Five Mistakes People Make When Selling a Home

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Five Mistakes People Make When Selling a Home

Grey Oaks VA Real EstateThe Richmond VA real estate market is tight on inventory at the moment with just a measly 4 month supply. This indicates a true sellers market.  We are seeing properties go under contract in just hours in the high-demand areas and even multiple offers with escalation clauses. If you currently are on the market and have not sold, there is an issue. Ask yourself if you are making one of these five mistakes people make when selling a home.

Over-Price Your Property and Be Prepared to Chase Down the Market

I know what you are thinking, "real estate agents always say it is price." Well, that's because most of the time IT IS PRICE. Think back to when you had your listing appointment with your Realtor. Did they indicate your house should be worth less and you strong-armed them into a higher listing price? Did they show you comps coming in at $25K less? We all, and I mean WE ALL, think our homes are worth more than what they are. Even me, a Richmond VA Realtor. When I sold my own home 3 years ago I made a price correction 5 days in because I woke up and realized even I wasn't immune to this huge seller mistake!

If you are like me, then make a price correction TODAY. And, no, a $5,000 price reduction is likely not going to cut it. I know it is painful and you have to listen to what the market is telling you or you will be chasing down the market, actually netting LESS than what your property value truly is. Take a look at the comps with a fresh eye and price accordingly.

Selecting the Wrong Realtor

If you over-priced your property it is not all your fault, it's your agents fault too. Yes, you may have been unrealistic in your expectations, yet your Realtor should have been strong enough to turn down your inflated listing. A strong, confident Richmond VA real estate agent isn't desperate enough to take on a home that isn't priced right. Why? Because we know saying NO to you allows us to say YES to someone who is realistic. Because we know that setting a price too high will not benefit you and your best interests are our priority. Because we know where to allocate our precious marketing dollars and we tend to bet on winners.

Did you select a weak agent in a weak moment? It happens. Once again, I can relate. Many moons ago, before I was in real estate, my husband and I made this same uh-oh. What did we do? We had a heart to heart with our agent and we asked to be released from our listing agreement. The agent, to his credit, let us out of the agreement and I have always respected him for that gesture. We went on to hire a lesser known name of an agent but one who had a proven track record. She got it done! I know, you will feel bad. I get it. But, right now you have to look out for numero uno.

Going It Alone as a FSBO

Did you try and save yourself some cold, hard cash and listed your home for sale by owner? Say it isn't so! No worries, I completely understand where your intentions were. That said, did you know that, according to the National Association of Realtors, a FSBO property sells for $40K LESS than if listed with an agent? Don't short change yourself, hire a professional Richmond VA Realtor!

Now, it is my opinion that making the FSBO mistake is less damaging than hiring the wrong agent. Why? Because your property wasn't likely seen by many people so it is almost as if you were never in the Richmond VA real estate market to begin with. With inventory so low right now, it is imperative that you meet with a professional ASAP so you can capitalize on the lack of inventory.

Is Your Shabby "Chic" or just Shabby

Alright, I am not really speaking to the decor of your home, but more the general condition of the property. If pricing is in-line with market trends, and if you hired the right Realtor, condition is a likely culprit to not selling. Just as it is difficult to notice when your hubby puts on 10 pounds, it is sometimes hard to see the deferred maintenance of your home. Did your agent point out some items that needed fixing and you glossed over it? Don't do that.

The buyers of today have been brought up with HGTV syndrome and they, for the most part, want a move-in ready property. Even if they want a fixer-upper so they can pull out their inner Joanna Gains, the price would have to be right and I doubt you deeply discounted for the effort the buyer would need to put in. What should you do? Take off the Instagram filter and REALLY look at your property like you haven't lived there. Still can't see it? Ask a neighbor. Trust me, every time you have them over for a party they are taking note of the wood-rot at the window sills or the temperature differential of what you call your "quirky" HVAC system. When you know, you do better!

Haven't listed yet and do not want to make this mistake in the home selling process? Have a pre-listing inspection done! This is a fabulous tool and can be used in the marketing of your property!


Say what? You read that right! How many of you saw the Mt. Dew, "PuppyMonkeyBaby" commercial during the super bowl? Sure, it was something you can't un-see, but that advertisement did its job as it had us ALL talking about it the next morning! What does that have to do with you? Well, advertising and marketing is important to the success of selling your property. More importantly, the RIGHT advertising and marketing is key.

