give you their recommendation for a fair asking price, and list of expenses associated with your home sale. They can also answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and give you tips on preparing your home for the real estate market. The agent can also assist in the next phase of your home selling process—locating a home for the next phase of your life.