Common Sellers' Mistakes

Base the asking price based on emotion and needs – not the actual market.

Boston home sellers mistakesOften times home sellers price their home based on how much they paid for or invested in their home, or based on how much they want to make. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively with similar homes that have recently sold, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. Buyers who should be looking at your home will not see it because it is over priced – especially if they are searching online with a database that allows selection based on price. The result? Longer time on the market. Even when the price is eventually dropped, the buyers are skeptical because it’s been on the market for so long and appears ‘stale’. They may think something is ‘wrong’ with the home. What happens is you receive low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate.

Over improving your home.

Often sellers make the mistake of spending thousands of dollars upgrading their property in the attempt to get a higher selling price. They mistakingly thing they will recoup this cost (and more). If you are upgrading your home because you want to – that is fine. If you are upgrading your home to sell, be sure to contact your REALTOR®to find out which upgrades truly are cost effective – you might be very surprised!

Failing to “stage” the home.

In the current market, a home that is not clean and in top condition is a red flag for a buyer. It may indicate that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t “stage” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, will chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. With over 80% of buyers first starting their search online, many homes are eliminated based on the photos that are presented online. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time. You home needs to look the best it can from the day it goes on the market.

Choosing the wrong REALTOR®.

Oftentimes homeowners choose a REALTOR to tells them what they want to hear (higher price, shorter selling time, etc.), or they choose their mother’s best friend ‘who sells real estate’. In this more balanced (and slower) market, you need to choose a REALTOR who has the best marketing plan to sell your home. In this business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions costs the same as someone who has only sold a few homes. However, that experience could mean a much higher price for you at the closing table – and a minimum number of hassles.

Using a “Hard Sell” during showings.

People buy homes based on emotion. They want to feel comfortable in a home. They want to picture how it would feel if it were THEIR home. It is difficult for them to do this if they are being followed around by an owner pointing out every improvement that you made over the past ten years! A good REALTOR allows the buyer to ‘discover’ the home on their own…. allowing them to picture themselves living in your home. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features.

Failure to take the first offer seriously.

Based on the last few years of robust sales, many sellers believe that the first offer they receive will be just one of many to come. They tend to not take these offers seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This often happens if an offer comes in fairly soon after it has been listed. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. You have the best opportunity to sell your home EARLY in the marketing period when your home is ‘fresh’. The longer your property remains on the market, the traffic gets reduced and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes.

Know your rights and obligations.

The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. An experienced REALTOR® can explain the complexities of any documents you are about ready to sign.

Failure to effectively market the property.

Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.