Mistake #1: Ignoring Contract Contingencies
If the contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it! A good example of this is a repair contingency. Usually after the home goes under contract the new buyer will have a home inspection. The inspector will find a list of items that need fixing or repair on the home. Through negotiation the buyer and seller will agree on the items that the sell will have fixed before the closing. An addendum to the contract is written up and signed by both the buyer and the seller. The addendum will detail exactly what is to be repaired. These items become contract contingencies. Ensure all these items are repaired by a professional before the final walk-through of the property that usually takes place the day before closing.
Mistake #2: Not Fixing Items That Break
A buyer is purchasing the property in the shape that it is in (or maybe better shape) when you go to contract. As the seller you are still the homeowner and responsible to fix any items that may break before closing. The last thing you want is for a buyer to notice the A/C is not working in the home during the final walk-through. If the A/C fails, get a professional to fix it, get receipts and inform the buyers that the work was done. When you fail to maintain the home, the buyers may lose confidence in. They will start to question what else may be wrong with the home and possibly back out of the sale.
Mistake #3: Removing Items From The Home
The contract is pretty clear about what items are to stay in the home and what items are not included in the sale. When you sell your home it is expected that items like fixtures, built-in furnishings, appliances and ceiling fans are to remain in the home. The exception to this would be if these items are specifically excluded from the sale. I’ve had, on more than one occasion, while doing a final walk-through my buyer we’ve noticed the refrigerator missing. Well guess what, we would not close until the buyer was either compensated the buy for the refrigerator or had the refrigerator replaced. Also don’t replace items with cheaper versions. If the home had a brand new stainless steel refrigerator and you replace in with a 1990’s refrigerator you are still breaking the terms of the contract.
Mistake #4: Not Being Open To Additional Negotiations
Just because you’ve signed a purchase contract does not mean that the negotiation process if over. There can still be issues that arise that will need to be addressed. The main issues that usually come up are home inspection issues and appraisal issues. If there are home inspection issues be prepared to negotiating to fix at least some of these items. As far as the appraisal goes, unfortunately it is not always an exact science. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, as the seller you may need to come down on price a little bit to save the deal.
Mistake #5: Hide Liens
There will be a full title search done before the property closes. So if you have a lien or Federal Tax Lien on the property these will need to be paid offer before the home closes. Usually the seller uses the proceeds from the property to pay off these liens. If the liens are not paid off the home will not close.