Things can feel chaotic when selling your home, no matter what else is going on in your life. You’ve got to balance work, family time, and hobbies with keeping your home presentable and ready for potential buyers.
While things can feel overwhelming, here are some common pitfalls to avoid when selling your home in Northern Virginia:
KEEP EMOTIONS OUT
You love your home. It’s been the scene of countless memories over the years you’ve lived there. It’s easy to get emotionally attached to it.
But, if you’re trying to sell it so you can buy a different house, those memories and emotions can easily become your enemy.
Try your best to separate your memories of your home from the offers you receive from buyers. Look at the transaction as something purely business, distancing yourself from the situation just enough to avoid digging your heels in when you get an offer.
Sometimes, the home sales process requires changes to be made. This can be difficult if you have fond memories of painting your bedroom red or adding that fairy tale mural to your child’s bedroom. Thinking of your home sale as not only selling a property but also selling an image makes these changes easier. If you create a more attractive image, you’re more likely to get a better price when selling your home.
HIRE AN AGENT
While you may not want to eat into your sales profits, not hiring an agent to help you through the sales process can be a big mistake.
An agent knows the market and your geographical location. They can help you price your home correctly, stage it for viewings, and negotiate better offers. Your agent can give you peace of mind and insight into the whole process, something you wouldn’t get without assistance.
TEMPER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Unless you’re located square in the middle of a housing bubble, where demand is high and supply is low, overpricing your home can spell doom for getting a good price when selling your home.
Carefully looking at the recent sale prices of homes in your geographical area and comparable to your own – or market analysis – is one of the first steps to setting the right price for your own home. Setting your starting sale price with enough wiggle room for negotiation but not so much that it will scare off potential buyers is something your agent can help you with.
In the same vein, don’t expect to get your full asking price. It’s very rare that a home sells for the exact price it’s listed for, so go into the sales process expecting to see at least a few thousand dollars come off that initial list price.
That doesn’t mean you have to take any bargain-basement price that comes your way; you can always refuse an offer that you feel is too low.
DON’T SKIMP ON PHOTOS
Have you ever opened up an attractive home listing, only to find just three photos of the exterior?
When preparing your home’s listing to go live, be sure to take as many photos as possible from as many angles as you can. Get all the rooms, including the basement, and the front and back of your home. Also photograph any unique features of your home that make it more attractive, including walk-in closets, whirlpool tubs, or backyard swimming pools.
Too few listing photos lead potential buyers to think the worst of your listing. Not showing all of your home can cause people to think you’re trying to hide major defects and deal-breakers, making them less likely to schedule a showing or come in for an open house.