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Five Pitfalls of Selling a Home for the First Time

Posted by Jayson Ang on July 23, 2023
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TLDR

When selling your first home, avoid holding out for a better offer as it may backfire. Let your agent handle house viewings to prevent coming off as pushy. Be cautious about recouping renovation costs in the asking price as design tastes vary. Consider the comfort of your current neighborhood before moving. Sell high, but keep in mind the costs associated with buying in a seller’s market. Remember, everyone’s situation is unique when deciding whether to buy, sell, or wait.

Buying and selling a first home is a huge undertaking, both physically and financially. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about it and worry about making mistakes – no one wants to end up with regrets.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of other people’s regrets from when they first sold their homes, so that you can learn from their experiences and sidestep any blunders.

#1: Holding Out For A Better Offer

Selling high is the goal for everyone, however, it takes a special knack to be able to spot a serious buyer, particularly when they don’t look well-off. There is often sorrow on the part of sellers who reject an acceptable bid in hopes of a more substantial one, only to find that it doesn’t come through.

If the buyer with the higher offer has not done their financial calculations properly and has overvalued their capacity to pay, they might not purchase your house after all.

In extreme cases, they may be trying to pull a fast one on you by making a high offer so that you turn away all other potential buyers, allowing them to commence negotiations from a position of strength, which may result in you accepting a significantly lower price.

Often, sellers will disregard the initial offer, assuming it is just the start of many to come, only to be surprised when they realize that was their best bet.

Going back to a buyer you have turned down can give the impression that your property is not as coveted as you thought and they may not offer the same amount again.

Consequently, real estate agents suggest that the most legitimate offers come from buyers who are ready to sign the Offer to Purchase agreement and pay a deposit for the property.

#2: Being A “Hardsell”

When it comes to house viewings, let your agent do the job for you.

Despite the fact that you know your home best, having your agent show your house to buyers allows them to make their own opinion without feeling any pressure to purchase.

Moreover, your agent will be able to better highlight the features of your house and convince buyers to say yes to the deal!

Although you may find your house tranquil and peaceful, buyers may not agree as it may lack amenities in the vicinity.

Keep in mind that you have lived in this home for at least 5 years now, and so you may be emotionally connected to it; but buyers will not have this same bond and you could end up unintentionally coming across as “hardselling” or desperate.

#3: Trying To Recoup Your Renovation Costs

If you don’t plan to stay in your home for the long-haul, it’s best to avoid splurging on renovations. Trying to incorporate these costs into your asking price, in hopes that a “beautifully renovated” property will entice buyers, is misguided. To prevent yourself from getting too carried away, this should serve as a caution.

At the outset, it’s important to remember that design tastes can vary greatly. Therefore, if you have invested heavily in a highly-styled makeover, but your neighbor’s unit looks much more simple and modern, it is likely that their unit will sell faster – buyers save a lot of money on hacking and stripping away those renovations.

Furthermore, if you don’t price your unit fairly in a market with an unfavorable supply-to-demand ratio, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage.

#4: Moving Out Of The Comfort Zone

Moving out of the familiar can be an exciting prospect – especially to somewhere more exciting – like the city fringe. But what happens when you realise the amenities and familiar faces of your old neighbourhood have been left behind?

Adjusting to a new area can take time and while a house might be perfect for your needs, regret can set in when the neighbourhood simply doesn’t suit you.

Before deciding to make the leap out of your comfort zone and move, it is wise to pay frequent visits to the area you intend to settle in and observe its atmosphere, people, amenities, transport, and the overall vibe of the area, both during the day and at night.

This is vital, as one may be disappointed if they are accustomed to living in a bustling neighbourhood that is alive with activities, such as late-night supper spots, and find themselves in a more affluent area that shuts down after store hours.

#5: Sell High, Buy High

If you’re selling your home in a seller’s market with no other place to go, you’ll inevitably have to buy in a seller’s market too.

That sense of joy at making a record-high sale can vanish quickly when you realise that most of your profit will go towards stamp duties, legal fees, renovations, and other miscellaneous costs. Who knows, you may even end up losing money!

If you plan ahead, it can truly be beneficial; you must find a replacement home that is within your budget after factoring in all expenses.

Renting until you can find a place to make a profit may sound tempting, but it’s best to avoid it; rent prices tend to go up when the market is in a seller’s favor.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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