6 mistakes home sellers make

1. Constantly reducing the price, little by little


When prospective buyers see a price dropping regularly it spells desperation. They’ll probably wait it out until the price gets even lower.

Lower prices can be a lure for buyers, but remember that price does communicate value more meaningfully than raw dollars. Price signals quality or workmanship, quality of life, and much more. Don’t undersell your property just to get rid of it. It rarely works.

The key is to price right for the market to begin with. Research your suburb and similar homes. Look at recent sales and trend data. Talk to your local agent about the history of the area and how it’s currently performing – no holds barred.

2. Focusing on cost rather than quality

To get great results (and speedy ones, if that’s what you need), you should hire a top real estate agent.

Ask your friends, family and colleagues who they’d suggest and who they’ve used. Jump online, explore their website, blog and any reviews or recommendations from clients.

Look for an agent who you can communicate with, who is prepared to go that extra mile for you, who has drive, commitment and will guide you through the selling process at a comfortable pace.

Focus on quality, not dollars, as cheap isn’t always best. What matters is what’s best for you.

3. Waiting for the market to improve

If the market isn’t so great in your location, don’t hold your breath.

There are hundreds of home owners entering the market each and every day. Many aren’t in a particular hurry to sell, they’re just starting their ‘conversation’ with prospective buyers.

You’ll always have competitors, so if you want and need to sell, do it now and do it with care and conviction.

Who says the market is going to better in the next year or two anyway?

If you’re ready, go for it, with smarts.


4. Listing before your property’s dressed

A fatal misstep is to present your place to buyers before it’s been cleaned, coiffed and spruced.

Photos of your property shouldn’t make it online unless they’re showing it off to best (but not misleading) effect. Even if you update them later, the damage has been done and the photos will still be discoverable online for the nosy.

Staging your home can make an enormous difference to the amount you end up selling it for, and how quickly it sells.

Touch up any areas in the property that are showing wear and tear and get the garden regenerated, especially in the front.

Consider hiring a professional stager to help you out. This doesn’t have to be expensive.

5. Dismissing the first offer

A common mistake for owners, especially those who really need the highest possible sale price, is to turn down the first offer.

There’s a saying in real estate: ‘the first offer is the best offer’. It really does seem to be true most of the time. Certainly, your first offer is as worthy of consideration as any.

You will get a lot of lookers in the first couple of weeks your property is on the market. After that it can be challenging to sustain the momentum.

If an offer comes along during the first week or two, it’s tempting to turn it down, thinking the inspection rate will stay the same and interest will only grow. It rarely does, so give that first bite its due.

6. Agreeing to too many strings

If you’re pressed to sell, you’re inclined to compromise on price, settlement dates and the like.

There’s nothing wrong with adjusting your plans and expectations to help expidite a sale, but watch out for buyers asking too much in the way of compromise.

If you’re asked to add numerous contigencies, such as waiting until the buyers own home is sold, be wary. Your buyer might be totally trustworthy, but you’ll relying on a lot of variables here, and it doesn’t take much to sink your sale. Then you’ll be starting from scratch, only with more costs and more stress.