As the video above touches on, selling your home can be a difficult process. But it doesn’t have to be!

With the proper strategy, and the help of a strong listing agent, preparing your home for the Tallahassee real estate market can be a breeze. Here is a list of the top 10 mistakes to avoid:

1) Neglecting repairs or maintenance

This is something to think about even if you’re not preparing to sell your home. Regular maintenance to your home is essential, and typically saves you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs that come from ignoring small repairs. A small problem can easily become a big problem if given enough time, so it’s best to take care of them right away to avoid a huge repair bill later.

2) Not de-personalizing

While living in your home, you’ve undoubtedly collected things and personalized your home to your own tastes and preferences. It’s important to realize that when your home is on the market, potential buyers of all different ages, persuasions, and tastes will be coming to view the house with an eye toward making it their own. Personal photos, awards, and collectibles should be kept at a minimum or removed altogether.

Shopping for a home is somewhat of a psychological thing, and emotion sometimes trumps logic. The way a buyer “feels” about a home can make the difference between just a showing and an offer on the table. It’s best to remove all distractions, and let the buyer envision themselves in the home as if it’s already theirs.

3) Not removing odors

Any offensive odors can be a huge distraction for buyers. Obviously a mold or mildew smell will be noticed and could stop the showing short – but even more inconspicuous smells can make a buyer head for the car. Make sure you clean sufficiently and address any odors that are noticed by your agent.

Trust me, it’s often a difficult conversation to have with a seller! But at the end of the day – my goal is to help you sell the home. I believe honesty should be top priority in any working relationship, and placing your home on the market is no different.

4) Refusing to disconnect emotionally

It’s tough to say good-bye to a home that you fell in love with (that’s why you bought it in the first place right?), and even more so when sentimental memories are attached.

That’s totally understandable, and I certainly respect that. But it makes the process easier to remember why you are moving, and to keep it mind that this house is the past and your next house is the future. Focus on all the memories you are going to make in your next home, and saying good-bye becomes just a little bit less heart-breaking.

5) Spot-cleaning as opposed to deep cleaning

Working with so many buyers and showing so many homes in my career, I can tell you one simple fact: A clean house shows well, and a messy (or downright dirty) one does not. Buyers notice everything, and there is no room for error if you want to attract a full price offer. Hiring a reputable cleaning service, or putting in a little elbow grease yourself, is worth the time and money. Simple as that.

6) Not showing a room’s proper function

This advice is best utilized when your home is vacant and the furniture is moved out. If that’s the case, consider a stager to come in and stage the home, or plan your move to leave behind a few key items to let buyers envision the proper use of each room. If your home has an empty flex room that can be used as on office, for example, consider a desk and computer chair so that the proper function can be imagined. If you leave things to interpretation, you risk confusion, which can be costly.

7) Not having enough light

“Light and bright” is a pretty good rule of thumb, and this video pretty much nails it. Anything you can do to shed some light on the subject is a good move. Dark rooms are not very inviting, and we obviously want to make the home as inviting as possible.

8) Not updating

If your home could use a little cosmetic updating, you may want to consider doing it before you list. Many buyers shy away from doing any sort of renovations after closing, and the more “move-in ready” your home is, the higher price we can command and the more money you stand to gain from the sale. Speak with your Realtor about what they think should be done in order to get the home in tip-top shape to attract today’s buyers.

9) Ignoring professional advice

Your average Realtor has probably seen hundreds, if not thousands, of homes in their career. We see homes every day – it’s what we do! We see what they list for, we see what they sell for. We show homes to buyers all the time, so we have a good idea of what they are looking for. We work with sellers, and get feedback on our listings so we know what other buyers are saying about our the homes we have on the market. We work with builders and inspectors and appraisers and stagers and contractors.

You don’t have to take my word for it, but you’re probably going to be better off if you do!

10) Listing before staging or renovations have been completed

Research, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggests that the first couple of weeks on the market is when your home will see the majority of showings. Buyers who are actively searching will likely not take long before viewing a home that fits their criteria, so the best way to get offers quickly and sell your home for top-dollar is to make sure that your home is looking its best from Day 1.

The longer a home sits, the more likely a buyer’s agent is likely to hear:

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Why has it been on the market for so long?”

Often times these are difficult questions to answer, and it may dissuade a buyer from coming to see it. It will also make it more likely that they reduce their offer price, because they perceive the seller to be “desperate,” and therefore willing to take whatever price they can get.

Correct pricing, presentation, and promotion from Day 1 are the keys to selling your home quickly and for top-dollar. 

Still not sure about what you need to do? You’re in luck! I’ve created the most comprehensive guide out there – “How To Prepare Your Home For Sale.” And it’s absolutely 100% FREE. Just follow this link to download it now.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me by email, call or text me directly at 850.566.4610, or send me a comment or message on Facebook!