There’s lot to say about the complex process of buying a home, but selling a home can be equally challenging.
If you’re a soon-to-be home seller, check out this quick rundown of five mistakes to avoid when selling a property. And don’t forget: HUECU now has out-of-state mortgages, which means Credit Union members who are selling a home in preparation to purchase a property further afield now have even more options for straightforward, hassle-free home loans.
Mistake #1: Refurbishing From Top to Bottom
Home sellers sometimes think that to get the best price, they’ll need to do a full round of home improvements: from updating all appliances, to refurbishing the basement, to repainting every wall inside and out.
While it’s important to take care of key repair and maintenance issues, don’t sink a ton of money into the home before understanding what matters to the selling price, and what’s a cosmetic spruce-up that won’t significantly impact the sale of your home. A qualified listing agent will be well positioned to help you decide where money is best spent – so avoid any major paint jobs or garden re-landscaping until you’ve consulted with an expert.
Mistake #2: Doing Everything Alone
Because real estate agents collect a commission – normally around 5% of the sale price – it can be tempting to forgo the realtor and manage the sale by yourself. It’s certainly possible to do a home sale solo, but consider if this is really worth your time and energy. The right real estate agent will look out for your interests in negotiations with the buyer, connect you to other professionals in the field such as home inspectors, and help you secure a selling price that’s normally higher than what you could get without their support.
If you do decide to forgo the real estate agent, consider if there are people in your personal or professional network who can help to answer questions that may arise during the process of selling a home.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Tax Implications
There are a number of tax rules to understand when you sell a property. Money you receive through a home sale could be subject to taxes. Since these tax rules change so often, you need to check with a tax accountant/CPA for the most reliable information. The wrong advice could cost you thousands in unexpected tax obligations.
Mistake #4: Skimping on the Photo Budget
With so many elements to consider when selling a home and so many line-items on the budget, you might be tempted to forgo professional photos. Don’t do it! Having great photographs means making a great first impression on potential buyers, as this is often their earliest interaction with the property. This is especially true nowadays, as many more buyers are now doing the majority of their home browsing online. To ensure you catch their eye, work with a photography professional who specializes in real estate and understands how to highlight what’s unique and noteworthy about your home.
Mistake #5: Forgetting About Your Own Home buying Journey
If you’re selling a home, you may also be in the process of buying one. Beware of putting all your effort into the ‘sell’ side of things! It’s also important to schedule in dedicated time to address your own home buying needs, including designing a budget, finding the right property, applying for a mortgage and so on. Balancing these two sides of the real estate process can be tricky, but with a good plan and the right financial and real estate partners ready to offer support, you’ll be well on your way to a fruitful buying and selling journey.