8 Mistakes to Avoid When Listing Your Property for Sale

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With so much so-called expert advice out there about how to handle selling your house, it can be hard to discern what to believe. The Lehigh Valley housing market continues to be red hot, and you might be seriously considering listing your property for sale. But what is the best way to go about it? How can you be sure you cross every T and dot every I to get the best offers and sell quickly? 

Selling a house or property can be a complex process, especially for those who are listing a property for the first time. And it can be more helpful to instead focus on common mistakes to avoid instead of trying to decipher which “best practices” advice to follow. We’ll shed light and take some of the guesswork out of listing your property for sale by outlining what NOT to do, so you can avoid common pitfalls and be well on your way to a seamless home selling journey.

1. Not Understanding Your Financial Health First

Before you list your property, you’ll want to sit down with your current finances and situation. Selling or purchasing real estate is not a decision to take lightly or to make based on emotions. Consider your income, your debts, and upcoming property taxes. Be mindful of whether or not you also need to buy a new home, securing your mortgage pre-approvals first. Have a complete and thorough understanding of your financial health so you can move forward making best-fit decisions. And you can then set your goals, like your rock-bottom listing price and timeline to move. Trying to make these decisions without knowing your financial situation inside and out might have you cutting yourself short on funds.

2. Choosing the Wrong Agent, Or Worse, Selling FSBO

In a hot housing market, sellers can sometimes make the mistake of thinking they can list the property for sale on their own. But that could be a costly misstep. Leave the marketing, open houses, walk-throughs, and negotiations to the pros, and get a professional agent to list your property. But beware there, too. Choosing the wrong agent, who’s too busy or lacks experience, could be just as detrimental to your process. When choosing an agent partner, look for these characteristics to ensure you have a great-fit partner to handle your listing.

  • Experience in Selling Lehigh Valley Properties
  • Licensed with Verified Results
  • A Professional Who Has Time for Your Listing and Questions
  • A Proven Method of Marketing New Properties
  • Strong Negotiation Skills

3. Underestimating Listing Costs

You might presume that putting your Lehigh Valley home on the market won’t cost you anything. But it would be a pretty expensive mistake to think that getting offers and selling at a great price is an entirely free process. You’ll have some work to do first, and it might involve spending a little money. New sellers will often underestimate how much it will cost to successfully list your property. Here are some costs to prepare for before putting a “for sale” sign in your yard.

  • Real Estate Agent Commissions (5% – 6%)
  • Potential Buyer Concessions
  • Potential Closing Costs
  • Property Repairs or Maintenance

4. Listing Your Property As-Is

There may be some scenarios in which selling a property as-is makes sense. If you’re on a restricted timeline, motivated more by a quick sale, and willing to take a loss, an as-is listing can be the only solution. However, most sellers do have the time to take the necessary steps to get their properties ready for showing. Taking the steps to make your home market ready will ensure you attract more buyers and can prepare for better offers.

You can schedule a pre-listing home inspection to help you decide which areas may need attention first. Or you can consult and rely on the advice of your listing agent to outline which features matter most to potential buyers. But, in general, here are a few home maintenance tasks and repairs to consider before putting your house on the market.

  • Landscaping Improvements
  • Seasonal HVAC Maintenance
  • Replacing Bulbs and Fixtures
  • Professional Cleaning Services
  • Fixing Leaks or Drainage Issues
  • Replacing Broken Windows or Stained Ceiling Tiles
  • Updating an Appliance or Two
  • Curb Appeal Upgrades

5. Being Unrealistic About Your Listing Price

Yes, the market is buzzing with homebuyers. And you might assume it’s the best practice to aim high with your listing price. Traditionally, listing a little above your rock-bottom price is a good practice. But you’ll want to be mindful in today’s landscape. If you’re priced too high, there are plenty of other properties for buyers to consider instead. It’s best to stick closely to your Fair Market Value, which your real estate agent can help you determine. You certainly don’t want to be leaving money on the table. However, pricing too high up front will only price your listing out of interested buyers and offers.

6. Not Staging Your Property for Showings

Did you know that properly staged homes sell 88% faster than non-staged homes? Staging refers to the process in which you set up the aesthetics of your listing to be more attractive to buyers. And staging doesn’t have to be expensive, nor do you have to be a professional designer to be effective. Start with cleaning efforts, which might include shampooing carpets or painting over stained walls. Fill unsightly holes in the wall where pictures once hung. Consider investing in small touches like lighter-colored curtains on a baron window or fresh flowers on a kitchen table. Remove any clutter, even sentimental decors, that might make a room appear smaller. Be mindful of odors, too, especially if you have pets. Air fresheners or infusers can help make each room aromatic and delightful to potential buyers walking through.

7. Only Considering the Highest Offers

As the news reaches the market about your house for sale, you’ll prepare to start seeing offers. Every situation is going to be unique. So, there isn’t one blanket answer for how best to handle the negotiation. However, some sellers make the mistake of holding out for bigger offers. And when those official offers roll in, some sellers think it’s best to only accept the highest figure. Before accepting any offer, or passing on one, talk with your agent. Even the highest offers might come riddled with contingencies that start eating away at your profit margins. Instead, consider each unique offer, with contingencies and without, to evaluate which offer has the best long-term outcome for you.

8. Not Selecting the Right Title Company

With so many steps to the listing process, many sellers forget that they also have the right to select a title company for closing. Look for a title company that has the expertise and services needed to oversee the closing process and title work. The title transfer of property involves a complex series of steps and protocols designed to reduce risks to both buyers and sellers, and you don’t want to overlook choosing the best-fit closing partner. 

If you’ve been thinking and toying with the idea of listing your Lehigh Valley property for sale, consider these common mistakes and look to avoid them. And when you’re ready to choose a title company partner, let the New Door Property Transfer experts be your guide!

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