• Sellers Seem to Always Make These Mistakes…Make Sure You Don’t Join Their Club


    Sellers often skip over important, and blatantly obvious ways that will help them sell their home. This is always such a shame, because there are too many outlets available to arm sellers with checklists to handle, to not use them. Here are the most common mistakes that are made:  

    Mistake #1 Misrepresentation, and “white lies” 

    Many sellers think that minor exaggerations of the details of the home, or telling a few “white lies” will help get buyers in the door. It can also push them immediately out of the door as well once they realize that is what you did. Don’t underestimate buyers; go ahead and bank on the fact that the buyer will absolutely wonder what else you are lying about. While you consider it “a small fib,” a fib is still a lie. Don’t add “completely renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances,” to the listing when all you really did was add a stainless steel refrigerator, while leaving the other appliances outdated. Honestly is always the way to go. Again, buyers will wonder what else you are lying about, and chances are, they won’t hang around to find out.

    Mistake #2 Bad, or Unfortunate Timing 

    Countless studies have been done to determine when the most effective time to sell a home is. This is one of the most argued topics in real estate these days. However, most people do not have the luxury of waiting for another season or two to sell their home. Whether it is because they need to relocate, or downsize, they just can’t. However, if you do have the luxury of waiting to sell your home until the “right” time, there are important things to keep in mind. For example, if you have lived in the house for a shorter period of time, it is advised to remain in the house for a few years longer. This is because the shorter amount of time you stay in the home, the higher the equity, which will increase closing costs and all other fees associated with selling a home that may have been avoided had you stayed put for a while.

    The most obvious (yet highly debatable) plan is to wait until after the holidays to sell your home. The reasoning behind waiting is the observation that most buyers are not looking for a home during the holidays. Instead, they are spending time with their family and friends. 

    Mistake #3 One-Sided Contracts

    When sitting down with a real estate agent, make sure you are comfortable with the length of the listing contract, as it is hard and sometimes impossible to change after the contact is signed. Both sides should come to a solid agreement on this matter. The amount of days will usually be determined by the location of the house, and how “hot” the market is in that area at that time.

    Mistake #4 Lacking and/or Missing Strategy

    Any home up for sale should be listed in the MLS. However, this isn’t good enough. It should also have advertisements for open houses, be listed in the classifieds, and online on websites such as Trulia, Craigslist, and Zillow, to name a few.  With the times we live in now, most buyers utilize the Internet rather than traditional methods. There is no excuse in this day and age, to not be able to properly advertise your home online. Make sure the realtor you have chosen is well experienced in using the Internet when it comes to marketing their listings. 

    Mistake #5 Interfering with Negotiations

    All sellers get overly excited when their realtor calls and tells them they have an offer on the home. While it is exciting, if you do not negotiate the deal properly, countless problems can and do arise. Some owners absolutely refuse to be flexible in a buyer’s demands or requests, as the seller often feels that they are selling their home below its value. This is another reason why choosing a realtor is so important. A great realtor will not agree with the seller on whatever price they set. They instead will be honest with the seller about how much their house is really worth. So, if you have a realtor that seems to be a “yes man,” you should probably consider that a red flag.

    Mistake #6 Selecting the Wrong Real Estate Agent

    The worst thing you can do is hire a realtor that you have a personal history with, such as a friend or family member. Just because someone close to you is a realtor, does not mean they are experienced. Even if they are a great realtor, it isn’t a good idea to mix friendship (or family) and business. 

    Mistake #7 Ignoring Red Flags

    Avoid running off buyers by fixing anything in your home that is obviously broken, or suggests a serious underlying issue. Some examples are foul smells, mold, mildew, any broken doors or appliances, and the like. Would you walk into a home and be thrilled that the walls are mildewed, and you’ll for sure be replacing the doors and the AC units? No.

    Mistake #8 Not Preparing

    It is a good idea to literally pull up to your house and pretend you are a buyer. Do an actual walkthrough just as a buyer would, starting at the street. Park, walk up to the home, and evaluate the negative things you see. Be honest with yourself, and evaluate what might deter you from purchasing the home. Generally, if you feel your home is perfect other than one or two things, it may be time to bring in a friend, or another trusted person, as this likely means that you aren’t able to be honest about the condition of your home, because your judgment is a little cloudy.

    10. Poor Pricing

    If your house is priced laughably high, the buyer won’t even consider it. Sometimes, it is because they aren’t familiar that making offers, and are also unaware that negotiations are standard practice. However, another very large reason too high of a price will turn off a buyer is that they may immediately assume you will be unreasonable, greedy, or difficult to work with. This is why a realtor is helpful and sometimes necessary, as they have access to the hard numbers and facts to correctly determine pricing.

    Check out this great article by FOX Business on 5 Mistakes that Home Sellers Make to see what other things you can avoid.


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    2 thoughts on “Sellers Seem to Always Make These Mistakes…Make Sure You Don’t Join Their Club

    • Suzy says:

      I can’t stand it when people lie in listings. I’ve Never bought a house, and I don’t plan to any time soon, so I’m just putting my two cents in on this issue when it comes to renting. I feel like owners always put things in the listing that aren’t true. For example…”safest neighborhood ever.” Then you get there, and its a new construction property thats gorgeous, but its in the ghetto. And there’s an electronic gate to the driveway with video cameras. I mean…come on.

    • Carol Wilson says:

      Hi Suzy! I find that for the most part, sellers are honest with the exception of a few details. But…I will agree with you on landlords. Landlords definitely “talk up” their listings. Sometimes to the point where it is laughable. Unfortunately, many of these people have you driving around town to look at properties that are in awful areas. I would ask them up-front on the phone to be honest. What I really would do is ask for the address and look it up on Google images, and see the street view. Then you can look around to see who your neighbors will be 🙂

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