Common Mistakes First Time Home Sellers Make

By The A-Team | Sep 18, 2017 | Fort McMurray - Seller Advice

Buying a home for the first time can seem daunting but usually, it works out to be pretty fun if you have the right knowledge & team.

But selling your first home can be brutal, especially in a buyer's market.

There are a number of steps a seller needs to go through that can be confusing the first time around. Though mistakes may seem inevitable, taking the time to get to know them beforehand will help you avoid trouble. Here are a few common mistakes that first-time home sellers make:

One common mistake first-time home sellers make is remaining too attached to the property they wish to sell. Since you may have no prior experience with home selling, it can be emotional to part ways with the house where you've spent much of your life and where you have so many memories. A recent post from Windermere Real Estate warns against letting sentimentality interfere with your sale:

Becoming emotional or sentimental about the sale

How can you avoid those potential pitfalls and common mistakes? Look to your real estate professional for advice and keep these guidelines in mind:

Once you decide to sell your house, it's time to strip out the emotion and look at it as a commodity in a business transaction. If you start reminiscing about all the good times you had and the hard work you invested, it will only make it that much harder to successfully price, prepare, and market the home. Read full list here...

Before you decide to sell your house it's necessary that you’re emotionally ready to let go. It's a good idea to take the time to ensure that you’re emotionally prepared to sell, and start thinking of your home as a product. We always tell people at our first meeting, that once you've decided to sell, at this point we should look at it like any other asset (for example, a Suncor share). This can sound a bit daunting, but it can also be eye-opening. One of our listing agents (Denise Hildebrand) recalls selling her personal home through a REALTOR® in another province; he told her at the listing presentation "your home is mine now". Again it sounds pretty extreme (it's clearly an exaggeration), but the point is this: If all goes well, your home will soon change hands, and there are benefits that spring from emotionally letting go sooner rather than later.

Without experience and knowledge when it comes to the local real estate market, you may be tempted to expect high prices for their homes. Overpricing is another common mistake first-timers tend to make in the home selling process. The following article from Ccar explains why overpricing can lead to a less than ideal sale:

Overpricing Their Home

When sellers overprice their homes, they usually seek out a REALTOR® willing to go along with that price. This might hurt your sellers’ chances to sell quickly, even when they are presented with a good offer or one that can be negotiated. They find themselves not wanting to budge on the price, especially if the offer is within days of the property being on the market. They have the illusion that more offers will come, or they anticipate a bidding war. By doing so, they take a risk of the house remaining on the market longer than expected and, ultimately, accepting a lesser amount than what they were originally offered. Read full article here...
Pricing your home too high is an avoidable mistake. It is more likely that you won’t get any offers when you overprice your house. We recommend getting your home appraised by an agent before deciding on a price.

Avoid overpricing when selling your house!

The final common mistake we're going to cover here is in relation to improving your house. It's natural to expect your home to price higher and sell faster by shelling out for renovations and repairs. But it can actually cost you more. Next, Sold By Franco describes the guidelines you should follow when renovating:

Over-improving your home

While it’s important to fix whatever needs fixing before the sale of your home, undertaking a major project could cost you more money than you would recover from the sale. If your improvements will push your home’s value more than 20% over the average neighbouring home values, don’t expect to recoup the entire cost (some major projects, however, like replacing a roof should be done if needed). Read full list here...
Over-improving for the sole purpose of increasing the home price can be a costly mistake. Being wise and treading carefully when improving your house is key. You need to plan first before taking the time and money to renovate.

Selling a home doesn't have to be a hassle. With proper preparation and the right help at your side, you can pull off a great sale.

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The A-Team

RE/MAX® Fort McMurray's #1 Real Estate team of hard-working, talented REALTORS® who specialize in helping you successfully sell or buy.