Top 5 Problems Homeowners Face When Selling Their House Alone

Considering selling your home without the help of a real estate professional? Beware of these five common challenges.

Planning on moveing? Before you can enjoy the next step in your journey, you must first sell your old home. With this task ahead of you, it’s natural to want to explore all of your options. One critical component to consider is whether you will take on the task of selling the home yourself or if you will bring in a professional to handle the process.

Though it can be done independently, there are often a few bumps in the road for homeowners who follow this path. Scott Newman, Managing Broker for Newman Realty advises treading “cautiously as there are many pitfalls throughout your upcoming transaction which a good Realtor can expertly help you navigate through successfully and profitably.”

ESTATENVY connected with Newman and real estate professionals Brent Hall and Sonia Figueroa to learn what common struggles people face when selling their homes alone.

1. Reaching Potential Buyers

Reaching prospective buyers is not as simple as installing a for sale sign in front on one’s home. In order to ensure your listing reaches a large audience, you cannot rely on foot traffic alone. A multi-faceted marketing plan is usually necessary to attract a wider audience.

This can be a challenge for homeowners who are also juggling their day-to-day responsibilities. This is one area where a real estate professional can streamline the process and boost your listing.

As soon as we put the property in our system it goes out to more than 30,000 realtors and their buyer’s. Not to mention our goal as real estate professionals is to get the home sold so we will use what we have in our marketing plan to reach even more people whether that be online or face to face,” said Figueroa.

2. Home Staging

Homeowners may be opposed to investing in proper staging of their homes. Though this often requires time and money, ultimately it can raise the value of the home. Small changes can add up in a big way when you are able to sell your property at a higher price point.

“Something as simple as choosing the right color paint for the walls or properly arranging existing furniture, to best showcase the potential of a room, can absolutely be the difference between success and failure,” said Newman.

Proper home staging requires insight into current trends in the industry as well as buyer habits. While you can do your research on the topics, the knowledge will pale in comparison to the first-hand experience of a broker.

Newman explained that, “the right Broker is a consultant and every bit a partner in your journey to complete your transaction and is an invaluable component to the transaction!”

3. Overselling

A professional realtor knows which aspects of the home to feature, what questions to ask buyers during the showing and what topics should be avoided. This distinction can be hard for homeowners to master. There is often a fine line between offering information and presenting a sales pitch. Realtors are able to draw on years of experience to steer the conversation in a way that will appeal to the buyer without being too aggressive.

“Some homeowners attempt to chum up the buyers, or explain every last improvement in the finest detail made to the home, or hover unnecessarily,” said Hall. “Understandably, this is all done in an attempt to help sell the home, but often it accomplishes the exact opposite.”

4. Listing a property too high or too low

“Pricing too high or too low is always a major concern,” said Newman. “Even those sellers who are savvy enough to get an appraisal before listing on their own still miss out on the “in the trenches” knowledge and guidance a good Broker provides that can easily mean thousands extra in their pocket!”

5. Losing deals after a bad home inspection.

It is common for issues to arise during a home inspection. These can hinder the sales process if the necessary repairs or replacements are severe enough to turn off the buyer. It can be challenging for a homeowner to negotiate these complications with the buyer.

“The buyer may request the seller to make repairs or replace items or simply ask for a price reduction. In a worst-case scenario, the buyer will want to cancel the transaction. A good realtor knows what steps to take to reevaluate, renegotiate and push toward the closing,” said Hall.

When it comes down to making the final decision on selling independently versus with the help of a realtor, Hall recommends taking the time to evaluate the following questions.

  • Can I determine the value of my home with confidence?
  • Do I know what needs to be done to improve the home and get it ready for the market and do I have contacts to get these things done if I can’t do them myself?
  • What are my plans for marketing the property?
  • Do I have time to show the home to prospective buyers? Do I have time for open houses?
  • Am I confident in my negotiating skills?
  • Do I understand a standard real estate contract, do I know what is customary in my city for an earnest money deposit, how real estate taxes are pro-rated and what typical buyer financing should be?