Common Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid Selling your home is a daunting task. Make sure to avoid the most common home selling mistakes. You have so many things to consider, from deciding exactly when to list your home for sale, to choosing the right agent, to determining the asking price, and so much more. Following is a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when selling their homes. Being Unaware of Your Rights & Responsibilities It’s very important that you stay well informed of the details of your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are very complex and confusing and they are legally-binding documents. For this reason, it’s critical that you know what you, the seller, are responsible for before signing the contract. One of the most common home selling mistakes is not knowing your contract. Unfortunately, making this mistake could cost you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for repairs and/or inspections. Asking the Wrong Price for Your Property Probably the number one most common of all home selling mistakes is asking the wrong price. It’s critical that you price your home correctly from the moment you or your agent advertise it for sale. Anybody selling their home obviously wants to get the most money possible for it. However, if you place an excessively high price on a property, it can prove counterproductive to this cause. Before you set your price, you and your agent should go over asking prices and recent sales of comparable properties in the area. Have your agent prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you and get a copy to look over yourself. An unreasonably high price can cause prospective buyers to expect too much or lose interest before they view your home. As a result, overpriced properties take longer to sell, and often sell for a lower price. For this reason, overpricing is not only a common, but also a costly home selling mistake. For example, let's say a seller wants to list high and “wait it out”, hoping to get more money for their home. In a declining market (sometimes called a buyers’ market), this can be disastrous. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle where the home sits on the market for weeks with no interest. Finally, the seller becomes convinced that the price is too high and decides to lower it. In the meantime, however, the market declines further. The price that was correct when the seller listed the home is now too high, and the cycle repeats itself. A seller in this position can easily find himself or herself “chasing” the right price point and losing equity the whole time. Using Only One Method of Marketing/Advertising Sellers aren't the only ones who commit common home selling mistakes. Sometimes, it's the agent. There are many ways to market and advertise your property these days, such as open houses, classified ads, home magazines, real estate websites, social media, and flyers. Your real estate agent should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques. Above all, you should select an agent that is committed to selling your property. If they are only willing to advertise in one medium, they are probably doing you a disservice. Trying to Sell to Window Shoppers It’s important to be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere window shoppers. Often, would-be buyers who don't have an agent are still several months away from being ready to buy, and are frequently more interested in browsing the market than actually making a purchase. Perhaps they're not prepared to make a purchase because they haven't sold their home yet, or they lack a down payment or financing, or they are still deciding whether they want to relocate or not. For these reasons, a real estate agent will partner with a lender to investigate a potential buyer’s credit rating, savings, and purchasing power. This will help keep you, the seller, from wasting your time marketing your home to the wrong people. Not Preparing Your Home for Sale Unfortunately, lots of sellers lose money because of this, and it's one of the most basic home selling mistakes. Your home needs to be made as presentable and pleasant as possible when attempting to sell to prospective buyers. Be sure to make any necessary repairs and thoroughly clean your home prior to any showings. To that end, doing a pest inspection and/or a home inspection in advance can help you to identify necessary repairs. A dirty home in need of repairs will lower the selling price and likely even turn away some buyers altogether. “Pressuring” While Showing Buying a home is an emotional and difficult decision. It’s not normally a good idea to pressure or negotiate with prospective buyers while they are viewing your property. Try to leave the house during showings to give the prospective buyer time with their agent to discuss what they like about your home. If you must be in the home while buyers are touring it, it’s best to be hospitable and warm, but not intrusive. Be helpful and receptive to any questions they may have. Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent Brand new real estate agents often cost just as much as experienced agents, but frequently deliver poorer results. There is a greater chance that an experienced agent will get you a higher price for your home, in less time, and with fewer hassles than an inexperienced agent. Consequently, it’s important to take your time when selecting an agent. To truly be effective, your agent should be readily available to respond to phone calls or emails from prospective buyers in a timely manner. Most buyers inquire about homes for sale during business hours, so you should verify that your agent will be trying to sell your home during these hours. That is to say, if they have a day job and are trying to sell real estate in their “spare” time, they likely won’t be very effective in selling your home. For these reasons, it is a good idea to interview several agents to find the best fit. For many, buying or selling a home is the most important financial transaction they will ever make. Good advice backed by years of experience is priceless. In addition, not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is trained in ethical conduct and is required to adhere to a uniform code of ethics. Locking Yourself In As mentioned above, you should take your time when selecting a real estate agent. That said, you could misjudge and select the wrong agent to represent you. Perhaps they made a good first impression, but they just have not followed through and are not meeting your expectations. In any case, you have the right to fire your agent. Make sure you are in the “driver's seat” before signing a real estate contract. If you choose to fire your agent and use a new one, let the new agent know that you have worked with an agent already. Not only are there important legal agency issues at stake, but it will also help if the new agent knows up front why you were dissatisfied with your previous agent. If you want to enlist the services of a highly competent, very experienced REALTOR® to work for you, contact me, Tiffany Osterli today. Or if you are just curious what your home is worth, request a home valuation report.