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What to avoid when selling your home

It is good to be able to learn from your mistakes, but it is far better and less costly to learn from other people’s mistakes so you can avoid them altogether. When it comes to major financial decisions, such as placing your home on the market, avoiding costly mistakes is crucial because it can have such a massive impact on your financial well-being going forward, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Here are a few common mistakes that sellers have made in the past, in the hope that future sellers avoid repeating them:

Trying to go it alone

Certain things are better left to the professionals. There is more to selling a property than listing it on a portal and waiting for the right buyer. It can be a complicated and intricate process. While it might be tempting to go it alone to avoid an estate agent’s commission, working with a trustworthy real estate professional will ensure that the home is sold for the best possible price within the shortest possible time. “A professional agent from a reputable brand will add substantial value to the transaction. Amongst other things, they will provide a valuation, advice and all the additional data you need to ensure the property is correctly priced to sell. They will also market the property to the correct type of buyer from their database of potential buyers,” says Goslett.

Working with the wrong real estate agent

Not using an estate agent can be a mistake, but so is using the wrong agent. Working with the wrong agent could be detrimental to the success of the sale. While there is a level of professionalism across the industry, not all agents are the same, so it is imperative that you select the right one for the job. Select an agent who has working experience in the area in which the property is situated. The agent must have a depth of knowledge on the property market, specifically the micro-market in your neighbourhood. 

Inflating the property price

Many sellers overprice their home in an attempt to counteract buyers trying to negotiate the price down. However, instead of giving themselves a cushion, inflating the price chases away buyers and has the home sitting on the market for longer than necessary. Research shows that the longer a home sits on the market, the bigger than the gap between the listing and the actual selling price. A savvy agent can help the seller set the best, most competitive price for their home based on other recent sales and local market trends.

Worrying about the little things

When selling a property, it is important to keep things in perspective. Bear in mind that selling a property is one of the biggest financial decisions most people will ever make. While it might be easy to get distracted by the costs of the pre-listing repairs and upgrades, once the home is sold, you can focus on the rewarding outcome and forget about the small frustrations along the way.

Getting overly emotional

Over the years many memories are made in a home, but buyers are not going to look at the property in the same way you are. While it is natural to have an emotional connection to your home, prospective buyers will be looking at the home itself. Although personal history with the home could cloud your judgment, being objective is key during the selling process. An outside party such as a trusted family member or estate agent can be a valuable asset when seeing the home objectively.

“Avoiding these mistakes will help to ensure that the process of selling the home is less stressful and a far easier procedure to handle,” Goslett concludes.


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