Selling Your Home? Avoid These Costly Mistakes

You often hear about naive buyers and the mistakes they’ve made, but what about the slipups by sellers?

Yes, believe it or not, sellers also make mistakes.

And sometimes those mistakes mean lost sales and longer days on the market.

The most prevalent mistake by sellers is insisting on too high a price. Sellers may want a big return on their investment because they’ve invested time, money and emotion in a home. However, sellers may have to lower their expectations, as things like upgrades or a home’s location on a busy street may not be to everyone’s taste.

Sellers should listen to their real estate agents. An agent has the comparables, understands the local market and knows what a home is really worth.

Sellers also can be inflexible about arranging appointments. By not showing in the evenings or on Sundays, sellers are reducing the pool of potential buyers. Many sellers also want to be there for showings or open houses, which is a big mistake. Potential buyers may feel uncomfortable and won’t be able to see themselves living there.

Fatigue is a problem among sellers. It may be difficult to keep a home in show condition, but it is necessary. Dirty dishes, unmade beds and dust bunnies will not get a seller the best price. Neither will toys and unpleasant reminders of Fluffy and Fido.

Pets, by the way, should also be out of the way during viewings.

Many sellers also find the process of negotiations difficult. Sellers shouldn’t take lowball offers personally. Low bids can be, and often are, increased. Sellers should respond quickly to every offer, and they should not stall while waiting for a better one to come in. Sellers who are in a hurry can offer incentives like paying closing costs.

Last, sellers should not wait for spring.

Sellers can attract serious buyers during the off-season by highlighting fall landscaping or promoting the property as a cozy winter retreat.