Common Seller Mistakes

There is a lot of potential mistakes, both minor and major, that can and do happen during the preparation and eventual sale of a house. Educating yourself before beginning the selling process and following advice from a realtor can minimize any potential issues.

This section of the site is dedicated to pointing some possibly expensive Seller mistakes. Please check out the posts in the tabs below to be more prepared for your eventual sale. You should also read up on Seller Tips and of course check out the Blog for more upcoming posts.

Buying or selling a home is often the most expensive investment that people make. Knowledge is power, as is experience, so please make sure that the realtor you work with is experienced in all aspects of real estate. A little short post about me and Right At Home Realty can be seen here. More info on my Total Real Estate Service can be viewed here.

NINE SELLER MISTAKES YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE!

  • Pricing Your Property Too High. Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her property. Ironically, the best way to do this is NOT to list at an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property or will raise expectations to a level your home won’t match. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and end up being sold at a lower price.
  • Mistaking refinance appraisal as true Market Value. Refinance appraisal may not accurately reflect your home’s actual Market Value. Have an experienced realtor do a Comparative Market Analysis of your home to arrive at the best possible price.
  • Forgetting to “showcase” your home. Make your home as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Keep the house clean. First impressions count and Sellers that do not spruce up their home for the sale are turning away potential Buyers and lowering the value of any potential offers.
  •  Trying to “Hard Sell” While Showing. Allow prospective buyers to comfortably and privately view your property. Buying a home is an emotional decision and is best made without the feeling of being sold.
  • Trying to sell to unqualified Buyer. Many potential Buyers may show interest in your property but may be unable to buy due to financing or other issues. Realtors usually make sure that a Buyer is qualified to buy so you do not spend your marketing time on those unable to buy.
  • Not knowing your rights and responsibilities. Listing Agreements and Agreement of Purchase and Sale, along with others, are legally binding agreements. Make sure you understand what you are signing or seek professional advice before you sign. Understand the statements and disclosures and other obligations you may need to make.
  • Limiting the marketing of the property. Your realtor should have a good handle on how and where to market to bring in the best potential Buyers for what you are selling. However, if you put very strict and unreasonable restrictions on showing times for example, all those efforts will be wasted. Make your property available as much as possible and make yourself available should any questions arise.
  • Choosing the wrong Realtor.  Selling your home could be the most important financial transaction in your lifetime. As a result, it is extremely important that you select the realtor that is best for you.
  • Signing a listing with no escape. If you and your realtor are not working out, what are your options? It shouldn’t come to do this if you hire the right realtor but always have a way out. In addition, be aware of any agent setting an unusually high list price on your property simply to get the listing.

FOUR QUITE COMMON NEGOTIATING MISTAKES

  • Not letting the realtor do the job. During the negotiating of the sale, both the Seller and the Buyer become emotional and mistakes can easily happen. Let the realtors do their job, that’s why you hired them in the first place. That means also that you don’t say too much in the presence of the Buyer or the Buyer’s realtor as you may give away something that will cost you serious money.
  • Failure to take the time for proper response. Again, emotions take over and you just want to get this done. Stop. Have a private conversation with your family, chat privately with your realtor, contact your lawyer if there are any unresolved issues. Do it right!
  • Giving up too soon or giving away too much. Remember, the starting point of any offer may be far from what may be satisfactory to you, but it is only the beginning. Never give up just because the price or other terms are not satisfactory. Same goes for giving away all the appliances, draperies and other items. Everything is negotiable so allow yourself the time to negotiate.
  • Not understanding and not asking for an explanation. Legal aspects come up and something like Dual Representation may come up. While Dual Representation should have been explained to you before the listing was even taken, make sure you stop and ask if you don’t understand something.

OVERPRICED LISTINGS WILL COST YOU

  • Clearly Overpriced. Being overpriced by 10% or more will turn off any potential Buyer and realtors may avoid showing it as it may be considered unsalable. Price reductions after a month or so don’t really work as the listing is considered “old”, specially in the active market we have now. Then the question “what’s wrong with that house” starts popping up. You may end up selling but after a longer time on the market and most likely for a lower price then you could get if you priced correctly.
  • Moderately Overpriced. Many homes will fall into the 5-10% overpriced category as the Seller feels that the home is better than others, or simply the Seller is leaving some “room for negotiations”.  Either way, more time on the market and lower eventual sale price.
  • Priced Right at Market Value. This results in a quick sale with minimum hassle for the Seller and family. Sale price is very close to asking price.
  • Priced Below Market Value. Seems like a great way of marketing a home in a busy real estate market. Allow about a week for showings and then consider any and all offers on a specific day. Very often leads to multiple offers with eventual sale being at or over Market Value.