The 7 most costly mistakes when selling your home

Mistake #1

Pricing Incorrectly:  Every seller wants to keep as much money as possible when he sells his home, but a listing price that is too high often gets the seller less than a price that is at market value. If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favor of larger homes for the same price. Overpricing usually increases time on the market, and that adds to the cost of selling the home. Ultimately, many overpriced properties sell below market value.

Mistake #2

Failing to "Showcase" the Home: Buyers look for homes, not houses, and they buy the home in which they would like to live. Owners who fail to make necessary repairs, who don't spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping, and keep it clean and neat, chase buyers away as rapidly as realtors can bring them. If you were selling a car, you would wash it, or maybe even detail it to get the highest price. Houses are no different.

Mistake #3

Using the "Hard Sell" During Showings: Buying a house is an emotional decision. People like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It's difficult for them to do that if the seller follows them around pointing out every improvement that has been made. It may even have the opposite effect if the potential buyers feels as if they are intruding on your private space. Resist the temptation to talk the entire time a buyer is there, and let them discover things on their own. Try a tasteful sign to point out some hidden amenity that they might miss.


Mistake #4

Mistaking Lookers For Buyers: "ForS ale By Owners" always get more activity than houses listed through an agent. Realtors only work with qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than if you open your front door to everyone who walks down the street. A qualified buyer is one who is ready, willing, and able to buy your home. Most people who are looking at “For Sale By Owners” tend to be those who just recently thought about moving. They may be good buyers, but they're just 6-9 months away from being ready. They don't want to bother an agent yet, so they call the "By Owner" ads to get a feel for what's available. They may have a house to sell first, or may need to save some more, or may have credit that needs fixing. When everything is in place, that's when they go out looking with a realtor. An agent will ask a buyer how much he can really spend for a house, how much he has to put down, how good his credit is, how much he can pay each month, how much he will realize (realistically!) when he sells his present home - and about a dozen other questions like that. However, unless your realtor finds all the facts first, you must ask all these questions before the buyer crosses your threshold. Otherwise, you may have a parade of Sunday afternoon shoppers with a dream of owning a home someday.

Mistake #5

Not Knowing Your Rights & Obligations: Real estate law is extensive and complex; the contract for sale and purchase is a legally binding document. An improperly written contract can cause the sale to fall through, or cost you thousands for repairs, inspections, and remedies for title defects. You must be certain which repairs and closing costs you are responsible for. You must know whether the property can legally be sold "as is", and how deed restrictions and local zoning will affect the transaction. If there are defects in your title, or if your property is in conflict with local restrictions, you or your realtor must remedy them, or you might have to pay penalties.

Mistake #6

Believing That a Re-fi Appraisal is the Market Value of Your Home: An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose. If the lender wants to lend you the money, the lender is motivated to have the appraisal come in high. The appraiser may ignore foreclosure or distress sales in order to justify the high value. A real buyer in the real world will not ignore these properties. They are your competitors when you try to sell. I can't tell you how many ridiculous re-fi appraisals I've seen. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the value you were told 6 months ago when you refinanced is what a real buyer would pay. Ask your agent for ALL the recently sold properties in your are and then decide.

Mistake #7

Choosing the Wrong Agent, or Choosing Him/Her for the Wrong Reasons: It's likely that you don't interview people very often and yet in order to find the agent who is right for you, you may need to interview several. The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill in selecting the person best qualified. It's interesting that in the real estate business, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. Bringing that experience to bear on your transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with the minimum amount of hassles. The world is populated with real estate agents who are wrong for you. For example, the person who sells an occasional house because he or she needs a little pocket change or the insurance salesman who believes he or she can handle two careers. Or perhaps your cousin George, who really needs your business. The sale of your home could well be the most important financial transaction you will ever be involved with. The person you select can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience. It's your home, and your money. The choice of your agent is up to you. Make the right choice. Consider listing with John DeBrito of SOLD Real Estate Company and put his 30 plus years of experience to work for you.

John DeBrito

SOLD Real Estate Company
Phone 719-270-1167