Selling your home - especially if you've never done it before - can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers will come into your home and poke around in your closets and cabinets. They will criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and then, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it's easy for first-time home sellers to make lots of mistakes. However, with a little know-how, many of these pitfalls can be avoided altogether.
Don't Get Emotionally Involved - once you decide to sell your home, it can be helpful to start thinking of yourself as a businessperson. Be the home seller rather than the homeowner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you'll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property where you've undoubtedly created many memories.
Never try to hide a significant problem with the property; it will be uncovered during the buyer's inspection, so there's no use hiding it. Either fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to account for the problem, or list the property at a normal price but offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem. Realize that if you don't fix the problem in advance, you may turn away a fair number of buyers who want a turnkey home. Having your home inspected before listing it is a good idea. You can avoid costly surprises that occur after the home is under contract.
Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes are throwing money down the drain. If you can't afford to hire a professional, that's OK - there are many things you can do on your own. Failing to do these things will not only reduce your sale price, but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all. For example, if you haven't attended to minor issues like a broken doorknob, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has larger, costlier issues that haven't been addressed. Ask a friend or your agent to go over the property with a fresh pair of eyes. They can point out areas of your home that need work - because of your familiarity with the home, you may have become immune to its trouble spots. Decluttering, thorough cleaning, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and getting rid of any odors will also help you make a good impression on buyers.If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate this person, even if it is inconvenient for you. And yes, you have to clean and declutter the house before every single visit. A buyer won't know and won't care if your house was clean last week if it isn't clean when he or she views it. It's a lot of work, but stay focused on the prize. If at all possible, bake some cookies prior to the showing. The wonderful aroma will entice these potential buyers to see the home as their home.