Selling a home is one of the most challenging activities we undertake in life. It’s a huge transaction with financial, emotional and practical implications. Not unlike meeting with your CPA or going to the dentist, the thought of putting your home on the market may be enough to make you run for the hills.
If this is true for you, rest assured – you’re not alone. Here are five big fears many sellers face, and ways to cope with them.
My home won’t sell
The home sitting on the market is the number one fear of most sellers. Particularly if they need the money to buy another house or move on, the fear of the home not selling can be overwhelming.
It might be helpful (or incredibly stressful) to know, but for the right price, and in the right condition, any home will sell. It all depends on local market conditions.
Don’t decide to sell at the last minute. Get with a real estate agent months or even a year before you think you need to sell, and plan ahead. In some markets, it could take six to nine months to get an offer.
I’ll have to do work to my home to sell it
Many sellers are embarrassed by their home and know that it needs work in order to bring in the masses. Yet homeowners often want to go from A to Z without having to deal with prepping the home for sale.
Sellers need to understand that the ultimate sale price of their home directly correlates with its condition. The more time and money you spend prepping your home for sale, the more money you’ll get.
If you’re fine with leaving some money on the table for the next owner, do the bare minimum. But with a little time and money spent on cleaning, replacing, storing and staging, you can get your home in tip-top shape.
Lean on your real estate agent for help. Good agents double as project managers for prepping homes for sale.
My home won’t sell by my target date
If a life event such as a job transfer, death in the family or divorce has you under the gun to sell in a certain time frame, this may be your leading fear. Trying to sell a home quickly can be incredibly stressful, not to mention disruptive.
If you need to move your home, you will need to price it at or below the most recent comparable sales. Buyers today look for value and will flock to a well-priced home.
Double points if you can get your home showing in amazing condition quickly. In some markets, well-priced homes in good locations sell with multiple offers.
My agent wants to price my home too low
Your real estate agent’s pricing strategy should be transparent, and together you should come up with a plan. A price reduction should never come as a surprise, and an offer within just two days of going on the market should not be a shock.
If you don’t trust your agent’s judgment on price, or you feel you and she don’t have aligned strategies, don’t list with her.
However, if you don’t agree with her price, but you hear the same number from multiple agents, that could be a sign that you aren’t being realistic.
I feel exposed with people walking through my home
Face it: To sell your home, you have to open it up to the masses. I once had a client completely break down when she came home to 10 people mulling around 10 minutes after the end of the open house.
Take down all of your personal belongings like photos, diplomas and the like. Remove all small and expensive items and put them in a safe.
While it’s important to have your home decorated for showings, it’s sometimes easier on sellers to depersonalize the home as much as possible, prior to listing. Some people prefer to move and sell the home empty or staged because they simply can’t deal with the headache. Put a safety plan in place with your agent if you have those concerns.
The whole idea of selling a home is stressful and most people fear it – and for good reason. Moving is very disruptive, and selling a home brings up lots of concerns.
Just know that you are not alone, and your fears are well founded. So, put them out there and approach them one by one. Planning and working with the right team can help make your home sale much less scary.
- Appealing to Autumn Home Buyers
- What to Do If Your Home Isn’t Selling
- Are You Really Ready to Sell Your Home?
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
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