11 Accidental Mistakes Sellers Make


Anna McClusky

1. Failing to Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Without an experienced real estate agent who is familiar with the in’s and out’s of the sale process, your home may languish on the market. If buyers see you home sitting they see that as the perfect opportunity to offer you less!

Your brokers goal is to provide a proven, repeatable plan to present your home to the most buyers, at the best price and the best light over the competition. With all of these factors in place you may see a bidding war!

2. Thinking For Sale By Owner?

I’m guessing your motivation is to keep the most money in your pocket, I totally get it. Only 10% sell, and 90% end up selling with an agent. Here’s why.

Let’s look at it from a buyer side. What benefit does a buyer have to purchase your home without an agent, and no expert on their side? The only thing they see a much lower price than market, since you aren’t listing with an agent. And that is what they are looking for. The average buyer is not comfortable signing legal documents, and getting into any kind of negotiations unless the financial benefit outweighs the risk, so unless they can get a steal on your property (anti your profit goal) they probably won’t even look. In my experience, the best way to profit is to have a qualified broker stage your home towards a multiple offer situation. NOT hoping that one person is fearless enough to attempt a major purchase on their own, and being that fearless won’t try and lowball you.

3. Setting the Price Too High

Sure, you may have bought your house at the market peak, but be aware of the correction that’s since taken place. When figuring out the right price, don’t rely too much on national statistics – instead, focus on your local market. Some areas — but not all — have seen a decline in inventory because of a pick-up in sales. Be sure to price according to your neighborhood. If your listed price is significantly out of sync with the results, you’ll probably have a hard time drawing buyers. After some time on the market buyers will see reason to negotiate an even lower price. Price is everything!

If you price your home to high and it won’t appraise, it won’t sell. It can’t. Your agent is not trying to cheat you. They look at the same homes to price your home as the appraiser. We want to ensure you sell and at the highest price possible.

4. Waiting for “Prime Season”

Here’s my experience, I will year over year sell more homes in December than even the highest average months (April-July). The secret is we keep on working. There are buyers, in fact with a low inventory in those months it’s very competitive! That may be just as good for your home sale, as there are fewer homes to compete against, and still buyers.

5. Skimping on Listing Photos

The Internet is the first stop for many home shoppers. How you present your home online is just as important as how it looks during the open house. This should be provided by your realtor as part of their service. Sellers should include as many pictures as allowed on real estate listing sites and on the local Multiple Listing Service. Highlight the rooms and features home shoppers care about the most: the kitchen, master bedroom, and outdoor space. (No toilet pictures)

DO NOT let your broker take cell phone pictures or low quality. You deserve high quality, full HD photos no matter what the price of your home. Think of it this way, that broker allows that to represent their business and investment into listing your home.

6. False Advertising

Don’t misrepresent your house – either through your description or by retouching photos to the extent that it’s misleading – and don’t let your agent either. Altering a photo to add shrubbery to the front yard or making the neighbor’s house look farther away than it really is, won’t fool anyone.

7. Be Careful About Incentives

In the housing market’s headier days, prospective buyers might have been lured by extra perks like offering to pay for a year’s worth of dues at the local golf club or a $1,000 carpet allowance. Now, though, sellers would do better to reduce the asking price by that incentive amount or offer it as a credit toward closing costs. No one buys a house because there is a $1,000 credit – they buy it because it meets their needs. And if its a repair credit… get the new carpet, people cannot look past smells and damage.

8. Waiting to Fix Up the Place

If you know a part of the kitchen’s hardwood floor needs to be replaced, do it before the open house. Deducting the cost of such necessary repairs from the asking price will cost you a lot more than just getting the project done yourself. Just remember some updates and upgrades are JUST to get your home marketable or desirable. You may not increase the listing price as much, but you won’t waste months and months trying to market a house no one likes, or get a low ball offer.

9. Taking Offense at Lowball Offers

Home buying is one of last great bastions of haggling in the U.S. And now more than ever, buyers are testing the waters to see how low they can go. Rather than turning your nose at what you think is a low bid, listen to every offer and present a realistic counter offer. That way, you can spark a real negotiation.

10. Failing to Make Sure the Buyer Can Afford the House

Any offer you receive should specify that the buyer has been pre-approved for a mortgage big enough to purchase your home. Transactions often fall through because of financing problems. If [a buyer] offers $100,000 above your asking price and they can’t get a loan or afford it, the offer is meaningless.

11. Being Inaccessible

Agents LOVE to show homes that are easy to get into. Make it easy for buyers to arrange to see your home. If they need to call you numerous times just to get a buyer in your house, it won’t get shown or sold.
Try to make your notification period no longer than 1-2 hours maximum.
Crate your dog, or take it with you, if you can while you are away for work or play. (Your dog may be pleasant when you are around, but VERY rarely are they as gentle as the master of your house. Even barking can scare adults, realtors or children.)

Contact us today to learn our 5 other tips that get our seller an average of 18% more on the sale of their homes! CONTACT HERE