Adapted from an article authored by Jennifer O’Neill , Realtor.com
Homeowners who’ve successfully sold their home often look back and wish they’d done certain things differently.
Author Ms O’Neill recently interviewed some real-life sellers to tell their stories so you can learn from their mistakes! Read this rueful list of home sellers’ biggest regrets, and remember them when you decide to place your own home on the market.
Regret No. 1: Not fully preparing your home for marketing
Serious about selling your home? Three phrases apply: Fix it up! Freshen it up! And Clean, Clean, Clean it up!
One seller reports: “I didn’t spend enough time prepping our house for sale—purging, staging, or doing small repair projects. And I regret not planning ahead or getting real about what had to be done, and it ended up costing me precious time and money.”
Regret No. 2: Skipping the staging
“I really regret not paying the money to stage my home right off the bat,” confesses a Chicago seller.
“The money that it cost us owning the home longer was far more than the price it eventually cost to stage it.” That jibes with the stats on staging–professionally staged properties spend 73% less time on the market.
Regret No. 3: Jumping at the first offer
Antsy to exit her condominium, another couple acted with their hearts rather than their heads. More than a year later, she regrets it.
“We were so anxious to move, we accepted the first offer before it even went on the market,” she confesses. “We went for it because we thought it was quick and easy, but I’m we would have gotten much more if we’d just taken a breath and let the market find our house.”
Regret No. 4: Caving to a buyer’s whims
Sellers often learn the hard way that it doesn’t pay to bend over backward for a demanding buyer.
“Our buyer was really difficult and wanted us to give on so many items,” another seller reports. “We also agreed to give the buyer money toward updating the roof so we were very frustrated on the day of closing when he wanted even more.”
That seller stood firm, and after a few hitches, the sale continued–thanks to an agreement between the two participating Realtors to appease the buyer by reducing their commission. This was a last-ditch effort to save the entire transaction from falling apart, but it is seldom done.
Regret No. 5: Expecting your new buyer to love your house
If your hope is that your buyer will maintain and lovingly care for your old house as you did, you may be in for a huge disappointment. You have an emotional attachment to your old home and may feel a twinge of resentment if you find that the new owners don’t love the house as you did.
If you encounter this situation, your best approach is to concentrate on your NEW home. You moved for a reason! Rejoice in that new home! Resist the urge to drive by your old house—relegate it to your fondest memories, but recognize it was in the past. Although you have an emotional pull, remember that the sale of your home was a business decision with a successful ending.
Regret No. 6: Trying to sell without an agent
You may be tempted to sell your home by yourself. There are many valid reasons this is not the correct approach. To maximize your profit and get your home sold in a timely manner, while keeping the transaction legal and your rights protected, you need to work with an experienced agent. Laura has addressed this topic on her website, and she invites you to read her article “Why Do I Need an Agent to Sell My House?”
If you are planning to sell your home and buy a new one that better fits your lifestyle, please contact me, Laura Van Meter. I will guide you through all these steps and create a smooth and successful transaction. I’ll save you time, reduce stress, and maximize your profits!