Seller Tips 101

Here are common mistakes that sellers make when trying to sell their home: PDF print version

Pricing the Home too High

Statistics show that the best opportunity you have to sell your home is within the first few weeks that it is on the market. Price is everything in real estate. If you overprice the home, you’ve likely put it in competition with homes that are newer, larger or those that have more amenities than your property. This discourages buyers more than any other factor, and it will cost you more money in the long run because your home will be on the market longer. Therefore, it is crucial that your home be priced correctly from the start. Be sure you receive pricing guidance from a professional. A REALTOR® can evaluate your home’s location, recent sold data, current market trends, and special features that set it apart from competitors and help you determine a listing price.

Listing the Home in Poor Condition

Getting a home ready for market can be a lot of work but will pay off in the end when the home sells quickly and for top value. A home that is in poor condition and/or needs repairs is not attractive to buyers. Remember, potential buyers are comparing your home to others on the market in the same price range. You want yours to stand out from the others in a positive way.

No Curb Appeal

Most potential buyers drive by the homes they’re interested in prior to making an appointment to view them. Fixing small things to increase your home’s curb appeal will make your home more desirable. A home’s exterior that is well-maintained and attractive will result in more showings.

Outdated and Dark Decor

Buyers like bright homes with neutral colors. Dark colored carpet, paint or curtains are turn-offs to buyers. Open up the blinds and curtains to let the sun shine in. Update your dark paint colors and carpet if needed.

Cluttered Home Full of Personal Memorabilia

Go through your home room by room and remove the clutter. Sometimes it is helpful to take a photo of each room and you’ll be amazed at what you see in the photograph versus standing in the room. You’ll want to remove an overabundance of personal photos and other memorabilia. Rooms will look bigger when de-cluttered and a potential buyer will envision their belongings in that space.

Homes that Smell like Smoke or Pets

Odors in a home can be a factor in your home not selling. You will want to ensure that the home is thoroughly cleaned and fresh smelling. In the case of pet odors or smoke odors, you may want to re-carpet or re-paint so that you get rid of odors that may be offensive to potential buyers.

Over-Improving Your Home

In the process of getting your home in good showing condition, you want to focus on things that will get you money back on your investment. Don’t overdo it with projects where you don’t get a return on your investment, i.e. real wood blinds, kitchen remodels, adding decks, expanding room sizes, etc. Prior to jumping into a huge home improvement project, get advice from a professional.

Making the Home Un-Financeable

Some government programs such as VA and FHA home loans require that the home have a good roof and no large structural problems. Broken windows, poor exterior paint, or broken and heaving sidewalks are all examples of things that can make your home un-financeable for a buyer qualifying for that type of loan.

Being Present During Showings 

Do not be present when an agent is showing your home. Buyers will be more at ease and spend more time looking at your home’s features if you are gone, and the REALTOR® will not feel rushed to get in and out of your home.

Trying to Negotiate Without Your REALTOR®

Having a veteran agent do the negotiation on the sale of your home is when you’ll be glad you hired a professional. An agent who is good at negotiating can save you thousands of dollars and will protect your interests. Try to separate your emotions from your business side and remain calm during this time.

Waiting to Reply on Offers Received

Act quickly and decisively when you receive an offer on your home. Things can change quickly in the mind of a prospective buyer. Another home may come on the market that sparks their interest so you want to act quickly while their interest level and excitement are still high.