Top 5 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Selling Their House In Austin, Texas

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Top 5 Mistakes Homeowners Make 

Buying or selling a house is typically the largest financial decision the average American will make in their lifetime.  Unfortunately, the concept of real estate is not taught to us in school and, again, the average American really doesn’t know or understand how real estate or selling a house works.

Big money plus lack of knowledge can translate into a HUGE mistake!

Since 2003, I’ve participated in more than 1,200 real estate transactions here in Central Texas and I’ve run into just about every mistake a homeowner trying to sell their own house can make.  In today’s blog, I’ll detail the top 5 mistakes homeowners make when selling a house in Austin, Texas, in the hopes of sparing you from making the same ones.

After all, there’s two ways to learn:  make the mistake yourself or learn from others.  The latter is much less costly than the former.

Top Seller Mistakes When Selling Their Austin House

  • Overpricing– many homeowners become emotionally vested in their house and carry over that emotion when pricing the house.  As the homeowner, you may have had some tremendous memories, from watching your baby’s first steps in the living room to celebrating their graduation.  The the fact of the matter is this:  your buyer won’t care.  The price of your house is determined by the value of other houses in your subdivision.  So if the same house next to you or down the street sold for $150k, your house is worth $150k.  Pricing it at $175k because you like your house won’t get it sold any quicker.  When it comes to pricing, I highly recommend using the services of a Realtor as they will have a better, stronger understanding of the value of the property.
  • Overspending– when making repairs, don’t go overboard to get your house up to market value.  There are some investments that won’t really have much of an impact on your sales price.  For example, I knew a couple that added a top line Jacuzzi to their house in order to try to make it worth an extra $15k over market value.  6 months later, they ended up selling it when they lowered their price accordingly.  Not only did the incur the expense of the Jacuzzi, but they also added 4 extra months of holding costs to the property by pricing so high to justify their ill advised investment.
  • Overzealous– sellers always have the best intentions when showing their house, but those intentions don’t always lead to sales.  I was with my buyers at an open house where the seller was present and he would NOT leave us alone for a minute.  He was selling, selling and overselling every aspect of the house.  His intentions may be good but the results were poor.  Let the sellers walk around.  Part of the selling process is to let the potential buyer fantasize and envision themselves in the house.  It’s pretty hard to do this when the seller is talking all the time.
  • value of a staged roomOverlooking staging – staging is one of the most overlooked tools for selling a house, which is very unfortunate because it is so effective.  Look at the photo to the right.  What type of room was this supposed to be?  Is it a bed room, sewing room, sitting room, home office, sun room, etc…?  Stage the property accordingly so they will be able to understand the purpose of the room and see how much furniture it holds.  An empty room always looks to small.  One other tip- when staging, keep it neutral.  You want the potential buyer to envision themselves in the house.  That’s difficult to do if there are pictures of you and your family all over the place.  So have furniture, flowers and generic pictures hanging, but keep personal items to a minimum.
  • Over your head– selling real estate is not for everyone.  There’s nothing wrong with using a real estate professional to assist you with selling your house.  Now, not all Realtors are created equal either.  When seeking one out, don’t just pick a national brand.  While Century 21 may have sold thousands of houses, it doesn’t mean that the Realtor you speak with has sold more than 2.  Second, find out what type of real estate they do.  Many Realtors solely use traditional real estate techniques, such as putting a sign in your front yard and posting your listing on the MLS.  This strategy can work if you have plenty of equity and time.  However, if you’re looking to sell your house fast in Austin, Texas, then you may require a real estate professional who uses multiple ways to buy and sell houses.

 

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