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Biggest Mistakes Sellers Make

Many people who are selling a home for the first time do not realize the emotional and physical toll the process takes. Moving out of an apartment, even if you lived there awhile, does not seem to have the same emotional impact as moving out of a home that you have spent years decorating and redecorating, growing a family, and building memories. These emotional attachments often cloud the decisions that need to be made in order to ready the house for sale.

Selling a home is a transaction. And your home, no matter how much you love it, is only worth as much as a buyer is willing to spend to acquire it. So what YOU love about your home isn’t as important as playing up what BUYERS will love. Don’t let emotions get in the way.

Here are some of the top mistakes that sellers make:

Refusing to De-Personalize

If you look at the homes in Europe vs the homes in the US, you will notice one key difference – size. Our homes look like mansions compared to some of the homes in which people in Europe have lived quite successfully and quite happily. The main reason? Our love affair with “stuff”. We need bigger and bigger homes, because an accumulation of “stuff” is necessary to the American inner psyche.

Unfortunately, what pleases one homeowner, be it artwork, or plants, or knick-knacks, or antique sword collections, will undoubtedly look like junk to a prospective buyer. Many sellers love their “stuff” so much, that they think that, surely, their home will prove to be the exception to the rule. Nope. There are no exceptions. And if the buyers have to look past your personal collections to see themselves in the home, then you may just lose the sale.

This rule also goes for the photo walls with 18 years of school pictures for each kid, diplomas on the wall, shrines to deceased pets, or any other personalized decor.

Failing to Consider the Buyer

Sellers MUST look at their homes through the buyers’ eyes. Think about what you look for in a home. More than likely you will bypass homes that look like you will have to do a lot of work before you can even move in. You want to move in and not have to worry about painting, replacing floors, or repairing various issues – likely because you are so exhausted by doing all that to get your previous home ready to sell. You want to rest, relax, and tackle personalization gradually.

So why would you expect anything different for prospective buyers of your home? While you may like the lipstick red dining room or the chartreuse living room, your buyers are going to look at it and see all the time and money they will have to sink into painting over it. They will spend maybe 10 minutes going through your home, and will know in the first 5 minutes if they are “in love” with it or not. Go for bright and neutral. It wins every time.  Make your floors shine.

We’ve been through this hundreds of times with sellers. We know how tough it is. We’ve also seen what happens when sellers don’t depersonalize and spend time making their home shine. While it’s an emotional process, you have to separate how much you love your home from the transaction of selling your home. A good Realtor® will be with you through every step of the process.

When it is time to sell or buy a home, having a local team you can rely on will make the process a smooth one. Call the Realtors® who love where they live and understand the local real estate market. ADMC Realty Group happily serves the communities in and around the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. From start to finish, we’re here to help with all your Real estate needs. Give us a call at (202)596-8101 or email us at [email protected].

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