The thought of selling your home can be exciting, but in reality, it can also be very stressful and costly if not done properly. Avoiding common mistakes when selling can help make your selling experience a positive one and keep more money in your pocket.
Below are 5 common mistakes that sellers make and how to avoid them:
1) Not properly preparing your home to sell
Regardless of how strong your local market may be, you should always ensure that your home is in the best showing condition as possible before listing. This includes ensuring that both the inside and outside of your home is in good condition and is visually appealing to buyers. Staging your home can drastically enhance your chances of receiving higher offers and selling for more money. Speak to your agent about what pre-listing home preparation services and staging options you have before listing your home for sale.
2) Listing at the wrong time
If you live in Toronto, based on our current record low inventory that we are experiencing as of today’s date, there is almost no bad time to list your home for sale. With that being said, historically speaking, the spring and fall are typically good times to list your home. The weather is nice, people are in a better mood and likely haven’t left for the cottage or their summer vacations. Over the years, it has been very clear that the market slows down substantially during July and August in the summer and December, January, February in the winter.
3) Listing too high
With more online resources available to buyers which include statistical information such as recent sale prices, average days on market and more, buyers know when a property is overpriced. The last thing you want to do is list your home too high and not receive any interest from buyers which will ultimately force you to reduce your list price and potentially stigmatize your property. By lowering your list price after not receiving offers for what you originally wanted, buyers may question if there is something wrong with your home and feel that they may be able to purchase your home at a discount. This could ultimately result in you receiving low ball offers which you definitely don’t want. Depending on your current market, you may want to speak to your agent about possibly listing your property below market value and holding an offer date in order to hopefully generate a multiple offer situation which can result in a higher final sale price.
4) Hiring the wrong agent
Selling a home for the highest amount of money while avoiding litigation at the same time isn’t as easy as putting a FOR SALE sign in the lawn. With over 50,000 real estate agents in Toronto and the GTA, it’s likely that you probably know an agent or two. Some may be friends, others might be family, some may be local while others may be from outside the city, some may be new in the industry and others may have been in the industry for a while. With so many agents in the industry, how do you know which one to use? Below I have included a list of what to look for and what to avoid when choosing an agent to list your home for sale.
- Avoid using an agent who doesn’t either live or work regularly in your area. Sure, your sister, cousin or best friend may be an agent and may be offering to list your home, they might be a wonderful person, but if they aren’t extremely familiar with your area, the local market and the agents within your market, you will likely lose money on the sale of your home. Listing and selling your home requires extensive knowledge of not only your home but the neighbourhood and all of the features that it has to offer. Don’t make this mistake, as tempting as it may be.
- Avoid using a new agent. Once again, whether it’s a random agent, family member or friend, as much as you would like to help them get ahead in their new career, consider how much money you are willing to potentially lose by using someone who isn’t experienced. There is a lot of paperwork, legal clauses, conditions and laws to consider when reviewing offers. By using someone who lacks experience, you could end up in a very serious and costly situation. In addition to this, should you be fortunate enough to end up in a multiple offer situation (which can be as little as 2 offers or as many as 20 or more offers), you will want an agent who has experience in dealing with these high stress and fast paced situations that change by the second. Even the most experienced agents have challenges handling such situations. One little mistake could cost you thousands of dollars or put you in a situation where you are dealing with litigation.
- When choosing an agent, make sure you pick an agent who is enthusiastic about helping you with achieving your real estate objectives and who is available to answer your questions and concerns at any time throughout the process. It is important to work with an agent who is dedicated to you and your success and someone who doesn’t have too much on their plate at one time.
5) Trying to sell your home on your own or through a discount brokerage
We all want to make and save as much money as possible. The fact that you may be considering selling your home on your own or with a discount brokerage is understandable, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in selling real estate. Many people think selling a home is as easy as running a garage sale on the weekend, you simply put a sign in the lawn and wait for all of the buyers to show up to submit offers on your home. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There is a lot that goes into selling a home for the highest price possible in the least amount of time. A reputable agent may charge the full commission but if they are good at what they do, it will be worth every penny and will put more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Most respected agents will provide their clients with a complete concierge service from start to finish when listing a client’s home for sale. From arranging, managing and covering the cost for decluttering, cleaning, minor home repairs and staging services to professional photography, videography, 3D virtual tour designs, marketing and advertising services in addition to providing you with years of real estate knowledge all while looking out for your best interest throughout the process, an agent who charges full commission to sell your home for top dollar and does everything needed to ensure that happens is well worth the investment.
Are you thinking of selling and have questions about the process or your local market? Feel free to contact me any time with any questions or concerns you may have, I am always here and happy to help you. Want to learn more about the selling process? Click HERE to learn more.