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Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Homes

1.  Listing with the realtor who agrees to or suggests the highest price for your home.

Some sellers have an overinflated sense of the value of their home.  Others may have overimproved their home to a level that prices in the area just will not support.  Some agents will cherry pick comparables that may not be all that similar, or they will just wing it based on average sale prices in an area.  Sellers of overpriced homes often dismiss the first reasonable offer and thereby lose a good buyer and risk the listing becoming stale.  Houses sell quickest when they are priced right from the get go.  Realtors of overpriced homes will soon be telling the seller that they have to reduce the price.  Make sure the comps are solid.


 2.  Listing with the realtor who offers the lowest commission.

There are numerous commission slashing sales models.  A popular one is based on 1% for the seller agent and 1% for the  buyer agent.  The seller should be confident as to what they are getting for the 1% sell side commission.  Does it include decluttering, cleaning, staging, professional photography, brochures, post cards, home inspections, etc.?  Make sure you are getting the best marketing package to showcase your home to it’s fullest potential.  Cut rate listings can include pricey add-ons that sellers are expected to pay for.  On the buy side, some realtors will discourage buyers from seeing homes and making offers on homes that do not offer 2.5% commission.  The seller and their realtor should always encourage showings that will potentially lead to offers.


 3.  Not taking your realtor’s advice.

It’s not surprising that with the numerous real estate programs on television that there are many self-appointed real estate experts.  Sellers should avoid taking advice from family and friends - or other realtors who do not have your listing. Your realtor is the professional and has helped many people buy and sell homes.  They have the best sense of what the market is doing at any given time and the seller should listen to their sound advice at all points in the sale process and not be distracted by self-appointed experts.


 4.  Trying to ride a period of price growth for too long.

The real estate market is fickle.  Although the long term trend in real estate is an ever climbing line, there are many bumps and corrections along the way. If a seller’s market is hot right now with limited quality homes for sale, it’s the best time to get the home on the market.  There’s a tendency when average prices are growing to ride along with the price growth.  However; as we’ve seen with the war in Ukraine there can be sudden dramatic shifts in the prices for all goods, rising inflation and interest rates.  If the market is hot and inventory scarce, the seller should take advantage immediately.


 5.  Reluctance to make necessary improvements and repairs.

Some sellers have lived with deficiencies in their homes for years tend to believe that any potential buyers should overlook them.  That is not the case when your home is being marketed.  Buyers will avoid homes with problems like occasional water leaking into the basement or through a failed roof. Water can also be a precursor to mold which has its own problems and a mortgage company will not approve a mortgage where they suspect a home may not be habitable. Make repairs recommended by your realtor, get rid of clutter and paint where needed. Even minor touch ups will help to enhance your home and help you reap the rewards.

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