Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
As a real estate and property law attorney, I’m often asked by aggrieved clients to provide advice on where I think things went awry with their sale transaction? They are usually emotional, confused, and angry when they come to me. Selling your house can be both exciting and stressful, especially if it’s your first time. Regardless of why you decided to sell your home, there are a number of pitfalls you can easily fall into, making your home selling experience less than ideal. Therefore, I think it’s crucial to discuss the top mistakes to avoid when selling your home in today’s competitive real estate market.
Mistake #1: Overpricing your Home
Home is where the heart is and you may be reminiscing about the lovely memories you made in your home when pricing it. You may be thinking about festive holiday dinners in the dining room, your baby’s first steps in the living room, or hours spent on the back porch watching your kids play in the yard. This road down memory lane may lead you to place a greater value on the price of your home than it’s actually worth. Over-pricing or under-pricing a house is a huge and costly mistake. If you price your home too high, your home may fall into the seller’s limbo, sitting on the market for days on end. On the other hand, if you price too low then you will likely sell your home quickly but you risk missing out on a significant amount of money.
It’s critical to know your market and get familiar with comps of similar homes currently for sale (and those that have recently sold) to understand exactly what price tag your home needs in order to sell quickly and effortlessly.
Mistake #2: Neglecting Necessary Repairs Prior To Sale
You will lose money if you don’t take care of repairs before the house goes on the market. It’s always going to cost you less out of pocket to fix things ahead of time, rather than have buyers see your house in disrepair. I promise they’ll offer less or ask for a credit back for the work that needs to be done before the deal closes. Therefore, it’s prudent to hire a home inspector for a pre-listing inspection to uncover and tackle problems before homebuyers have the chance to bring them up during the negotiation phase of the sales transaction.
Mistake #3: Failing to Stage your Home
Selling an empty house makes buyers feel the same way: empty. The main point of staging your home is to allow potential homebuyers the chance to picture themselves living in your space. They get to see a home with furniture and art that’s arranged in a way that highlights key features of your home, rather than an empty house that echoes every sound. It’s essential to de-clutter your home and remove over-sized or bulky furniture which may distract buyers from seeing the potential in the home. By creating a sense of spaciousness throughout and removing personal items such as family portraits, trophy-lined shelves in the den, and cluttered kitchen counters, buyers are able to picture themselves making memories of their own.
Mistake #4: Skimping on Professional Photos
Just as you eat with your eyes first, homebuyers select or reject homes within the first 10 seconds of scrolling at photos online. With the advent of cameras on smartphones, everyone likes to think of themselves as a photographer these days. However, taking your own photos for a listing is a huge mistake. A professional real estate photographer will make sure that your home looks incredible when you list it because not only do they have the equipment, they understand the angles that best sell a home.
For example, if you have a house with a stunning view you want to show off, or an expansive amount of land, you may also want to consider having aerial photos taken of your home. The views that drones are able to capture are not only impressive but can show off your home in a way that will make sure it stands out from other houses in your area that are on the market. Even better, drone technology makes this option more affordable than ever before, allowing you to get a lot more “bang for your buck.”
Mistake #5: Selling a Dirty Home
Most of us would probably be lying if we said our homes weren’t overdue for a good cleaning, so don’t forget to check this box before listing your home for sale. There’s nothing more off-putting during a home tour than realizing the house is dirty, and potential homebuyers may wonder what else you’ve been neglecting. By hiring a professional cleaning company, you’ll guarantee that not only is your home spotless but that you’re going to make a great impression on homebuyers when they tour your house. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions.
Mistake #6: Neglecting the Yard
The other way to make a great first impression is by wowing potential buyers with your yard. Start by cleaning up anything that may be cluttering your yard, porch, or pathways (things like gardening equipment or a child’s bicycle). Then you can move onto mowing the lawn, weeding your garden, and planting some new flowers. If your yard has a damaged pathway, you may also want to think about fixing or even replacing it as well.
If these touch-ups seem like a lot to tackle while you’re trying to sell your home, don’t be afraid to hire a landscaper as the cost is well worth it. A study by Turf Magazine found that a home’s value tended to increase by as much as 10-12% after making upgrades to the landscaping.
Mistake #7: Ignoring the Exterior of the House
Over the years, your home’s exterior has taken a beating from the elements. With everything mother nature throws at it every year, the paint on your home’s exterior has likely lost a bit of its luster. So before listing, be sure to pressure wash your house first. In addition to making sure your house looks its best in the listing photos, you will also enhance the overall curb appeal when buyers eventually show up for a tour. In addition to pressure washing your house and patio, you can also take the time to pressure wash your garage door, fence, patio, driveway, and any walkways you may have.
Mistake #8: Selling a Poorly Lit Home
You want to show your home in the best light, so take the time to turn on all lights, open curtains and blinds in all rooms prior to a scheduled showing. Even worse than a poorly lit room, however, is when the lights don’t work at all. Sometimes the light bulb is just burnt out, while other times the socket itself is in need of repair. Consider calling an electrician before you begin showing your home to make sure all lights are working properly.
Mistake #9: Underestimating the Cost of Selling your Home
While you should ultimately profit from the sale of your home, many sellers forget about the costs associated with selling a house. For starters, you should expect to use five to six percent of the total sale price of your home to cover the commissions of both the seller and buyer agents. For example, if you sell your home for $300,000 you could wind up paying upwards of $18,000 in commission. Furthermore, this hefty cost doesn’t include possible concessions homebuyers might want you to make during the negotiation phase, such as making repairs suggested by a home inspector.
Mistake #10: Taking a Low Offer Personally
Regardless of your reasons for moving, the fact that you’ve probably lived in your home for years means that you have a plethora of strong feelings attached to it. So when you receive a lowball offer, it’s natural to be offended. Instead of walking away, send them back a counteroffer that you and your real estate agent think is fair. If they truly are interested, then you’ll be glad you didn’t let your emotions get the better of you.
I hope this list of top pitfalls to avoid when selling your home provides guidance and direction on your real estate journey. Remember to have all contracts and addendums reviewed by an experienced real estate attorney prior to execution to protect your financial interests.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?