When someone is searching for a home to buy, gut instinct and first impressions are crucial to making a positive impact. Even if your home ticks all the boxes for you, there is a chance you may be offending potential buyers without ever knowing it. Here are some things to avoid when selling your home.
1. Masking Issues
No matter what it may be, masking potential issues to gain a quick sale could be a very costly gamble. If there are serious problems hat you know about, a buyer could back out of the deal at the last minute, ask you to fix the issue or worse — involve you in a legal battle long after the deal should be done. Consider hiring a qualified home inspector to conduct a pre-sale inspection. An inspection gives you the upper hand in determining how to address the issue — and get top dollar for your home. No home is perfect. Be upfront about any problems in your home and you will light the path to a smoother sale.
2. Overpricing Your Home
Ensuring your home is appropriately priced before hitting the market is an important factor in achieving a timely sale. Working with a knowledgeable agent — and trusting their advice — is your best bet in ensuring your home sells for what it’s worth. In real estate, the price you paid for a home has no bearing or guarantee on its selling price when you go to list. The market, condition of the home, and how well recent home sales have performed all influence what your home is worth, and having your house sit on the market because it’s overpriced will deter interested buyers.
3. Not Preparing Your Home For Sale
Buyers need to picture themselves living in your home. Giving them a clean, decluttered, and neutral space is essential. An abundance of knick-knacks, or greatly loved (but really worn out) furniture can be distracting, so consider packing them up before you list. Additionally, showing your home with overly bright, dark, or otherwise overwhelming colors can be off-putting to potential buyers who only see the price tag and effort to repaint. Repainting these rooms in a neutral palette may not be your personal taste, but it will allow a blank slate for potential buyers.
4. Making Showings Difficult
While keeping your house ready for showings and open houses can be stressful, the longer your home sits on the market, the more you will have to do it. Being inflexible with requested showing times or demanding to be present during showings can actually harm the sale process rather than help it, and may top a buyers list of pet peeves. Potential buyers will be more willing to work with you on the negotiations if you have been reasonable in their showing demands, and allowing them to view your home without you present will ease any uncomfortable feelings they may have about you being present.
Via, in part, by Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.
Your down payment was far from the last expense you’ll pay as a homeowner.
Shelling out the dough for your house’s down payment was probably the biggest hit your bank account has ever taken, and the account depletion can leave you a little shaken — not to mention ready to start saving again. But your down payment was far from the last expense you’ll pay as a homeowner. Although the next couple of payments may not be as massive as the down payment, homeownership comes at a price — both on closing day and every month after that.
To keep you sane as you embrace your new life as a homeowner (and safe from buyer’s remorse), here are 10 potential expenses new homeowners should put on their radar.
1. Monthly mortgage
Of course, it’s pretty clear from the start that this is the big payment you will need to make on a monthly basis. You can certainly count on paying off your mortgage every month for the next 15 to 30 years, depending on the terms.
2. Property taxes
These are usually paid twice a year, but property tax laws vary state by state (and even by county). The great unknown here is that in some states, property taxes fluctuate year to year. Sometimes they can be reassessed at a lower rate, but realistically, if your tax payments change, you’ll likely be paying more, not less.
3. Homeowners’ insurance
This also varies by state and region and is influenced by other variables such as whether you have a home security feature or a certain number of smoke detectors. Depending on where you live and what kind of coverage you buy, insurance can run you anywhere between $500 and $1,500 or more a year. It helps to bundle your homeowners’ insurance with other types of insurance, such as auto and life. Insurers even offer you discounts for doing so!
4. Hazard insurance
This includes coverage for many types of natural disasters — earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes, depending on location. For example, if you’re looking for homes for sale in San Francisco, earthquake insurance may be more relevant to research than hurricane insurance.
Pro tip: Don’t wait until bad weather is looming to look into this: It’s important to be prepared early. Flood insurance, for instance, has a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.
5. Condo, co-op, or homeowners’ association fees — and assessments
If you own a condo, co-op, or townhouse, you’ll pay an annual or monthly fee to maintain the building and grounds. Single-family homes can also have assessments if they are located in a particular area or subdivision with common property. This is routine in gated communities with security guards, a swimming pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, playground, or any common amenity that will need eventual repairs and replacements.
If you’re renting, you’re probably used to paying monthly utilities. But as a homeowner, chances are, you may be paying a bit more now that you have a home (and maybe more square footage). Think about gas, electric, water, and a couple you probably didn’t deal with as a renter: sewer and trash removal.
Pro tip: Make sure you’re not throwing money away by leaving lights on or overheating or cooling your home. Research how to make your home the most energy-efficient to save money on utilities.
7. Big-ticket renovations and repairs
At some point in your life, you’ve probably been advised to put away money for a rainy day. That’s because a new roof can be very expensive! Upgrading the electrical or plumbing, or something icky such as sewage line issues, are all major costs. Then there are also the renovations you may someday want to make to turn your place into a dream home. Updating the kitchen or the master bath can completely drain your savings. Plan accordingly.
8. Routine maintenance
Things break; appliances wear out, faucets drip, screen doors get walked through. It happens. You’ll want to keep some emergency money handy for a clogged kitchen sink or rusted water heater. You’ll probably average a couple of hundred bucks a month in these “unexpected” costs, so build them into your budget now!
9. Pool and yard care
Depending on how much outdoor space you have to maintain, you’ll need to have money to cover routine expenses. Even if you decide to take the DIY route on some tasks, you’ll still need to hire professionals for occasional work, such as heavy-duty tree trimming or fixing a problem with your pool’s heating system when it breaks down.
10. Moving expenses and new furnishings
These may not be an ongoing expense, but are still a major one after you close on the house. You’re going to need a place to sit and sleep in that shiny new house of yours. Been furniture-shopping lately? It can get expensive, so leave room in your house-buying budget to turn the inside of the home into your own personal paradise!
Pro tip: Invest in some long-term, classically styled furniture so this expense isn’t as massive the next time you move.