1. Pricing too high
Yes, Bozeman’s real estate market is booming. Yes, you will likely get much more for your home than what you paid for it. But it is important not to get carried away. Pricing a home too high is one of the biggest mistakes people make when selling their home in Bozeman. Many sellers think because the market is strong they can price high leaving room for negotiations, but this is a big mistake. Pricing your home too high means it sits on the market longer than it should and buyers start to wonder why. You lose your leverage and may wind up getting even less for the home than if you had priced correctly, to begin with. To price correctly, a real estate agent will pull the sold prices of comparable homes in the area, take your homes unique features into account and price accordingly. Montana is a non-disclosure state, meaning sold prices are not available to the public so you will need to work with a Realtor to determine an accurate price for your home. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Not using a Realtor
Did you know that for sale by owners sell for an average of 30% less than homes that are listed with an agent? A Realtor will help you price your home correctly, expose it to potential buyers and help you navigate the paperwork, offers, and contracts. As you enter into a real estate transaction you will find that a well-educated, hardworking Realtor is well worth their commission.
3. Playing hard to get
If it’s too difficult for potential buyers to view your home, they won’t. If you aren’t able to make your home available for showings and open houses, you’re going to have a hard time finding a buyer. The easier it is for potential buyers to see your house, the faster it will sell, so take a deep breath and prepare to do a lot of house cleaning over the next few weeks!
4. Your home isn’t ready
The condition of your home when it hits the market makes a big difference. New listings get the most attention, so if your home isn’t quite up to par when it is first listed it will likely be overlooked by buyers and agents down the road. Before you list your home, make sure to take care of any deferred maintenance. Repaint if needed, take care of the yard work and have the carpets cleaned. You’ll also want to declutter, removing as many personal items as possible to make the home feel like a neutral space.
5. You're not ready
If you’ve lived in your home for a significant amount of time it can be hard to leave the memories behind. Before making the decision to put your home on the market, make sure that you are ready to say goodbye. Otherwise, you may find yourself stalling, rejecting good offers or looking for reasons to back out.
6. You’re not open to a home inspection
When your home goes under contract, the buyer will hire a home inspector to examine your home. They check for any damages, repairs that are needed, and systems that aren’t working properly. It’s often up to the seller to repair any issues found or to lower their price. Before you get defensive, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and remember that they are simply doing their due diligence on the investment they are about to make.
7. Pets and their mess
While Bozeman is a super dog-friendly town, not everyone will love your pets or the messes they may leave in your home. Pet hair and smells can be a major turn-off to buyers, so be sure to keep floors and furniture clear of fur, keep the litter box scooped and the yard clear to avoid any unwanted surprises.
8. Bad photos
These days, the listing photos of your home are viewed hundreds, if not thousands of times. On top of that, many sellers and agents have stepped up their listing photo game. The iPhone photos of your home will look pretty poor compared to professionally shot photos of the home next door.