Deciding to sell your home is a significant decision requiring time, energy, and considerable financial preparation. When you decide to put your home on the market, you will have many considerations and sometimes tough decisions to make but remember there are certain ways to make the selling process a bit more smooth. Here are a few moving management tips and common mistakes to avoid when listing and selling your home.
1. Incorrectly pricing your home
Arguably the most important part of the sales process when selling your home is determining a price point. The price you set for your home can depend on a variety of different factors such as timing, location, neighborhood comps, and interest rates. Pricing your home too high is risky, even if you are selling in a favorable market. For example, pricing much higher than the true market value could lead to problems during the appraisal process or could send a red flag to buyers if it sits on the market too long. Conversely, you may consider pricing lower than market value to draw attention to your home or to start a bidding war. While this can work in some cases, remember that this strategy could end up backfiring if not done properly, so always do your research ahead of time to yield the best outcome.
2. Not having the correct paperwork in order
There is a significant amount of preparation involved when selling, so getting organized and preparing all necessary paperwork ahead of time can lead to a more smooth process when it comes time to sell. Here’s some paperwork to have prepared ahead of time:
- Loan information
- The deed
- Your original sales contract
- The title report
- Your homeowners’ insurance policy
- Maintenance and repair records
- Property tax information
- Utility bills
Additionally, it could be helpful to have a copy of the survey, especially if you have a large piece of property or if you have fencing or obscure boundaries on your land. Also, if you are including appliances in the sale of your home, try to look for any warranties or user manuals to serve as a resource for potential buyers.
3. Being inadequately insured
When you are preparing to sell your home, don’t overlook the importance of carrying adequate insurance policies. Even though evaluating your current coverage might seem like a daunting task when you inevitably have a significant amount of other items on your to-do list, it is nonetheless an important piece in guaranteeing that you are adequately protected. For example, if you have made significant improvements to your home leading up to putting it on the market, look back into your homeowners’ coverage to ensure the policy is sufficient. For instance, if you installed a new gourmet kitchen to attract buyers but only have builder’s grade coverage in your current policy, consider updating this amount to reflect your home’s improved value while you are still an owner.
Whether you are downsizing or upgrading your home after you sell, it can be helpful to re-evaluate your financial situation to determine if your needs are going to be changing. For example, some may consider updating their life insurance coverage if selling their home will significantly change their new obligations. This is why it can be helpful to use a cost calculator to have a better understanding of how costs could change should you consider obtaining a new policy when entering this new chapter. Term life insurance tends to be a more affordable option and provides your chosen beneficiary with a lump sum of funds if you were to unexpectedly pass away. If you are moving to a home with a higher monthly mortgage payment, this could be an added consideration.
4. Not budgeting for moving management costs
While you most likely have a grasp on the price point you are looking for in a new home and have a general idea of what you are hoping to sell your current home for, remember not to overlook some of the additional costs associated with moving. In addition to the standard costs of selling a home such as lawyer fees and realtor commissions, there are also additional fees to account for when selling your home. These could include the cost of using a reputable organizing company, cleaning fees, scheduling movers, and repairs that need to be made after the inspection.
5. Not showcasing your home’s features
When you’re ready to put your home on the market, take some extra time to ensure that you are highlighting and displaying your home’s features. For example, making sure that you have quality pictures taken of your home can make a difference when attracting potential buyers. Depending on your situation, staging your home or virtually staging your home could also be a wise investment if you already have moved out all of your furniture. Having a staged home helps potential buyers take mental ownership during their showing because seeing furniture helps them picture what their life could be like living in your home. Additionally, consider making certain upgrades to your home such as painting the walls a neutral color or enhancing the curb appeal to appeal to a wide audience of buyers.
6. Not having a moving management backup plan
When selling your home, having a backup plan is key to save you from any potential headaches during the process. In particular, buying and selling a home at the same time can be a challenge, so having a solid plan is critical. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you sell sooner than expected, where will you stay while you look for a new home for yourself?
- Is it possible to have a contingency in your potential deal to allow for time for you to find a new home?
- Are there short-term housing opportunities in your area and will you need a storage solution if you are in between housing?
These are all things to think about when selling your home but also looking for a new residence as well.
When selling your home, it can be helpful to prepare for the unexpected. Each situation is different, so being both mentally and financially equipped to handle any surprise situations that may come up can help you during this time.