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5 Common First-Time Home Seller Mistakes to Avoid

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Last updated 24 July, 2019

The thought of selling your first home can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. Here are some tips to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Putting your home on the market for the first time can be a daunting milestone. After all, the road that lies ahead is not exactly what one would call simple – there are viewings, negotiations, and paperwork to keep up with.

Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when looking to sell your home.

Mistake #1: Engaging many agents to increase your unit’s exposure 

It may be tempting to hire more than one agent in order to increase your chances of snagging a buyer, but this falls under the (false) assumption that more agents = more potential buyers.

In reality, having more property agents doesn't necessarily mean that the number of buyers will multiply. To ensure a smooth and worry-free selling experience, be very careful in selecting your real estate agent.

Some important points to consider: 

  • Does the agent have a valid CEA license? 
  • Have they done extensive market research? 
  • What’s their marketing strategy? 
  • Do they have experience selling in your area?

When it comes to real estate agents, go with quality over quantity.

Mistake #2: Over-estimating the asking price of a renovated unit

Granted, a gorgeously renovated home – we’re talking slick Peranakan-tiled bathrooms and a decked-out open concept kitchen straight out of Pinterest – can give you bonus points during viewings. But at the end of the day, it is entirely up to the buyer whether they're willing to keep these features once they've purchased the unit.

The bitter truth is that the renovations you’re hoping the buyer will fall in love with will ultimately become an afterthought after the property changes hands.

Buyers may rather go for the more affordable unit that still has its original fixtures intact, and remodel it to their fancy with the savings earned.

Mistake #3: Setting a premium price for a high floor unit

It's important to bear in mind that whether your home sits on the highest floor does not necessarily equate to a reasonable enough incentive for buyers to pay too much above valuation for a property.

Especially within today’s property market, units that fetch a premium price – even those with glowing features – are still not impervious to depreciating factors such as dwindling balance leases and increased supply of flats with fulfilled MOP. These factors all contribute to indicate a Buyer’s market in 2019.

Mistake #4: Blaming the lack of buyers on bad luck

When an unfortunate unit fails to attract buyers, you may find yourself blaming everything under the sun such as poor timing, the location, Mercury in retrograde… Ultimately, it's up to market forces, not luck. 

Instead, take on a more realistic and proactive role in increasing the value of the home. You can start by decluttering your home and keeping busy areas organised for simple yet effective ways of increasing the attractiveness of your unit to buyers. Add some plants to liven up the space, paint over any cracked walls, and dust in the corners.

This is often referred to as home staging and can be extremely effective in helping buyers see your unit in a more appealing light.

Mistake #5: Assuming that bigger is better

Does size really matter? It all boils down to the layout of your home.

A spacious 5-room unit goes from good to great when the layout allows for an additional bedroom to be built as this gives the buyer the luxury of options.

However, this is not necessarily the case for all big 120+ sqm units, as some may not have the ideal layout for that extra bedroom to be possible. Unfortunately, buyers may not be as willing to pay more when that option is off the table.

Bonus tip

When selling your home for the first time, striking the fine line between over-valuing and under-valuing your unit is key. One good rule of thumb to follow is to peg your price against other units in your area. 

If you’re not sure where to start, a handy tool you can use is Ohmyhome’s in-app valuation calculator that gives you an instant estimation of how much your unit is valued today. 

Don't have time to dedicate to fielding potential buyers and handling the paperwork on your own? You can also choose to engage Ohmyhome's end-to-end HDB Resale Agent Service, which takes care of everything for you!

Ohmyhome's agents even give you a customised property report and utilise aggressive marketing strategies to help you find the perfect buyer for your unit. Call 6886 9009 to learn more about their HDB resale agent services.

Hear more about what co-founders of Ohmyhome, sisters Rhonda and Race Wong, have to say about the top myths surrounding HDB sellers and buyers on this Money Hacks podcast with The Straits Times.

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By Ohmyhome
Ohmyhome is a DIY platform that directly connects homeowners to searchers at no cost, and gives homeowners access to top-tier agent services, mortgage advisory, conveyancing, and so much more. Ohmyhome is Singapore's leading PropTech Solution and a CEA-licensed real estate agency.


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