If You Want to Sell Your Home, Don’t Make These Mistakes!

I usually write about the things you should do when you want to sell or buy a home. Sometimes there are suggestions mixed in about what not to do and that’s the foundation of this week’s column. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in looking forward to where you’re going to relocate next when your home sells. However, let’s not put the cart before the horse-Most of the time sellers-need or want to sell their current home in order to make that transition into the new one.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the mistakes sellers make when they put their home on the market.

Not Using Experts. This tip really applies not only to selling a home but also to financial investing, building a business, or anything else that requires expertise. Of course, you can sell your own home and some people do; but many times the headaches that go along with it far outweigh the benefits. Frequently, I hear stories from homeowners who attempt to do this, but months later that those same sellers are trying to locate a qualified real estate expert. Their self efforts effectively slowed their sales process and lost time on the market.

As a business owner, I subscribe to the understanding that I need to always be doing the things that are in my highest and best interest. That means that if I am attempting to handle something in a field where I don’t have expertise, it will take me longer to do what someone else with years of experience can do better and faster. When I bring in those experts and allow them to help me, this leaves me with more time to focus on the important things that I need to do. It’s the basic foundation of good business and it works when selling a home as well. So, at least consult with a real estate expert when you’re considering selling your home.

Getting Emotionally Attached. Sounds like I’m talking about a relationship? Well, it kind of is. You’ve had history with your home-the memories cause you to have an emotional attachment with it. But now, you have to detach and recognize that your emotional attachment will likely not transfer to the buyer-at least not right away.

Buyers will come into your home looking to find out what’s wrong hoping to thereby negotiate the price down. They’ll be skeptical-checking all around the house to make sure that they’re not going to buy the home and end up having to deal with burdens of many flaws later. Buyers will possibly think about the parties and how their lives can fit into this house if you’ve removed the items that make it look and feel too much like your home.

When you get emotionally unattached you’re allowing yourself to see the home you’re listing for sale the way a potential buyer might.

Holding Your Own Open House. This one really goes hand-in-hand with the first “don’t do” tip. Some sellers like to be around when their home is on the market. However, I suspect you have better things to do than sit at home while potential buyers explore your house.

Making fish and other smelly foods. Okay, so I’m not saying that you can’t cook what you want in your home. The issue is actually not just about food but also things like pet odors and incense or anything else that might have an offensive odor to a potential buyer. I’ve written about people who use fragrances to create a particular smell when they’re showing their home (there are companies that specialize in this). But one reader wrote to tell me that he didn’t think that was a good idea…he preferred to not be able to smell anything (or as close to no odor as possible). That can be hard to achieve.

Generally, a pleasant odor is appreciated but there are different types of people and “pleasant” is relative to the individual. So, basically some of the mistakes that you can make are to fry up some fish, let the pets do the wrong thing in the house and then not deodorize, and leave the pets loose to “welcome” the guests in their own ways. For certain, most people won’t appreciate those smells.

As for using other fragrances, my personal opinion is that if the smell is subtle and not overwhelming, it probably won’t cause any issues with buyers unless they happen to have a particular allergy. However, if there’s a repugnant smell, it will get a huge reaction and buyers will flee the home like scurrying ants seeking food and water on a hot summer day.

Watch out for these mistakes and you’ll be ahead of the sellers who are wasting time (and possibly losing buyers) by not seeking expert help, not detaching from the home, showing their own home, and forgetting to deodorize.

by Phoebe Chongchua, Realty Times – Published: June 25, 2010

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If I can be of service or help in your real estate needs please contact me.  As a resident I specialize in the Sun Lakes area.

Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group