Selling a house is a huge financial transaction and it can be a long and complicated process. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong and for sellers to make costly mistakes. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With some planning and knowledge, along with a good measure of objectivity, most of the mistakes home sellers make can be avoided. With that in mind, I want to make you aware of (so that you can avoid), the top 4 mistakes home sellers make in the Long Island.
1. Not Pricing for a Sale
Setting an unrealistic price just may be the number one mistake home sellers make in the Long Island. The problem arises because sellers often do not make the necessary distinction between what they want for their house and what it is actually worth on the market. The value of a house is not as fluid as some homeowners think. Sure, you can get some agents to list your house at a much higher price than it is worth. You may even get someone to submit an offer, at that price. However, home sellers should keep in mind that most buyers of real estate in the Long Island, usually require a loan from a lending institution in order to complete the purchase of a house. The lending institution employs an appraiser to help determine the value of the house prior to the buyer receiving a mortgage commitment. That appraiser will utilize tools to reach the fair market value of the house. The lender will not lend more than the fair market value to a buyer to purchase a house.
Fair market value is arrived at by means of a comparative market analysis which is a tool that uses data from recent area home sales with similar sizes and features. These comparable sales, also referred to as ‘comps,’ are what many real estate agents also use to suggest a listing price. Now, it’s fair to say that it is common knowledge that rarely are two houses the same. Absent identical houses, the challenge for real estate professionals is to be able to account for the differences in home features to determine the correct listing price to position the house on the market where it will command the highest price. This can be a daunting task and it is best left to a qualified real estate agent who is knowledgeable of the local market.
If you need a qualified local real estate professional to help you sell your Long Island home, call (631) 357-4819.
2. Underestimating Selling Costs
Failing to take into account or underestimating the cost of selling a house is one of the mistakes home sellers make in the Long Island. Home sellers in Long Island should know that there are costs associated with the sale of a house. These costs are deducted from the proceeds of the sale of the house.
Long Island home sellers must hire an attorney to represent the legal aspect of the transaction. Each attorney has a different fee structure and different level of experience in real estate law so many Long Island home sellers often consult their real estate agents for recommendations. It is very important to hire a competent, reliable attorney to assist in this very expensive endeavor. Real estate professionals also get paid for their services and their pay is part of the cost to sell a home. Each agency/agent has their own guidelines regarding professional fees charged in the sale of a house. Long Island home sellers should also expect to pay transfer taxes in the amount of 0.004%, county recording fees of about $100.00 and title closer pick up fee of approximately $200. An experienced local real estate agent will be able to negotiate a sales price that will help to offset some of the costs of selling and leave you with more money in your pocket.
3. Failing to Prepare
One of the most common mistakes home sellers make in Long Island is failing to properly prepare their home for sale. An unprepared or under-prepared home can dramatically impact the final sale price of a house. Prior to listing a home for sale, a home seller should at the very least, declutter, clean, make minor repairs if possible, paint and stage their home. The goal is to make your home as appealing to potential buyers as possible which will encourage them to offer their highest and best in their effort to purchase the house. Many Long Island sellers often do not see the very real value in taking the time to properly prepare their home prior to listing it for sale. The cleaner and less cluttered your home is, the more appeal it will have to buyers. (I sold a home a few years ago in West Babylon, New York, 11704 and the new buyers insisted on using the original homeowner’s cleaning service because they wanted to continue to maintain the home like the previous owner. Long Island should also keep in mind that clutter can make your home appear smaller and make it more difficult for buyers to picture themselves living in the space. In fact, surveys show that properly staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged.
When staging a home for sale, a major mistake some Long Island sellers make is focusing solely on the inside of the home while neglecting the outside. Home sellers in the Long Island should always factor in curb appeal. This is hugely important because it creates the critical first impression that makes buyers want to see more.
4. Making Poor Agent Selection
A mistake sellers make in the Long Island that can sometimes be disastrous, lies in choosing the wrong agent – one who is simply not competent, doesn’t understand the local market or isn’t looking out for their best interests. Before selecting an agent, be sure to check their licensing, credentials and reviews and make sure they are experienced in selling in the Long Island.