Most people think they know what selling a home is all about. It all seems so simple: just list it on an MLS service, put an ad in the newspaper, and watch the buyers come rolling in.
In truth, selling can be complicated and stressful. It’s easy to lose money, make incorrect assumptions about how much you’ll get for your home, or create a host of problems for yourself. Understanding the realities of home selling is the best way to avoid some true headaches.
You’ll have no problem living in the home while you’re trying to sell it.
You have every right to live in your home while you’re selling it. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. You’ll have to keep the place squeaky-clean and clutter-free at all times. You’ll need to vacate the home every time your agent arrives to show it, as buyers seldom want to meet with sellers. And every personal item has to go. Buyers need to picture themselves living in the home. They can’t do that if they’re constantly tripping over your stuff.
Even if you do everything right, living in the home can create problems. Buyers will always wonder whether you’ll vacate quickly enough for them to execute their own moving timelines.
You’ll earn back whatever you spend on repairs.
Most sellers only earn back 60% to 70% of what they spend on home repairs or renovations. Repairing your home just to sell it could mean losing a great deal of money. It’s unlikely the market will bear any attempt to tack repairs onto the asking price of your home. Remember, those prices are impacted by your neighborhood, the current market, and your home’s sale price history. Buyers simply do not care that you recently replaced the roof.
In fact, many buyers regard those repairs as a moral obligation on your part, even though you have every right to sell your home as-is.
Buyers don’t pay attention to the amount of time a house sits on the market.
Homes which sit on the market for a long period of time tend to make buyers suspicious. They start to feel there must be something wrong with the home if nobody wants it. Some buyers will also reason that the amount of time the home has been sitting on the market probably means you’re desperate to sell. This could inspire them to be a lot more hard-nosed in their negotiations, making it harder to seal the deal.
It’s best to leave it all up to the real estate agent.
Some real estate agents are fantastic at what they do, going out of their way to market each property to the fullest of their abilities.
Others simply list the property on the MLS system, plop a sign in your front yard, and hope for the best.
If you do business with a realtor, touch base with them on a regular basis to find out what they are doing to market your property. If you haven’t hired one yet, ask them what kind of advertising they anticipate conducting on your behalf.
You might want to get involved in the marketing yourself by placing your property on Craigslist or other sites where it might be found.
Selling your home to traditional buyers is the best way to get the best price.
In a seller’s market, the home often does go for the asking price. However, in a buyer’s market the home could sell for far less than anticipated or the sale could take longer. When this happens, your profits could be reduced significantly, because you have to continue paying upkeep on the home and because of all the time and effort you put into staging the home, marketing it, and negotiating the sale.
In some cases, turning to a reputable home investor and selling the home as-is may be your best bet. You get a cash offer and don’t have to do anything else to the home, which means you don’t have to worry about replacing the roof or fixing your foundation. And you get the time and flexibility you need to pack up and move at your pace.
It’s not always the right move…but sometimes avoiding the traditional route helps you come out ahead.