Of course your property is on the MLS since you hired a Realtor, but where else is your home being featured? As much as it pains me to say it, there needs to be a nice write up on Zillow with professional photos. I have MLS access at my fingertips and guess where I catch my husband looking all the time? Zillow. You have to meet people where they are and they are, like it or not, on Zillow. Of course, you want your home on all the big portal sights as well.

Social media is another area that needs to be embraced and finely executed. Facebook target ads, Tweets on Twitter, posts on LinkedIn, Photos on Instagram, and, one of my new favorite apps, videos on SnapChat...these are all crucial to getting your property found by the masses. The ultimate goal, of course, is driving people to your property for a tour!

This mistake ultimately goes back to selecting the wrong Realtor to represent you in selling your home, but you are also a key component in advertising these days. Once your agent creates a social media presence, be sure to share those links to your circles as the more nets you cast, the more likely your house is to be seen by the new home owner!

Best Richmond VA Realtor

Searching for the best Richmond VA Realtor to keep you from making one of the five mistakes people make when selling a home? Contact me, Shannon Milligan at RVA Home Team with Keller Williams, today for your complimentary market analysis!

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Originally published at:

Posted by

Shannon Milligan, Associate Broker/Realtor

RVA Home Team

Winning with Integrity

eXp Realty 

6802 Paragon Place #410, Richmond, VA, 23230

804-248-8207 (cell)




Comments (12)

Paul Weese
The Group - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs Broker and Outdoor Enthusiast

This is a great article, Shannon.  Great observations with great advice.

Feb 29, 2016 12:32 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Thanks, Paul, for taking the time out of your day to comment!

Feb 29, 2016 12:34 AM
Jim West
Real Estate Technology Partners - Marysville, OH
Our Passion Is Helping 1st Time Home Sellers

Great article. Thanks for the tips. PuppyMonkeyBaby! My 8 year old daughter loves that commercial. Me? Not sure!

Feb 29, 2016 12:42 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Jim, my 9 year old twins LOVE that commercial. Personally, I do not like it but I will never forget it so job well done, lol!

Feb 29, 2016 12:45 AM
Jim West


Feb 29, 2016 12:48 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

We have been watching a home that was priced about 50K too high. It's been listed for about two years. It was relisted with another agent from 549K to 503K and it's Pending. The story is the same, over and over again. 

Feb 29, 2016 01:21 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

Wow! That's a big difference. 

May 25, 2017 10:56 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

These are some important mistakes to avoid when selling your home.  I wasn't really sure what was going on with that silly commercial btw.

Feb 29, 2016 01:46 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

LOL! Thanks for taking the time to comment and I apologize for my SO VERY LATE response. 

May 25, 2017 10:56 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Shannon, well thought out and presented and it just sounds like you're having a heart-to-heart great (and honest) conversation with your seller. Keep it up!

Feb 29, 2016 10:05 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

Thank you! Hope you are doing well!

May 25, 2017 10:55 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Shannon. Your list of mistakes is so very true, unfortunately I have made a few of them with properties that I was selling.

Feb 29, 2016 09:03 PM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

We all live and learn!

May 25, 2017 10:55 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Shannon, you always prepare your Sellers properly to get the best exposure for their home!   

Mar 02, 2016 10:28 PM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

Thank you! I am just NOW getting back to these comments. I was gone awhile but hope to be in the rain more!

May 25, 2017 10:55 AM
Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia

In Richmond, I know Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker is on top of her market.   Here in Virginia, we have some real pros in the real estate business.   The right agent can make all the difference in your transaction.   So can the right lender (ME).

Mar 04, 2016 03:40 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

So very true!

May 25, 2017 10:55 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

We're in a hot seller's market as well. I recently saw a listing with no photos. After two days, I contacted the agent and asked if she planned on adding photos. She said she didn't think it was necessary given our market. Ha! Six weeks later and she's still listed. The internet is the first showing. No photos, no sale.

Apr 03, 2016 03:46 PM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

Oh wow! That's crazy to not put up photos. Too many agents are phoning it in right now. 

May 25, 2017 10:54 AM
Erika Rae Albert, Austin Real Estate Expert
E-Rae Realty - Austin, TX
Exceeding Expectations in Every Transaction

great article my buyer clients sometime ask "why has this been on the market so long?" my response is usually they must have an agent who isn't doing their job.  A good agent addresses all of the points you identified above.

May 23, 2017 07:21 AM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog! Looking forward to getting to know you better!

May 25, 2017 10:54 AM