“Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me”? That’s probably what a lot of homeowners think after selling their home for the first time. After decades of living in a property, selling can be overwhelming, emotional, and frustrating. There are a lot of things that we learned through experience and selling a home is no different. It’s simply impossible to know every little nuance of selling a property before you actually do so.
I try to prepare my sellers as best as possible with what to expect from agents, buyers, escrow and home inspections but because every single home sale is different and you are always dealing with different people, it can be almost impossible to determine everything that’s going to happen.
Here are some of the best things that I can tell you about the home selling process that many sellers wish they knew ahead of time.
#1. Be prepared for feedback.
This is one of the most brutal things because you never know what people are going to say about your home. You may love the property and have called it home for years or even decades, but to someone who has a completely unbiased approach to buying, they are overly critical. You never know what they are going to say so it’s important to try and keep emotions at bay, and understand that buyers have no emotional attachment to your property.
A great resource: The Ultimate Sellers Guide
#2. The additional costs that can come with selling.
You will have to pay a listing agents commissions, a buyers agent’s commissions, any repairs or updates and any closing costs. These can run anywhere from $10,000-$25,000 or more depending on how much you have to put into the house. The more repairs and updates house needs, the more expensive this will be, but, one good thing is that you can usually take this off the list price of the house. For instance, if you are selling the house for $400,000 and you owe $300,000 on the property, you might be looking at a $40,000 commission plus $10,000 in closing costs. If the home didn’t need any repairs, there’s $50,000 going toward the sale of the property and you can profit $50,000 in your pocket. Now, this is not always the case and commissions vary based on how many agents are involved and the closing costs. But, it is a good way to determine how much you will get upon the sale of the home and understanding the funds can come out of the sale of the profit rather than your pocket.
MORE: Crucial Points to Remember when Listing
#3. The actual sales price.
Depending on the type of market your home is in, you could be selling at list price, over list price or under list price. If your agent has done a great job figuring out the right market value for your property, you can list the home and hopefully get a couple of offers. If not, you may be getting an offer for less than full price. Listen to your agent’s advice when it comes to negotiating. Try not to fill insulted by a lowball offer because offering back and forth, called a counter offer, could actually get you closer to your list price. You never know who will end up buying your house so try not to get emotional and simply consider it a business deal negotiating back and forth until both parties can agree on a price.
Read More: When should you reduce your list price?
#4. When the inspector finds everything wrong with your house.
This can be the frustrating part. If the buyer has hired an inspector that is, what we consider “an alarmist”, they can find everything wrong with your house, even things that you never even considered a problem. But, many buyers who ask for everything often get nothing so this is worth negotiating as well. If the buyer comes back wanting every tiny little detail, including a light switch cover replaced or a tear in a screen replaced, try to figure out what the most hazardous or important things are and the negotiate those items back and forth. Trust me, having a great agent on your side to help negotiate and determine the real important issues to ask for is essential.
Related External Post: Price isn’t the only selling factor – 4 ways to sell your home faster
Emotions do arise when selling your house but try not to get too aggravated, insulted or overly emotional. Selling a home you’ve lived in for years can tear at your heartstrings when someone else that doesn’t feel the same way you feel about it. Try to remember that the buyer is also trying to get a great deal and because they have no emotional attachment to the house, they can turn right around and find another home. The biggest thing I would suggest is communication. Talk to your real estate agent about your concerns and ask any questions that might arise. You feeling comfortable and less stressful can make the entire process much easier.
Ready to list or just have more questions? Feel free to call us anytime. We have offices in Maryland, DC and all over Northern Virginia and we would love to help you sell your house for as much profit as the market can bear.