Selling your home in central Texas: Dos and Don’ts

Selling a home is a major life milestone, and it can be challenging and complex when you consider all of the steps involved. From preparing and listing to making repairs and finding a buyer to navigating the closing process and, finally, moving into your next place, anticipating problems before they arise is half the battle. 


Do not let the consequences of an “oops” pose financial implications or your peace of mind. Next Move Central Texas understands the challenges many of our clients face during the home buying and selling process, and we are here to help.


Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when selling your home.


#1. Overpricing your home.

One of the most critical steps to selling a home is determining the right price. When you are listing your home for sale, one common mistake is giving in to the temptation of an exorbitantly high listing price. The goal of pricing your home is to find a “sweet spot” that will allow you to tell in a reasonable amount of time for a comfortable profit.


The risk of pricing your home too high may deter qualified buyers that would otherwise be in your price range, make your home sit on the market longer than it may otherwise, and it would likely result in a forced price reduction to re-garner interest in your listing which may place false, additional negotiating power in the hands of prospective buyers. 


Identify the housing indicators in your market that matter. It is vital to understand the true value o;f your home before it is put on the market. Central Texas Next Move agents can walk you through the housing indicators that determined real estate prices in your market. The central Texas Next Move team specializes in determining “sweet spot” home value and is ready to help you. Contact a member of the central Texas Next Move team today for a comparative market analysis (“CMA”). 


#2. Do not underestimate the costs of selling. 

The total cost to sell your home can amount to much more than the 5 or 6 percent commission fees most people anticipate paying. When you are ready to sell your home, it is important to think about what, if any, concessions you may be willing to make to the buyer. However, more importantly, be sure to account for closing costs and repairs that may be needed. Here are just a few variables to consider when estimating closing costs: 


Commissions: It is typical for sellers to pay a total of six percent of the sale price. Three percent goes to the seller’s agent, and the other three percent goes to the buyer’s agent.


Transfer tax: Also called a title fee, this is the tax levied by your state. Texans enjoy the benefit of having no transfer tax, but this is not the case in all states.


Title insurance: It is customary for sellers to pay for a title insurance policy for the buyer, which protects them from any liens or disputes over your home’s ownership. The cost can be between $1,000 and $4,000.


Escrow fees: An escrow service holds the funds throughout the transaction and pays them out appropriately at closing. These fees are usually split between buyer and seller and can cost between $500 and $2,000.


Prorated property taxes: You will likely be responsible for the property taxes on your home all the way up to the closing date. Typically, property taxes are prorated at the time of closing, but it is important to factor the prorated amount into your closing cost. 


Advertising costs: If you’re selling your home on your own, you will have to pay for any advertising costs, like online ads, flyers, and signage.


#3. Selling at the wrong time.

The timing of your sale can make all the difference in the closing price you are able to get for your home. In most places, the best time of year to sell is the second half of April. In the United States, the typical home listed during this window sold for $9,300 more, compared to average points in the year. 


#4. Prepare for showings

Ensuring your home is in good condition should remain among your top priorities during your home-selling process. A properly (and adequately) cleaned house can make all the difference in a potential buyer’s mind. Before you start spending money on upgrades, make sure your home is spotless and ready for potential buyers. Fun fact! Make sure you declutter the house as a cluttered home can bring down its value. Before showing your home, make sure to calculate anticipated buyer costs, property taxes, maintenance, and other expenses which can potentially increase the price of your home. 


Do not skimp on repairs, even the small defects can drive away the most adamant buyers. Typically, buyers will conduct thorough walkthroughs of your home and the last thing you want them to find is a loose doorknob, a leaky faucet, or wall dingers. These small, but important details make the buyer question what bigger issues the seller may be neglecting. 


Getting your home ready to sell is not just a matter of hiring a realtor and placing a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn. It is important to work alongside your agent and follow certain steps to bring in and secure the best offers on your home.