Selling Your Farmington Hills MI Home? Avoid These Mistakes 

Selling your Farmington Hills MI home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging, especially if it’s your very first time. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for first-time home sellers to make mistakes. However, with a little know-how, you can avoid many of these pitfalls. Read on to find out how to sell your house while getting the highest market price within a reasonable time frame – and without losing your mind.

Not keeping your emotions in check

Once you decide to sell your Farmington Hills home, start thinking of the transaction from a purely financial perspective. That way you can distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling it. While your home is full of sentimentality and memories for you, a potential buyer will be looking at it quite differently.

Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and examine the house’s attributes and imperfections. If you can remember that you are selling a piece of property as well as an image and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and doing some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home.

An agent can also help tone down the emotion of the process by interacting with potential buyers and eliminating those who only want to look at your property but have no real intention of making an offer. It may be hard to believe right now, but you’ll soon become just as attached to your new home as you were to your old one.

Not hiring a Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® 

An experienced real estate agent can help you at every stage of the home selling process. They are better-qualified to set the right price for the homes they list, better-equipped to market those homes, and likely to find a buyer in a shorter period of time than if you try to sell on your own. Marketing exposes your property to the public as well as to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service, other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on.

In many markets, a substantial portion of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Real estate agents often use these cooperative relationships to benefit their clients. In addition, an agent will know when, where, and how to advertise, which medium, format, and frequency will work best for your home and your market.  Without an agent, you are the one responsible for showing the house and negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, which can be time-consuming, stressful, and emotional for a lot of people.

Not setting the right price  

The selling process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when selling your Farmington Hills MI is overpricing it. A higher list price will not translate to more money in your wallet. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® reported in 2020 that sellers typically sold their homes for 99% of the listing price while 38% reduced the asking price at least once.

Listing your home above market value can cause it to linger on the market and make buyers wonder why it hasn’t sold. Buyers see comparable homes in your area online every day and they know how long a house typically lasts on the market. Don’t worry too much about setting a price that’s on the low side, because in theory this will generate multiple offers and bid the price up to the home’s actual market value.

Underpricing your home can actually be a strategy to generate extra interest in your listing, and you can always refuse an offer that’s too low. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in your local market as well as the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in marketing your home and selling it at the best price. Often, your agent can also recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. 

Not being willing to negotiate on the asking price  

Any smart homebuyer will negotiate, and if you want to complete the sale, you may have to as well. Most sellers want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers but still leaving some wiggle room for negotiations. The buyer then feels like they are getting good value while allowing you to get the amount of money you need out of the sale.

Be prepared to receive multiple offers if your home is priced right and don’t ignore any offers, even if it seems too low. Negotiate by making a counteroffer. Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer if your price is competitive and it’s backed up by comparable sales. Whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend on whether you are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market and how well you have prepared your home to sell.

Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position and also help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Not investing in quality listing photos  

Since most buyers look for homes online these days, and many of those homes have photos, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have quality visuals of your home. If you do a good job, it will set your listing apart and help generate extra interest. Good photos should be crisp and clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. They should showcase your home’s best assets. Consider using a wide-angle lens if possible—this allows you to give potential buyers a better idea of what entire rooms look like.

Ideally, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top quality results instead of just letting your agent take snapshots on a phone. And don’t just stop at photos. Consider adding a video tour or 360-degree view to further enhance your listing. This can be easily done with any smartphone. You can certainly entice more potential buyers into walking through your doors for showings. You may even get more offers if you give them an introductory walk-through of your property. 

Not disclosing problems with your property

You really can’t get away with hiding problems with your property because they will get uncovered during the buyer’s inspection. Basically, you have three options to deal with any issues: fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to account for it, or list the property at a normal price and offer a credit for the issue. Not fixing the problem ahead of time, however, could eliminate a number of potential buyers who are looking for a turnkey home.

Having your home inspected before listing it is a good idea if you want to avoid costly surprises once the home is under contract. Many states have disclosure rules and some require sellers to disclose known problems about their homes if buyers ask directly, while others require that sellers must voluntarily disclose certain issues.

Not preparing your Farmington Hills MI home for sale

Sellers who do not clean and prepare their homes for sale will have a harder time getting them sold fast for the best price. You want your home to be in the best condition possible. Take care of major defects like broken windows or a leaky roof that could discourage buyers.  If you haven’t attended to minor issues, such as a dripping faucet or broken doorknob, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has other, more expensive issues that haven’t been addressed either.  Anything that’s obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.

Thoroughly cleaning, decluttering, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and getting rid of any odors (litter box) will help you make a great impression on buyers. In addition, you might consider hiring a professional to stage your home for showings or ask your real estate agent for help or ideas. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.

Virtual staging apps such as Ro0omy, VisualStager, BoxBrownie allow you to stage a home digitally, then use the photos in your listings or other marketing material. Remember, you only get one chance, and sometimes only three seconds or so to make a great first impression, so make it count.  

Not estimating your costs to sell

Depending on the price range of the home, be ready to spend 9% – 10% of the sale price on selling costs, including the real estate agent commission and closing costs. Be sure to budget ahead of time for the additional costs involved with selling your home so that you will be ready when the time comes to close the deal. The main types of fees to plan for include:

  • Staging and prep fees (anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars)
  • Real estate agent commissions (5.8% national average)
  • Inspections and repairs (varies)
  • Closing fees (1% – 3% of the sale price)
    • Title fees
    • Transfer or excise taxes
    • Escrow fees
    • Reconveyance fee
    • Recording fees
    • Prorated property taxes
  • Seller concessions (2% – 6%)
  • Overlap costs (1% – 2%)
  • Moving and relocation costs (varies)
  • Mortgage payoff (varies)

Your real estate agent deals with transactions every day and will be able to give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.

Not selling to qualified buyers  

It’s more than reasonable to expect a buyer to bring a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender or proof of funds(POF) for cash purchases to show that they have the money to buy the home. Signing a contract with a buyer may be contingent on the sale of their own property, which may put you in a serious bind if you need to close by a particular date. An unconditional offer is when the buyer does not place any conditions on their offer. This is often preferred by sellers as it is an easier option and the sale can proceed quickly.

The takeaway

Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your lifetime. An experienced Farmington Hills MI REALTOR like Tom Gilliam can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, dedicate time to your sale, and prevent your emotions from sabotaging it. An agent brings expertise to a complex transaction with many potential financial and legal pitfalls.  

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. He understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible. 

Tom works hard for his clients and provides the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and personalized service you need and deserve when buying or selling a home. Get the process started today by reaching out to Tom Gilliam directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

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