When preparing for a home sale, the devil is in the detail. You probably already know about the “do’s,” de-cluttering, curb-appeal, staging, and making necessary repairs. But here are a few home selling “don’ts” that often trap home sellers into making mistakes:
Home selling is not about you. Don’t make a statement. Now is not the time to be bold with renovations and staging; but rather stay focused on getting your home sold. Stay away from trendy features, and bold designs. Although bright and dramatic colors seem tempting, stick with neutral color schemes. Besides making rooms feel awkward, making a statement with trendy fixtures and bold colors may turn off home buyers. Bold style statements make home buyers fixate on the style, rather the space and potential of each room.
Home selling is not about being cheap. Don’t hire a contractor because they are the cheapest. When it comes to home repair, the idiom “you get what you pay for” typically holds true. Home buyers have a discerning eye and can spot poor workmanship. Don’t be tempted to hire the unlicensed handyman to save a few dollars either; you and the future buyers won’t have recourse if there is a problem with the repair. Don’t also be talked into a cheap renovation that is meant to appear as a luxury amenity. Poor workmanship, sloppy installation, and/or inferior materials will turn away many home buyers.
Home selling is not about being amateur. Don’t assume all house painters are alike. A good paint job can make a room look terrific and create positive emotions; while a poor paint job makes a room appear shabby and unstylish. And even though you may be tempted to save a few dollars, don’t paint your home on your own – hire a professional. The amateur paint job appears sloppy and has the telltale uneven edges, painted over light switches and receptacle covers, and painted shut windows.
Home selling is not about guessing. Don’t assume your prepping will bring you a big return on your investment. If you deferred regular maintenance, you may have to make repairs regardless of the return. Likewise, if your home is outdated, you may consider making some updates to lure home buyers. Before getting in too deep on a prepping project, have a budget in mind and do a cost benefit analysis.
Consider checking out this year’s Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report (costvsvalue.com) to find out what updates and renovations make sense and which ones can bring you the biggest returns. Although most renovations won’t bring you a dollar-for-dollar return, they may add to the overall aesthetic and make your home more appealing. However, some renovations may not only lose money but can also blemish your otherwise beautiful home. For example, adding a backup generator may seem as if it is a much needed amenity, however, the report indicated that for the Washington DC region, you would only recoup about 57.5% of the cost. And it is possible that the home buyer will remove it because of it was poorly installed and too noisy.
The purpose of preparing your home before a sale is to not only to compel home buyers to make a top-dollar offer on your home, but to also get it sold quickly. Consider planning out how you will prepare your home. Do the research. Don’t fall into the traps that ensnare many home sellers because it can cost you. You may not only have to correct poor workmanship, but your negotiated sale price may be lower than expected.
Copyright © Dan Krell
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.