#1: Overpricing. Be sure to check – or have your realtor check – the comparable home prices in your area. Your house should be in line with the selling prices of nearby homes of similar age, style, and size.
#2: Over-improving. Don’t go overboard when it comes to home improvements. It’s possible to make so many upgrades that you price your home out of the appropriate range for the area – and worse, never recoup your investment.
#3: Not prepping for the sale. First, visit open houses in your neighborhood to get an idea of what the competition has to offer. Then make appropriate fixes and updates, declutter, stage, and clean, clean, clean!
#4: Sabotaging the showing. A big mistake some home sellers make is to be present during the showing. It is important to make yourself scarce when your home is being shown to prospective buyers; they need space to focus on and evaluate your property. Also, make sure the house is easily accessible with convenient showing hours and a lockbox for agents.
#5: Skimping on marketing. The most effective home selling marketing strategy is to mix a little traditional advertising (like the sign in the yard and an ad in a homes magazine) with more innovative techniques (such as an impressive online listing with photos and video).
#6: Wasting time on an unqualified buyer. Before accepting an offer on your home, make sure the potential buyer is pre-qualified for a loan, not just pre-approved. Today’s lending standards are tougher than before, and you don’t want to take a gamble on a buyer whose financing falls through.
#7: Ignoring lowball offers. When you are embroiled in the heat of a home selling transaction, it’s easy to feel insulted by a low offer on your home and reject it completely. But at least make a counter offer to see if the buyer is willing to negotiate. You both may be pleasantly surprised.
#8: Going it alone without researching first. Think long and hard about the work involved in a for-sale-by-owner home selling undertaking – paperwork, marketing, showings, etc. Sure, you’ll save the realtor commission fee, but are you up for the task?
#9: Not understanding the real estate contract. Sit down with your realtor (or attorney) to go over the fine print of the formal home selling agreement before signing the potential buyer’s offer. It’s important to understand exactly what your responsibilities will be in the sale and any demands the buyer may pose.
#10: Waiting until spring to sell. Yes, spring is the busy time for home selling, but people still buy houses all year round. Selling your home anytime means playing up your home’s seasonal amenities and taking advantage of the serious buyers and reduced competition of the “off-seasons.”