Common Home-selling Mistakes

  1. Basing Asking Price on needs or emotion not market value. Many sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for their home. If your home is not priced competitively, home buyers will prefer larger or better homes in the same price range, increasing your time-to-sell. When your price is later lowered, buyers may be wary because they suspect other reasons the house has remained unsold so long.
  2. Failing to “present” the home. A property that is not clean or well maintained often suggests hidden defects that increase the total cost of ownership. Sellers should make necessary repairs, and spruce up the house inside and out, keep it clean and neat, or risk chasing away buyers brought in by realtors. Buyers will leave themselves a large margin for error for the cost of repairs, reducing their offer price.
  3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers may spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior selling, expecting to recoup this cost. If you are thinking of selling, ask your realtor which upgrades are cost effective.
  4. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing distinguishes your home from hundreds of others on the market, selling its benefits not just its features. Open houses and print advertising (the most obvious) are only moderately effective. Only 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and just 3% of people purchased their homes after seeing a print ad! realtors use these tools to attract future prospects, not to sell your specific house. make sure realtor uses other marketing tools as well.
  5. Choosing the wrong Realtor or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the agent who tells them the highest price, and not the one who provides the best experience. More experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with less hassles along the way.
  6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Many sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come, hoping to hold out for a higher price, especially if the offer comes in soon after the home is listed. Often the first offer ends up being the best buyer, and many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer much later on in the selling process. Homes are most saleable early in the marketing period.
  7. Using the “Hard Sell” during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision, and buyers are looking to see if a house is comfortable for them. Good realtors let the buyers discover the home’s features on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by overselling when buyers think they are paying for features that are not important to them.
  8. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally-binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have your realtor fully explain the contract or have your lawyer review it before acceptance.