We’ve all heard the real estate buzz terms “seller’s market” and “buyer’s market.” Well, I’m here to tell you, we are solidly in a seller’s market! With incredibly low inventory rates, buyers are having to be more competitive than ever. This makes it a very lucrative time to be a seller, but you will want to be smart about it. Let’s look at the top 5 mistakes sellers often make, and how you can avoid them.
1. NOT BEING PREPARED FOR SELLING COSTS
If you want your home to sell for top-dollar, it needs to be in top shape. You must be prepared for the costs of things like; painting, replacing outdated fixtures, repairing broken appliances, and potentially staging the home to ensure its appeal. Also keep in mind that while you are making money at the closing table, you will be incur some costs as well including: sales tax, a title transfer fee, and a closing attorney fee. These costs typically add up to be anywhere from 1-3% of the sales price of the home. As the seller, you are also responsible for paying the commission of both the selling agent and the buyer agent. This typically ranges from 4.8% – 6% total of the sales price. Your Nest agent can further explain these commissions structures.
2. SELLING WITHOUT AN AGENT
It can be tempting to save money by not paying out a commission, but you are setting yourself up to lose out on a whole lot of money. This is likely your largest financial asset, and should be handled with expert care. Especially in today’s market, you need an advocate in your corner to ensure that you are not only getting top dollar, but to negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you don’t lose money along the way in Due Diligence repair costs, seller-paid closing costs, and a slew of other items that may come up. Bottom line—when things are moving as quickly as they are right now, you want to a trusted advisor at your side every step of the way, ensuring you make timely and cost-saving decisions.
3. PRICING IT WRONG
If you price the home too low, you’re leaving money on the table. If you price it too high, you run the risk of turning away serious buyers and accumulating days on market, only to have to lower the price weeks or months later, reducing your leverage. An agent can run a comparative market analysis for you, showing you the price points at which homes comparable to yours in your area are selling, and suggest an ideal listing price. Setting the price right from the start can make all the difference in how quickly you sell your home and how much money ends up in your pocket at the closing table.
4. HIDING MAJOR REPAIRS FROM BUYERS
Don’t be tempted to put a band-aid on things like a leaking roof or pest problem. Buyer’s will almost always have a home inspection performed once under contract and if a major problem arises, you could risk delaying or terminating the deal all together. Having an agent on your side to help you determine existing problems that require attention and how to best address them will keep you ahead of the game.
5. UNPROFESSIONAL PHOTOS
As great as our phone cameras are these days, they don’t compare to professional photo’s when it comes to listing your home. For each and every one of my sellers, I hire a professional photographer to shoot their listing photos. A professional photographer has the proper lighting equipment, knows how to get the correct angles, and how to edit the photos to make your home shine. Potential buyers always look at the photos to decided if a house is even worth viewing in person, so you want that first impression to be a good one.
Now that you know the Top 5 Seller Mistakes and how to avoid them, reach out to your Nest agent to develop a solid selling strategy for your home.
Sarah is a Realtor with Nest Realty Raleigh-Durham. Being a Durham native makes her an undeniable asset to anyone looking to buy or sell in this area. To learn more about Sarah, visit her agent page.