- Skipping the little things
Take some time before you list your home to do the following: Walk around and make a list of items that need touch up, repair, or just a little freshening up. Doesn’t need to be anything major, just pick 5-10 things that can be done in an afternoon or two. They can be as simple as trimming the bushes or deep cleaning the corners of the front patio. Paying attention to the small details will help your home be that much more appealing to potential buyers.
- Assuming your Buyer is good to go
Have your agent ask for details about any potential buyer as soon as they make an offer. Sellers are often asked about their story (Where are they headed? What’s the story on the home they are leaving?) but buyers aren’t usually asked too much. Find out a little more info, if you can. Why are they moving? Why is this home a good fit for them? Asking about their financial situation, at least as it pertains to buying your home, is not asking too much. If they are paying cash, however, and can show proof that they have it, that’s usually sufficient. If they are getting a loan, a question or two about that, or a quick call to their lender, is well worth your time.
- Home Condition Overconfidence
Don’t assume your home is in good shape just because you haven’t had any major issues during your time there. All sorts of things can pop up that will freak out buyers and surprise sellers, from long-time leaks to electrical issues. Doing a pre-listing inspection of your home is a good idea, or at least being prepared for a few unexpected things to pop up on a buyer’s inspection report. The job of the inspector is to find issues, and they will.
- Ignoring the Bottom Line
Lastly, as you enter a deal, keep your bottom line in mind. That may mean a few different things. Add up selling closing costs, escrow fees, repairs, inspections, and commission (don’t forget to consider current mortgage payoff or other payoffs associated with your home). Very early on, you can get a pretty good idea of what you are going to walk away with. Ask your agent, if you have one, to assist you with that. If you have the best monetary information available, it will help you make the best decisions moving forward.
These are not the only potholes to watch out for but, if you keep these in mind, you will be better than most. Good Luck!