Avoid These Seller Mistakes

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Patterson Realtors

You want to get the best price for your home, plus sell it in the least amount of time. In a buyers' market such as the one emerging now, homes will take longer to sell. Therefore, it's important that you make the right moves at the very beginning of your homeselling process to remain competitive. Here are some common traps that many homeowners fall into and how to avoid them.


1. Over-pricing - It's easy to think your home is worth more than the current market may support, particularly after the long run-up in home prices. Since home prices have cooled in markets around the country, home sellers must be prepared to negotiate on price and terms, and stay flexible to other stipulations benefiting the buyer. Sellers must also keep their emotions in check during the process. After all, your home is special to you and your family, and you're proud of the improvements you've made over the years. But, how does your home really stand up to the others? And are those improvements important to a potential buyer?

To determine a reasonable listing price, get sales statistics on homes in the neighborhood including listing prices and actual sales prices, how long it took for the homes to sell, and government valuation comparisons. You'll also want a market appraisal on your property. Visit homes for sale in your area and compare what you see in terms of sales appeal.


2. Negligent Housekeeping - Buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in the home. Take a good, objective look at the condition of your home. Clean, well-kept homes with an updated appearance always stand out, and a little decorating appeal can go a long way. You don't have to buy new furniture to create charm, but you can put toys and clutter away, freshen up paint and carpet, make the most of window coverings, and add a few key accessories in order to send out welcoming signals.


3. Failing to Fix-It - Buyers, unless they are looking for a fixer-upper, would prefer to move into a home that is in perfect or near-perfect condition. If they have to fix the roof, a broken tile floor, the garage door, worn carpet or just about anything, this may give them pause about buying. At the very least, it may lower the value of the home in the prospective buyer's mind.


4. Not Identifying Exclusions - This can be a cause of contention just at a critical point in the sale. Be sure to specify any special sales considerations or exclusions from the fixtures and furnishings list. Generally, anything permanently fixed to the house is an asset that stays with the home after the sale. So if you intend to take your grandmother's antique chandelier that's hanging in the dining room, clearly specify that the chandelier is not included in the sale price, or better yet remove it prior to listing your home.


5. Not Understanding the Agent Agreement - Your sales endeavor will go smoothest when all parties have a clear understanding of what is expected. Understand the types of agency agreements when you sign with a real estate professional or company.

Be sure to check on fees, commission percentages, marketing plans and timeframes. Most importantly, get everything in writing. 




Mike Gambino is part of Prudential Patterson Realtors® and can be reached at (800) 321-8586 or contacted by e-mail at WeCanSellHomes@sbcglobal.net . You may also visit us at http://www.wecansellhomes.com/

equal-housing-logo-gif3.JPGLeading Edge Society

Prudential Patterson Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

While the contents in this article will apply in most states, they may vary in your particular locale. Mike Gambino is a licensed salesperson in Missouri.

Comments (5)

Christine Thierry
CrossCountry Mortgage - Sagaponack, NY
And I would add, make sure you choose a reputable agent and mortgage company. 
Mar 15, 2008 08:09 AM
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTORĀ®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com
Mike-  I always tell my clients, price is king!  You gotta be competitive there.  Especially when you are in a buyers market!
Mar 15, 2008 08:48 AM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003
Mike: Great tips. Cleaining is so easy but sadly oft negelected. Price is pretty important too! Oh and NO SMOKING!!!!!
Mar 15, 2008 07:39 PM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hello Mike,  I like your "Italian"   thing  under your profile, you would never guess that I am Italian with a last name like "McCartney" --Irish for sure, but my husband is Irish, I am actually mostly Italian. I LOVE being Italian and proud of it!!  (My mom is all Italian, my dad half Italian and half Irish) As far as your statement in your blog about good housekeeping, just tell them to use the cleaning "tip" from last night on my blog, you know just like your son with all the "Get Well" cards in his room..... LOL!   


Mar 16, 2008 09:24 AM
Matthew Heavener
ERA Heavener Realty Co. - Jacksonville, FL
And don't forget to tell them to chain up the herd of chiuaua's!  Great post Mike, very appropriate to today's market.
Mar 17, 2008 08:03 AM