Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Dated: December 21 2015

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on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 3:07 pm


Overpricing Your Home

Unfortunately, the value of your home is not determined by what you would like to sell it for, what you paid for it, what you owe on it, or how much money you put into it. It is not determined by your real estate agent or the appraiser. The value of your home is determined only by what a buyer is willing to pay for it in today’s market by comparing your home to others that have recently sold or other homes for sale.


Overpricing your home drastically reduces the chances of a fast sale, keeps other agents from showing the home, and helps to sell the competing homes. When buyers are looking for homes for sale, they are like all customers. They want the best available product at the best price. Buyers will compare your property to others currently on the market and they won’t knowingly pay too much. Your real estate agent can prepare a competitive market analysis (CMA) for you to help you price your home realistically. If your home is marketed properly and doesn’t sell after a predetermined period of time you will need to reduce the price.

Failing To Prepare the Home For Sale
Presentation is everything and even more so when you’re going to put your home on the market. Giving your home “curb appeal” usually requires a small investment of time and money. Painting the front door, planting some flowers in the yard, decluttering tables and countertops, washing windows, fixing leaky faucets, painting the inside and making sure the whole house is sparkling clean are fixes that don’t cost much but have a big payoff. Keep in mind that buyers often can’t imagine what the property will look like when it’s spruced up, so it’s up to you to put your home in mint condition. When buyers reach a certain amount of objections; they walk out. If your house has more objections than other homes for sale, it makes it difficult to get the buyer to choose yours. Every little update you can do to the home to eliminate an objection can be the difference of your home being on the market for several months or selling for top dollar in just a few days.

Neglecting to Obtain Necessary Info & Inspections Upfront
Obtaining some of the required inspections before you have a purchase agreement is a good idea.  By working with your realtor, you could offer a home warranty and get Pre-title work done. When prospective buyers look at your home for sale, they can see what work needs to be completed. This helps you get the best price for your home with far less hassle later in the transaction since everything is known and negotiated upfront.

Don’t Make It Difficult To Show Your Home

The more flexible you are in allowing realtors to bring their buyers over, the more your home will be shown and the faster it will sell. Provide ready access to your home whenever possible and try to avoid being home for showings. Potential buyers often feel uncomfortable with the seller present and will tend to hurry through your home. They will also be hesitant to ask questions or to open closets, etc., which they need to do when making a decision about whether a house is right for them or not. I recommend that your showings through the showing software be set up to auto approve with 4-8 hours of notice.

Failing To Consider Offering Special Terms
Offering special incentives can make your home attractive to potential buyers. Paying for a portion of the buyer’s closing costs all assist buyers financially. You might even want to consider paying a higher-than-customary commission to the agent who sells your home because there are not that many homes for sale offering that. Any of these things can increase interest in your home and may be cheaper in the long run than a price reduction.

Not Requiring The Buyer To Be Prequalified
One of the most common reasons real estate transactions fall apart is finding out 30 days into the deal that the buyer can’t qualify for a mortgage loan. When you get an offer on your property, the only way to control the situation is to stipulate in the contract that the buyer be prequalified by a lender that your agent knows and trusts. This is your best insurance that your transaction will close. Be extra cautious when the pre-approval is from an out of state lender or from some national banks.  When dealing with huge corporations, it can sometimes prove to be difficult to communicate with the lender due to limited hours.

Making The Sale Of Your Home Contingent On Finding Another House
Sellers don’t like contingent offers (where a clause is included in the contract stating that the purchase of one home is subject to the sale of another) and neither do buyers. One sure way to keep buyers away is to insist that it be sold contingent on you finding a new home. Instead, include a clause in the contract that allows you to live in the property until your find your next house. You rent the property back from the buyers and pay them a prorated, per diem cost. This way, you eliminate your risk and the buyers know the deal is firm.

Refusing To Consider All Offers
Buyers want the best house at the lowest price and sellers want to net as much as they can. Remember that everything is negotiable and even a “lowball” offer is worth countering if the buyers are qualified.  Try not to just reject an offer even if it does offend you.  Home buyers are like anyone else. They want a good deal and they know they won’t get what they don’t ask for.  I have had several deals come together where the original offer was much too low and we counter at full price and the buyer accept.  In most cases, once a buyer signs their name on the purchase agreement, they are emotionally attached and they are not willing to lose the home.

Not Getting Pre-approved For Your Next Home

If you want to ensure a fast and easy closing on your new house, talk to a lender as soon as you list your current home and ask to bepre-approved. This can be done whether you have found a house already or not. Getting pre-approved upfront will cut a tremendous amount of time and anxiety out of the process.  When looking for homes for sale in these fast moving markets. and have to wait a day to get your pre-approval to submit an offer the house you want, it may already be sold.  If it is a home that you love, chances are other buyers will love it to

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