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Five Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling a home is a big deal! As homeowners, we make commitments, we become attached and we grow in our home. When it comes time to sell, it is not uncommon for homeowners to become overwhelmed with the details and to make careless mistakes. Unfortunately, some of the most costly mistakes that should be avoided when selling your home are also some of the most common mistakes made by homeowners. Before moving full speed ahead with the sale of your home, make sure that you avoid these potentially costly mistakes.

Putting Your Home on the Market When it's in Poor Condition

While you may think that you are ready to sell your home, is your home ready to sell? Your house should be ready for the market before you put it on the market. Otherwise you could be losing potential buyers! Small cosmetic changes to your property can make for big payoffs. Likewise, minor imperfections that are spotted by potential buyers can result in costly reductions in the offers that you receive.

Pricing the Home Too High

Pricing strategy is an important factor to consider when selling your home and a mistake in the pricing can leave you wondering, "why isn't my home selling?" A home that is priced too high will be overlooked by potential buyers and may sit on the market for a very long time without being sold. While you, as the homeowner, do have the right to set an asking price for your home, you cannot control the local market which dictates the price that potential buyers would be willing to pay for your home or any other home in the area for that matter.

Hiring an Inexperienced Agent

Maybe you're friends with a real estate agent or you have a friend who's friends with an agent. That's all fine, but if the agent is inexperienced, hiring him or her to sell your home could be a very costly move. Make sure that you hire a professional agent who has a proven track record of successful home sales. When hiring an agent, make sure that you read the listing agreement to ensure that he or she will be paid a fair commission for selling the home.

Failure to Disclose Problems with the Home

While it may seem like a good idea to cover up or hide problems with your home, failure to disclose any problems that the home has could prove to be quite costly. In New York, the Property Condition Disclosure Act requires that homeowners disclose the condition of the property in writing prior to a sale. If you fail to disclose problems with the home you could be sued by the new homeowner. This mistake could be very, very costly.

Accepting a Buyer Who isn't Pre-Approved

It's important that you refrain from taking offers, even those that seem to be good, from buyers who are not already pre-approved for a home loan. If you accept an offer from a buyer who hasn't already been pre-approved for the loan, you could waste months waiting on the loan to be approved or the loan may never even get approved. If the potential buyer provides you with a deposit in good faith and then later cannot receive proper financing, you could still be required to pay their deposit back to them based on standard contract rules.

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