Buying and Selling a Home

Five Seller Mistakes

Steve Rodgers
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1.Overpricing —Based on an emotional assessment, it is easy to think your home is worth more than the current market may support. It is essential for sellers to determine the value of their home based on an objective analysis. To choose a reasonable listing price, work with a real estate professional familiar with your area. Ask for sales statistics on homes in the neighborhood. Using value range pricing can also help sellers get the most for their property and avoid overpricing. Also, remember that real estate markets can change quickly, and "comparables" from several months ago may not give you an accurate account of the current market.

2. Negligent Housekeeping —Take a good, objective look at the condition of your home. Clean, well-kept homes with an updated appearance always have an advantage, and a little decorating appeal can go a long way. Home developers spend thousands of dollars marketing model homes to create a mood, ambiance, and sales appeal that make potential buyers fall in love. Keep in mind, buyers are looking for a "lifestyle" as well as shelter.

3. Failing to Fix-It —Most new buyers are probably going to be happiest moving into a home in perfect or near-perfect condition. If they have to fix the roof, a broken tile floor, or just about anything, they may hesitate in buying. At the least, it may lower the value of the home in the buyer's mind. A model-perfect home is going to attract the highest price.

4. Failing to Identify Exclusions —This can be a cause of contention at a critical point in the sale. To avoid problems, sellers need to specify special sales considerations or exclusions from the chattel list. Generally, anything permanently fixed to the house is a "chattel" or asset that stays with the home after the sale. If you intend to take an item with you, specify clearly that it is not included in the sale price.

5. Failing to Understand Your Agent Agreement —When you sign a listing agreement, it is important to check on fees, commission percentages and timeframes, as well to understand the type of agency agreements you are signing. Your real estate professional should explain the differences between exclusive and general agencies. Understand exactly what the sales professional's fee percentage is, get it in writing and be sure to clarify the timeframe of your listing contract. Discuss details such as open houses and advertising. Selling your home is likely to go the smoothest when all parties have a clear understanding of what is expected.

"Today's marketplace has made it imperative that buyers deal with experienced agents and the top companies that can provide all the best marketing tools, advanced technology and a large agent network," said Francine Finn, of Scott-Finn & Associates. "Without the knowledge and expertise of a full-time agent on their side, sellers may have a difficult time reaching their real estate goals."

Getting the most from the sale of your home takes a little effort, but is easier to achieve when sellers are educated, and with the help of a knowledgeable real estate professional. The equity gained and opportunities for future investment when selling your home are just a few of the many benefits of the American Dream of homeownership.

Steve Rodgers, former President and CEO of Prudential California Realty, Southern California is now a partner and president of Windermere Exclusive Properties.

Print Date: 2/28/2020
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