5 Mistakes Sellers make that hinder the home from getting SOLD!


Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015 1:41 pm | Updated: 1:47 pm, Fri May 8, 2015.

Posted on May 8, 2015 by Sally Rummel

The average seller in the real estate market has lived in his or her home for a decade, so it’s no wonder that what should be a pure business decision comes with emotional strings attached.

If people really want to get a return on their investment in their home, they need to be smart about how they approach selling it. The good news for sellers is that low inventory is pushing home prices higher and the number of homes being sold is also on the rise.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical seller receives 97 percent of his final asking price, and the home was on the market for about a month.

In order to be in that group of successful sellers, a homeowner needs to avoid these five mistakes when listing their home for sale:

MISTAKE #1: Not being realistic about your home’s value

What you think your home is worth and the price you can actually sell it for are two very different numbers. Properties that are overpriced at the outset tend to eventually sell at a lower price than they would have if they had been appropriately priced in the first place.

“Your Realtor gives you a ‘market value’ price and then some homeowners add ‘emotional value’ on top of it. That disrupts the ability of the home to sell. Everyone seems to have forgotten the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 when the real estate market went bust.”

If your house doesn’t sell in three or four weeks, it’s time to change your price.

MISTAKE #2: Hiring the wrong Realtor

Choosing the wrong Realtor to sell your home is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

Sometimes homeowners hire someone who is a family friend, or select a Realtor with limited marketing experience. Since a Realtor you choose is likely handling the largest transaction you’ll have in your lifetime, it’s important that you hire the right one for the job, using reputation and referrals from satisfied clients as a guide to making that choice. Make sure to read your Listing Agreement carefully, so you know exactly what you can expect from this relationship.

MISTAKE #3: Not making your home look its best

You’ve watched enough HGTV shows to know that good staging and curb appeal help sell homes.

“A big mistake some sellers make is to not be willing to spend just a little bit of money to get top dollar for their home, by doing small things like replace carpeting, add a fresh coat of paint, etc.,” said Steven “Melch” Melchor of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Michigan’s Fenton office. “It’s important that sellers listen to their Realtor’s advice when it comes to preparing their home for sale and setting the price.”

MISTAKE #4: Refusing to negotiate

You should start by setting a fair and reasonable price for your home, but be ready to accept slightly less than asking price or make other concessions in the interest of getting your home sold. You might agree to paying the closing costs, throwing in appliances or making certain repairs. Working with an experienced agent can help you make the sometimes tricky negotiations of getting the price you want without scaring off a buyer.

MISTAKE #5: Not having a backup plan

In the real world, the transition between selling your current home and buying a new one often comes with a few glitches. Savvy sellers have contingency plans in place to avoid either getting stuck with two mortgages at once, not having a place to live or to protect them if a deal falls through.

You may have to be prepared to find temporary housing if your home sells quickly, or be prepared to budget the additional cost of carrying the expense of your former home. If there are multiple people interested in your home, you may be able to accept backup offers, which involve agreeing to sell to a second buyer if the first one backs out.

Source: The Wall Street Cheat Sheet