Selling a home, especially for first-timers, can be a complicated, overwhelming, and emotionally draining experience. Strangers will be traipsing through your home at all hours criticizing the things you’ve come to love about it. With all of this hitting you at once, it’s easy to make mistakes that can keep you from getting your list price – or even making a sale at all. To help you stay on the right track, here are 6 mistakes people make when selling their house in Los Angeles.
1. Being Too Emotionally Attached
You’ve probably lived in your home for several years, and so some emotional attachment is unavoidable. It is, after all, the place where you’ve lived your life and raised your family for a long time. But being too emotionally attached is one of the worst mistakes people make when selling their house in Los Angeles.
To avoid this mistake, real estate professionals advise overcoming personal feelings and emotions by thinking of yourself “as a business person and a home seller, rather than as the home’s owner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property that you’ve undoubtedly created many memories in.”
2. Pricing Unrealistically
A similar mistake people make when selling their house in Los Angeles, often owing to that emotional attachment, is pricing unrealistically. The temptation is to price higher than market value because sellers perceive the house to be worth that higher price. But overpriced houses don’t sell very quickly if they ever sell at all.
Then, again, you shouldn’t underprice your house because sellers will think something is wrong with it, and it may not sell when underpriced either. It’s critical with respect to pricing to sell to have your agent conduct a comparative market analysis to find out what comparable homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for. (Contact your local agent at 562-881-9811 to find out more about pricing to sell.)
A subspecies of this same mistake involves people expecting to get the asking price and nothing less. “Any smart buyer will negotiate,” the real estate pros say, “and if you want to complete the sale, you may have to play ball.”
3. Not Being Flexible Enough About Showings
Experienced real estate professionals all have this to say about showings: “If your house isn’t easy to show, it won’t be easy to sell either.” And that means you must be willing to show your home at odd hours when it is highly inconvenient because that may be the only time prospective buyers can view your home. If you aren’t willing to interrupt meals or evenings or weekend plans, you may not sell your house. “The goal is to accommodate as many buyers as possible, even if their timing is inconvenient.”
4. Not Preparing Your House Properly
This is one of the mistakes people make when selling their house in Los Angeles simply because many people aren’t aware of everything they need to do. In order to sell quickly and at a good price, your house must be in tip-top shape and as attractive as you can make it, both inside and out.
If you don’t want to be guilty of this mistake, be sure to declutter ruthlessly and do some staging. According to a top real estate site, staged homes ” sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged.” And don’t forget curb appeal. That ‘s what creates that great first impression when buyers pull up, and it’s what makes them want to go inside and see more. Your agent can guide you in getting everything just right.
5. Considering Only the Highest Offer
Certainly, you want to sell your house for as much as possible. But making that the only priority is one of the common mistakes people make when selling their house in Los Angeles. There are, after all, other considerations to keep in mind. As exciting as it may be, the highest offer may not necessarily be the best offer.
You also have to consider contingencies, a common component of traditional sales. Contingencies are, according to industry experts, “conditions that must be satisfied for the sale to close. You may have contingencies that protect the buyer’s interests like a financing contingency or an inspection. . . . For example, you may receive a really high offer that is contingent on the buyer selling their existing house” – which may or may not happen.
On the other hand, contingencies can work in your favor so that you wind up making more money even at a lower selling price. If, for example, the buyer is willing to pay all closing costs if you lower the price slightly, you may actually wind up with more money in your pocket in the end.
6. Not Using an Agent
Real agents provide a wealth of knowledge and experience while providing a valuable service. And, typically, they charge a commission of around 5% to 6% of the sale price (although that is sometimes negotiable). So one of the top mistakes people make when selling their house in Los Angeles is not using an agent to avoid paying that commission. A good agent can help you price it right for a quick sale and then deploy her negotiation skills so that you get a better price. Ultimately, then, that commission is a small price to pay for your agent’s services because the return on that investment is so great.