Whether you’re buying or selling your home, it’s no secret that the entire process can be extremely overwhelming. But just because it’s a little stressful doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. And the reason most buyers and sellers find it difficult? Falling into common traps and making big mistakes during the buying and selling process.
The more you can avoid making mistakes, the better your chances of successfully buying or selling your home and the better experience you’re likely to have. Here are some of the most common mistakes buyers and sellers make:
- BUYER: Overlooking Hidden/Extra Costs.
Buying a house is much more than just the money you need to pay upfront for the home. You’ll also need to calculate potential property taxes, utility and water bills, move-in costs, closing costs, etc. These costs could add up to tens of thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. Incorporate these fees and bills into your overall budget to have a realistic notion of whether or not you can afford a home.
- SELLER: Not Making Cosmetic Changes.
Making minor cosmetic changes could be the key additions you need to sell your home. Remember, you want to stage your home to the buyer’s taste, not yours, so try to look at your home objectively to see what needs fixing. These cosmetic changes will also help add value to your home, giving you more leverage when you start getting offers on the house. We recommend beginning with the outside of your home for more curb appeal and then moving to the entryway.
- BUYER: Buying What You Want, Not What You Need.
Before looking at homes, make a list of things you need and things you want. For example, you may want a four-bedroom house to fit your entire family with a short commute to work and a gourmet kitchen and outdoor entertaining area. But which of those do you need? Is it more important that everyone gets their own bedroom or has an entertainment space? Prioritize the things you need and separate them from the things you want so that you can focus on the crucial things when you start going to open houses.
- SELLER: Setting Your Price Too High.
Try not to set the price of your home too high – the more you need to reduce the price, the more it looks like something is wrong with your home. Do some research on similar homes in your area to give you a general idea of what other homes are going for, and try to set the price somewhere in the middle of the range you’re seeing. Unless there’s something exceptional about your home compared to other similar homes, you shouldn’t be significantly over your neighborhood’s standard rate.
- BUYER: Not Visiting A Property.
Nowadays, it’s easy to feel like you’ve seen a property on the internet, with all of the photos, videos, and even 3D tours available of a single home. But remember, these are all only a glimpse of the house and shouldn’t be a substitute for actually seeing the home. Photos and videos will all show you the best parts of the house and may not show you the little details that may need work. 3D tours, while realistic, may not give you the correct proportions and sizes of each room. And you won’t get an idea of the neighborhood, either. How is the noise level around, and what are the neighbors like? Always, ALWAYS visit the property before you buy so you can have a clear idea of these things.
- SELLER: Not Marketing Your Home Enough.
Make sure you’re exploring different avenues for marketing your home. A “for sale” sign in front of the house isn’t going to be enough- figure out ways to take great photos, videos, and tours of your home onto various sites online so that your listing reaches as many people as possible.
- BUYER AND SELLER: Not Hiring An Agent.
Buyer or seller, going through the process without an agent is a huge mistake. Real estate agents will have a considerable amount of insight to help you market your home as best as possible and help you negotiate the price of a home to get the best offer or the best deal. This will take a huge amount of stress off you, especially when you’re closing and going through pages and pages of dense paperwork!
Lily Jang is a Top Producing Licensed Real Estate Agent out of the Keller Williams Memorial office in Houston, Texas. Whether you’re thinking about listing your house, beginning your search for a new home, or have a question about the area, I know I can find the perfect home for you! Visit my website to learn more, or call me at 832.510.8802 to get started today.