Selling your home can be a very exciting experience, especially if you are upsizing or relocating. To make sure that your selling experience is a positive one, it is important to be aware of the mistakes and pitfalls which some sellers fall victim to. From knowing if you are really ready, to learning how to manage your expectations, we will help you to understand what the common mistakes are when selling your home and how best to avoid them.
Selling Your Home Before You Are Ready
It is well known that moving house can be quite a stressful event, so before you decide to put your home on the market, you need to be sure that you are ready for what lies ahead. Not only do you have to be ready to leave the place where you have created so many happy memories over the years, but you must also consider the practicalities that come with a home move.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to moving, from making sure that your home is presentable for the marketing photographs, to maintaining that level of cleanliness for each and every viewing. You need to be flexible in order to accommodate viewings – the most popular times to view are evenings and weekends. Then once the viewings are over, and you have accepted an offer on your home, you then need to contend with the move itself.
Ensure that you have thought about all of this before that ‘For Sale’ board appears outside your front door.
Being Unrealistic About the Price
Usually when you go to sell your home, you will have an idea about how much your property is worth – and sometimes this can be worlds apart from the reality. Some sellers want to make a certain amount of profit based on what they bought the property for, but aren’t fully clued up on how the market has changed since then. Others think that because their neighbour sold theirs for a certain amount, that they will sell their home for just as much, without really considering the conditions of the two properties.
When it comes to pricing properties, estate agents and surveyors know what they are talking about. For those of us in Scotland, you will have had both an agent and a surveyor out to visit your property before it reaches the market, so if they agree on a price and you’re still holding out for something completely different, it may be time to adjust your expectations.
Treading the Line with Home Improvements
As the years pass you by, your home can become more and more dated without you really realising. So, the question is when you come to sell your property, will it be more of a help or a hinderance to make some changes around the house? Whilst some small changes like painting the living room in a neutral shade can be helpful, ripping out your entire kitchen and completely refitting it can be another story.
A tin of magnolia paint can cost just a few pounds and will refresh and modernise your home in a matter of hours. This small change creates a neutral canvas for your viewers, whereas splashing out on a few tins in your favourite shade of purple might have the opposite affect – but at least you could easily fix this further down the line.
If your kitchen is in need of an upgrade, the question remains whether this would be cost effective for you as the seller to upgrade it before you go on the market. You may spend £10,000 on replacing it, but what if this modernisation doesn’t make much difference to the price – and worse yet, what if you spend that much money, then your buyer rips it out as soon as they move in? Maybe you should just replace the cabinet doors – it can make a big difference without breaking the bank.
Don’t Be Negative About Your Home
If you have decided that you would like to conduct your own viewings, then it is important that you are not negative about your home. Now, I am not saying that you should lie to your viewers, simply that you shouldn’t plant the seed of negativity. If you think that the garden is smaller than your neighbours, or that the tiles in the bathroom are looking a little worse for wear, keep this to yourself. What you may have learnt to live with in your home, your viewer might love, or maybe not even notice at all.
When you point out things which may be problems to you, they can become problems for your viewer too. If you point out something which bothers you in every room of the house, then your viewer is going to leave with a list of obstacles which they will have to contend with if they buy your house.
Don’t Keep Your Home’s Past A Secret
This may seem counter-intuitive, but whilst you shouldn’t point out the little problems around your home, you definitely need to be upfront with your viewers when it comes to the bigger issues. There is no point in trying to hide the fact that there used to be a leak in the bathroom or that Japanese Knotweed once grew outside the property, because surveyors can easily identify these kinds of issues, no matter how historical. Whilst the problem may have been long since resolved, it is better that you are honest, as it may only lead to disappointment down the line if a mortgage provider refuses to lend against the property or the buyer’s solicitor warns your buyer against the purchase.
Refusing to Negotiate
Negotiating can be quite intimidating, especially when it comes to something as significant as buying and selling property. Luckily for you, your estate agent will be well practised in negotiating for their clients. Do not feel that you have to accept a low offer if you feel that your property is worth more – but at the same time, it is important that you are reasonable about your expectations.
Negotiations are a crucial aspect of property sales, and you should never outright reject an offer without first trying to achieve a better price for your home. Many buyers will intentionally offer lower than the price you are looking for, so it is always worth trying to barter for something a little higher. That said, you must also consider how well your property is doing on the market. If your home has been on the market for longer than you would like and you are not getting many viewings anymore, then be cautious when negotiating, otherwise you may lose the offer all together.
Not Having a Back-Up Plan
You might think that once you have accepted an offer on your home that the hard part is over, but this is not always the case. Whilst in Scotland it is rare for a sale to fall through once a property is under offer, it does still happen. You do not want to get caught out without a back-up plan in case this happens to you. If you can, you ought to arrange for somewhere to stay in case your sale falls through, and try to put some money to one side for any unexpected legal fees.
Now that you know the most common mistakes sellers face when selling their homes, you are in a better position to avoid them and enjoy a smooth sales experience. Remember, make sure that you are ready, ensure that you have a trustworthy and honest estate agent who can guide you through your experience, and be prepared for every eventuality along the way. If you are thinking about selling your home, call our offices in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan for a no-obligation chat with our knowledgeable and friendly teams.
Call our Dunblane office on 01786 821 012 or Bridge of Allan on 01786 542 171 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.