Selling a house is an enormous undertaking – one fraught with all kinds of stress, from emotional to financial to just the busyness of it all. Fortunately, you can find tons of advice and suggestions, both online and elsewhere on what you can and should do to make the whole process easier and smoother. In addition to what you should do, there are several things you shouldn’t do. But advice on what you shouldn’t do isn’t nearly as plentiful. To help fill that gap, here are the 6 things to never do before listing your house in Los Angeles.
1. Price Too High
Even in a buyer’s market, when inventory is low, buyers won’t be willing to overpay (or not by much) for your house. So one of the things you should never do before listing your house in Los Angeles is to settle on a price above market value simply because you feel your home is worth it. The market will determine what your house is worth.
Here’s what the pros say. “Correct pricing allows the market to dictate how much the home is really worth by creating the possibility of multiple offers.The seller who shoots for the moon and asks for more than their home is worth ultimately loses out on ready, willing, and able buyers.” Then, when your home sits on the market a long time, it becomes “stigmatized,” and buyers may skip over it altogether. So be sure to lean on your agent’s expertise for pricing guidance. (To discover more, call 562-881-9811.)
2. Drop a Lot of Money on Major Improvements
Sure, making necessary upgrades and improvements can help you sell for more, but you don’t want to drop many thousands of dollars on major improvements before listing your house in Los Angeles. The trick is to make only those improvements that will yield a good return on the investment at sale time.
Market experts advise following the rule of thumb that says “if it costs you $2,500 to update your bathroom, you should see a market gain of $10,000 to justify the improvement.” Basically, you should avoid improvements that are purely cosmetic. Instead, concentrate on those improvements and upgrades that will allow you to compete with and outshine comparable homes in your area, performing only “the most bang-for-the-buck home improvement projects.” Again, your local agent can be an invaluable asset here.
3. Neglect Curb Appeal
Another thing you should never do before listing your house in Los Angeles is neglect curb appeal. But it happens often because so many sellers are so focused on making the inside of their home look good. First impressions, though, are immensely important, and curb appeal creates that important, one-shot first impression. It’s what makes potential buyers want to go inside and see more.
Begin by doing simple yard maintenance like mowing, mulching beds, trimming bushes and shrubs, raking, and edging. Then, if you need to, you can do some landscaping. Landscaping has proven time and again to yield a good return on investment, so it should make you money even if you hire a professional landscaper.
4. Keep Your Personality Imprint
When buyers view your home, it should present itself to them as a blank slate that they can fill in imaginatively, envisioning your house as their home, filled with their possessions and furniture. Still, many sellers make the mistake before listing their house in Los Angeles of not removing their personality imprint. Industry pros recommend removing items that indicate political affiliations, family portraits, and quirky knick-knacks and rugs. “While you want the home to be inviting and have personality, it is necessary to pare back personal items. Personal affections can influence the buyer away from a home due to a difference in beliefs and preferences.”
5. Leave the Odors
When we live in a home for a long time, we grow accustomed to the way it smells. That, however, is definitely not the case for buyers who come to view your home. Pet odors that seem inoffensive to you can keep you from getting an offer from an interested buyer. So don’t make the mistake of not eliminating odors before listing your house in Los Angeles.
Carpets are notorious for holding odors, so begin by shampooing all the carpets (maybe even replacing the carpet in rooms that are particularly offensive). You will also want to clean refrigerators and ranges, as well as the ducts. And if you are a smoker, you will need to prime and paint walls. Don’t lose a sale simply because a buyer didn’t like the way your house smelled.
6. Don’t Hire an Agent
Many people do in fact sell their home without an agent. In many cases, though, that’s a recipe for, if not disaster, at least a lower sale price and unfavorable sale terms. It’s a good idea to engage the services of a qualified local agent before listing your house in Los Angeles. Your agent can help you avoid doing these things that can sour the sale. A good agent can help you price right for a quick sale and then deploy her negotiation skills so that you get a better price.