Published August 01, 2012
Home is where the heart is, but when it’s time to sell it, it pays to be a bit cold blooded. The home-selling process is filled with negotiations and paper work, and letting emotions play a role will only cost sellers money.
Here are five expert-identified emotional mistakes that home sellers make that cost them money.
Mistake No.1: Not Detaching From the Home
Your home is where you raised your kids, threw birthday parties and hosted countless family dinners, but it’s vital you start perceiving it as a product you need to unload.
“People don’t treat selling a home as a business decision. They let emotions run wild,” says Michael Corbett, Trulia's real estate expert and author. “It becomes more about their personal experiences.” Detaching from the home allows you to be more realistic about what the house is worth, which makes it easier to sell.
Mistake No.2: Overpricing Your Pride
You may think you have the best view on the block or the nicest flower garden in town, but buyers may not agree enough to pay extra for such enhancements.
“What the owner thinks is great about the property isn’t valuable to everyone,” says Brendon DeSimone, a Zillow blog contributor and real estate expert. He adds it is common for sellers to overprice their home based on certain characteristics, have it sit on the market for months and then sell it as soon as they bring down the price.
Mistake No. 3: Taking Offers Personally
An offer is an offer--even if it’s lower than what your wanted.
Getting a low offer doesn’t mean you should reject it outright and refuse to engage in any more negotiations with the offender.
“A lot of home sellers are personally insulted if someone doesn’t see the same value,” says Corbett. “When you get a lowball offer, take the emotions out of it and counter back in a professional, business-like way.” Regardless of the amount, Corbett suggests always countering it to keep the house in play.
Mistake No. 4: Displaying Personal Items
You may be proud of your collection of moose heads or the 15 pictures of your grandchildren, but experts say nothing turns buyers off more than too many personal items adorning the walls and cluttering up a house.
When it comes time to show the house, make it as neutral as possible: take down pictures, photos, trophies and anything on bookshelves and counters that aren’t necessary.
“The seller needs to pretend they are the buyer and do whatever they need to see it through the buyer’s eyes,” says Corbett.
Mistake No. 5: Ignoring Agent’s Advice
For the most part, real estate agents know what they are doing, and if you find yourself fighting every piece of advice or guidance they share, like home value, clean-up tips and repairs, that may be a sign you aren’t ready to sell.
“Take a step back if you aren’t emotionally ready then don’t sell,” DeSimone says.