Common Sales Errors

1. Choosing the Wrong Agent

Trust is key when selecting a real estate agent. Feeling secure that an agent is competent, knowledgeable and experienced is important. Knowing the agent will aggressively and successfully market your home resulting in a top price with a smooth sale can help sellers breathe easier. Take the time to interview potential agents. Ask about a marketing plan, determine their level of commitment to selling your home and ask about personal track records.

2. Inaccurate Pricing

All sellers want to get the best prices for their homes. However, listing a home too high can actually result in a lower sales price and a very disappointed seller. It's critical to price the home right from the beginning, as all homes have the greatest exposure to buyers as soon as they hit the market. When a property is perceived as overpriced, it is often overlooked and can eventually lead to a price reduction. Homes that have been on the market longer than normal and are reduced in price let buyers they have more room to negotiate because they see the sellers as "desperate." Overpriced homes often sell for less than they would, had they been priced accurately from the beginning.

3. Using Refinance Appraisals to Determine Market Value

Refinance appraisals can be misleading for homeowners. Encouraged by the amount of the appraisal, a seller may inaccurately determine a home's value. Lenders can actually estimate a higher property value to make refinancing seem like the way to go. The market value of a home is determined not only by what a home is currently worth, but also by what buyers are paying for similar homes in a specific area. These numbers are not always congruent with the refinance appraisal. To accurately determine market value, speak with a trusted real estate agent to get up to date information on recent property sales in your neighborhood.

4. Limited Marketing

There are two wildly popular marketing techniques used to market homes: open houses and cheap classified ads. It's interesting that the chances of selling a home this way are less than three percent. Actually, many agents conducting open houses simply use your house as bait to attract future buyers, not sell your home! A successful real estate agent employs a diverse variety of marketing tools and is committed to selling your home. Make sure your agent is full-time and available to handle every interested party via phone, email and text. Many agents are part-time and often miss calls from potential buyers or concentrate on one method of contact when buyers use various methods in this marketplace.

5. Poor Home Presentation

This mistake is easy to avoid, yet often not addressed. A home needs to look as appealing as possible to potential buyers so they can imagine their family and belongings in the house. Make necessary repairs without investing too much money in the wrong items. Keep the home neat and tidy as buyers could be coming anytime. Make sure furniture and features seem functional and pleasing to the senses. Remove excessive chotchkys and other clutter.

6. Trying too Hard to Sell

Buying a home is an extremely emotional process. Be friendly and welcoming when potential buyers view your home. Allow buyers the freedom to comfortably examine your property and talk openly about their thoughts. Don't push or follow them from room to room. Be helpful, answer questions and point out amenities that have gone unnoticed. The best bet is to leave before showings begin. Remember, your agent is your advocate and the most qualified person to negotiate on your behalf.

7. Trying to Sell to Browsers

Not all individuals who come to look at your home are actually interested in buying it. Curiosity is often peaked when people see signs indicating a home is for sale or there is an open house. Buyers who come without a real estate agent, are usually months away from actually buying a home. They may still have to sell their house, or not even be able to afford your house. These folks may be undecided about moving for sure. An experienced real estate agent will separate the buyers with the most potential, from those who are just browsing. Your agent will gain information on their financial status and determine whether they are prequalified for a home in this price range. The best agents also advertise accordingly, peaking the interest of serious buyers.

8. Being unaware of your Rights and Responsibilities

It is extremely important that you stay well informed of the details of your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally binding documents, and they can often be complex and confusing. Not being aware of the terms in your contract could cost you thousands in repairs and inspections. Know what you are responsible for before signing any contract. Can the property be sold "as is?” How will deed restrictions and local zoning laws affect your transaction? Not knowing the answers to these kinds of questions could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.