If you've ever bought or sold a home, you've probably run across some (unintentionally) hilarious listings. If you haven't, take a few minutes to watch Ellen's segment "Really Real Real Estate." After watching, you might think, " Oh, I would never do any of those things!" While you might not put up pictures that have frightening dolls in every room, or a half-painted wall, we can learn major points from each of those laughable listings. Here are some of the pitfalls you should avoid as you sell your home.
Not Hiring Professional Photographer
If you look at some of the worst real estate listings, there's a common theme: bad photography. Whether it's poor lighting, an un-staged room or an odd angle, photography can break a real estate listing. Even though your uncle's best friend's daughter is a semi-professional photographer who offered to take pictures of your home for free, spend your money and hire a professional photographer. Most of the people who are looking to buy your home haven't ever been inside, and you want their first impression of your home to excite them and draw them in. Hire a professional photographer; specifically someone who is well versed in real estate photography.
Writing Cringe-Worthy Listings
If you dug into the Really Real Real Estate segment a bit more than what Landmark linked to, you may have noticed there were a few misspellings that completely changed a listing's meaning (a "walking closet," anyone?) There were a few more (PG-13) mistakes we won't mention here that not only changed the listing's meaning, but made a seller lose credibility in the eyes of a buyer. You can avoid this by having someone edit your listing before publishing it, or hire someone with experience to write your listing for you.
Not Repairing or Cleaning your Home
Sometimes homeowner's have the mistaken belief that they shouldn't spend any more money on a home if they're planning on moving. "Why spend money on a place we won't be living in within a few months?" they say. They'll put their home on the market and they'll usually end up selling the home for much less than the home was actually worth. Get a home inspection, repair the problem areas, and get the home professionally cleaned before getting it on the market. Your bank account will thank you later.
Not Hiring a Realtor
Many homeowners think that since the home market is moving online, they don't need a Realtor. However, not hiring a licensed Realtor means you are missing out on a expert who knows the ever-changing laws of real estate, homes in the area, the legality of purchasing a home and helps you every step of the way. Your real estate agent can help you get the house you're wanting, and sell your home for the right price.
Not Getting a Home Warranty
Getting a home warranty on the house you're selling can sweeten the pot for a potential buyer, and save you money on repairs and replacements. Most home warranties offer coverage for your listing during the listing period, which means a seller doesn't have to pay for repairs and replacements on failed systems and appliances (psst... Landmark offers great listing coverage with a $1,500 blanket limit on covered systems and appliances. Click here to learn more!) A study published by the Service Contract Industry Council found that home's protected with a home warranty sold 11 days sooner on average for at least $2,000 more. That can be a huge gain for a seller!
For more information about home warranties, or how a home warranty can help you to avoid the pitfalls of selling a home, go to www.landmarkhw.com.