A home is the most expensive purchase most people will make in a lifetime. When you have a house for sale in the market, you can’t just quickly take a couple of photos, slap on a price tag and expect buyers to beat down your door with offers. When it comes to selling houses in Australia, a very competitive market for real estate, you’ll have to do your homework in order to find a buyer willing to fork over their hard-earned cash in exchange for your property.
In this latest post to help our readers in “for sale by owner” deals, we put together the top 5 most common things you should avoid doing when you’re selling a house. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll be impressing potential buyers plenty more than you’d expect.
#1 Taking mediocre to bad pictures
We can’t stress enough how vital great home photos are in closing a real estate sale. The majority of buyers looking for a house today go online. If you can’t supply attractive pictures of your property, you might as well kiss the deal goodbye.
Thanks to the Internet, research is easier than ever for buyers. You’re competing with pretty much all the other homeowners out there in a bid to capture the market’s attention. No matter how competitive your price point is, people will ignore listings with mediocre to bad images. The pictures you take of your home are the first thing most people will consider. The majority won’t schedule an appointment to see any house in person if its pictures online don’t hold any appeal. Remember that in real estate, you don’t have a second chance to make a good first impression.
And no, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer or buy a costly camera to take great photos. Any mid-range camera will do, and that includes the camera of good smartphones. Check out our series on taking great real estate photos using your iPhone here.
#2 Neglecting to prep the house
When people come to see your house in person, you can’t just expect them to appreciate it in its natural glory, your mismatch yet favourite furniture included. You’re trying to close a business deal and you should treat the whole experience of a house for sale as a business.
This also means doing more than simply cleaning your house and keeping your laundry out of the way. It goes without saying that you should have your home as spotless as possible when you’re expecting potential buyers to visit. Make sure repairs are done and as much storage spaces are cleared up.
For a more detailed article on how to prep your home to make it as attractive as can be during open houses events, read our article called How to Prep Your Home for Sale on a Budget.
#3 Having unrealistic expectations
Purchasing a home on today’s Australian real estate market can be hard work. Have this mindset when you’re dealing with people who are considering to buy your house. With plenty of houses available for sale, buyers don’t have the energy or time debating unreasonable expectations or prices with you, the seller. When people see a property that has been priced too high because the seller didn’t do their homework properly, these folks will simply ignore the listing and not bother to see the house in person at all.
The best thing for you to do as a seller is to be realistic and conduct proper research. Check out other listings in your location and price range. Don’t fall into the trap of “testing” the market to see if a higher-than-average price for property will get potential buyers through the door.
#4 Getting overly emotional
When you approach the negotiation table in a “for sale by owner” transaction, bring a logical mindset with you. Don’t take it personally if you get an offer that’s lower than what you expect.
The same goes for staging your home. Just because you’re emotionally attach to a piece of furniture, for example, because of sentimental or whatever personal reasons, doesn’t mean you can expect other people to find it attractive. When it comes to prepping your house to make it look as attractive as possible to others, what you put (and don’t put) inside the house can make a buyer’s decision about the property. Your pet dog might be the love of your life, but it doesn’t mean all other people are expected to love him running around while they’re considering making a very serious purchase.
Don’t let your emotions blind you to what’s real and logical. If you feel your ego is getting in the way, remove it and put your brains back in its place.
#5 Misleading potential buyers
You can lose a lot of money as a seller if you don’t disclose all the information that you should. If your buyer eventually uncovers problems themselves, you might be liable for whatever costs are involved if you haven’t been as upfront as humanly possible.
Remember that you can never fool or trick people into purchasing your property. Listings with heavily edited photos or vague sounding descriptions will turn people off more than attract them. Buyers are drawn more to sellers who are frank and honest.
Sure, you shouldn’t broadcast your house’s less-than-pleasing features but don’t make a deliberate attempt to spin or even lie about flaws that are most probably going to be uncovered anyway.
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