Top 25 Seller Mistakes

Evaluate your current situation. There are many questions that you must answer first:

  • Why are you planning to sell your house?
  • Do you need the money out of this house to make your move?
  • Have you been approved for the mortgage on the new home?
  • How fast do you have to be in your new location?
  • Are housing costs higher or lower there?
  • What is the time schedule for your plan?

Failing to take a hard, serious look at the Condition of your Home.

Often times as we live in a house we “live with” minor inconveniences that we intend to fix “some day”. It is not unusual to not notice conditions that are glaringly obvious to a buyer.

  • How old is your roof, AC unit, hot water heater?
  • Has your septic system been pumped and fully inspected within the last 2 years?
  • Have you had any improvements done to the house without permits & inspections?
  • Carpets worn, paint faded?

Any of these conditions that are noticed by the buyer or found during the home inspection may make the buyer bypass your house & buy another. A good Realtor® will take a critical inspection of your home & make recommendations.

Failing to properly ‘Screen’ your Realtor.

  • The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the best-qualified agent.
  • It’s interesting that in the real estate business someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced.
  • Bringing that experience to bear on your transaction could mean a better price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and reducing the number of hassles.
  • Your agent should be a skilled, win-win negotiator!

Failing to get Pre-Approved for the Home Loan on the Next Home.

  • Don’t waste hours searching for a home that is not in your price range!
  • Save time and money by pre-approved for a loan.
  • This process is simple. A lender will ask you basic questions concerning your income, assets and credit & determine your buying power.
  • In today’s market, a pre-approval can be a powerful negotiating tool. Many owners will not accept an offer without a pre-approval.
  • If there is more than one offer on the same house, the pre-approved buyer has the advantage.
  • You deserve peace of mind & negotiating power by getting an approved loan before you make an offer.

Pricing the Home Incorrectly.

  • Whether a house is priced too high or too low, it can cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Obviously a house priced too low will net you less cash at closing.
  • However, a house priced too high will take longer to sell.
  • The house that sells today is the best one on the market in the price range. The sale of a house is a competitive enterprise. Ask your Realtor® to show you what homes you are competing against.
  • The saddest sign anyone can put on a sign rider is “Price Reduced.” That means the house was not priced right in the first place. The buyers will ask, “If the price was wrong, what else is wrong?”

Failing to obtain a Home Inspection from a Qualified Inspector.

  • A home inspector reports on the structural and mechanical condition of the home. A well-qualified inspector who has adhered to federal licensing standards can spot problems that you might not be able to see.
  • Expect problems to be clearly explained, repair expenses closely calculated, maintenance costs estimated, and a written report delivered within a day or two.
  • Most-contracts are contingent upon the outcome of several inspections.
  • These problems must be corrected or the buyer has every right to cancel the contract.
  • Getting an inspection up front can save money by giving you time to shop for the best repair price instead of being under pressure to get repairs done immediately.

Not knowing your Rights and Obligations.

  • The contract for sale and purchase is a legally binding document. An improperly written contract can cause the sale to fall through or cost you thousands of dollars for repairs, inspections, and remedies for title defects.
  • Some real estate companies require a “Seller’s Disclosure” form to be filled out when the property is listed.
  • It is your Realtors job to know the laws governing real estate transactions. They are involved in an on-going training program to keep up to date with these laws.
  • You deserve to have an agent who is not only knowledgeable about the transaction but is also willing to educate you throughout the process so you will feel more comfortable.

Not knowing how much their credit history can affect their ability to buy a home.

  • Before you buy a home, many of the problems on your credit history can be cleared up or even eliminated. Your mortgage professional can help you review and prepare your credit file in advance.

Basing their asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value.

  • Many times, people make their pricing decisions based on how much they paid or invested into their home. This can be an expensive mistake.
  • Overpriced homes take longer to sell and eventually net the seller less money.
  • Consult with a professional real estate agent. They can assist you in pricing your home correctly from the beginning.

Failing to “showcase” their home.

  • First impressions are the most important.
  • Experience shows that for every $100 in repairs that your home needs, a buyer will deduct $300-$500 from their offer.
  • Thoroughly clean and prepare your home before you put it on the market if you want top dollar.

Signing a listing contract with no way out.

  • Most traditional real estate agents want you to sign a listing contract with no way out.
  • When you list you home with Orlando Vacation Realty, if you are not happy with our service, you can cancel the listing agreement

Choosing the wrong agent or choosing them for the wrong reasons.

  • Many homeowners list their home with the agent who works for the biggest company.
  • You need to choose the agent with the best marketing plan and track record to sell your home.

Not knowing all of their legal rights and obligations.

  • Real estate law is complex. The contract that you will sign when selling your home is legally binding.
  • Small items that are neglected in a contract can wind up costing you thousands of dollars.
  • You need to consult a knowledgeable, professional who understands the ins and outs of a real estate transaction.

Using a real estate agent instead of a Realtor®.

  • When you’re looking for help buying or selling property, it’s important to remember that the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor®” are not synonymous.
  • Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is a non-profit trade organization that promotes real estate information, education and professional standards.
  • The NAR also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.
  • NAR members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers

Complacent marketing when selling a home.

  • When selling your home there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyer of your home will have simply walked through the front door.
  • Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer in the shortest period of time.
  • Ask your Realtor® to list for you all of the ways he/she intends to market your home and on what time-line.
  • Make sure your agent has an Aggressive Internet Marketing Campaign.

Taking for granted the “curb appeal” of your home.

  • When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. A buyer’s first impression can make or break whether they even want to go inside for a look.
  • It is estimated that more than half of all houses are sold before the buyers even get out of their cars. With that in mind, be sure to stand outside of your home and take a realistic “fresh look” and then ask yourself what can be done to make the “curb appeal” improve.
  • Also ask your Realtor’s opinion as to how to improve the curb appeal. It could make a huge difference in your final sales price.

Forgetting about health and safety issues.

  • Be upfront and disclose to your Realtor® any problems with the property. The problems are going to be discovered anyway.
  • A decade ago, health and safety issues were rarely a part of the typical real estate transaction. Today, however, it’s common for inspections relating to health, safety, and even environmental concerns to be a part of most sales contracts.
  • In many states, the seller must disclose to the buyer any knowledge of existing property problems.

Not thinking like a prospective Buyer.

  • Remember that although people can be different in personality, they tend to be the same when it comes to expectations at someone else’s expense.
  • In other words, a prospective buyer would probably like to see a perfect home from top to bottom, inside and out, when it comes to your home. Try to do as many of the following items as possible to improve the likelihood of an expedient home sale:

On the Inside:

  1. The kitchen and bathroom should shine.
  2. Quick once-over with the vacuum; carpets should be clean.
  3. Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
  4. Put dishes away, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
  5. Make all beds and put all clothes away.
  6. Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
  7. Straighten closets.
  8. Put toys away.
  9. Turn off television.
  10. Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
  11. Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free.
  12. Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables.
  13. Enhance the spaciousness of each room.

On the Outside:

  1. Sweep front walkway.
  2. Remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
  3. Park extra cars away from the property.
  4. Trim back the shrubs.
  5. Apply fresh, clean paint throughout.
  6. Clean windows and window coverings throughout.
  7. Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order.
  8. Maintain all sealant (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.) in good condition.
  9. Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
  10. Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
  11. Keep pet areas clean.

Being Home when a Buyer Tours the Property.

  • You will be better served if you allow your Realtor® to do their job without you there.
  • Most potential buyers usually feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to the real estate professional without the owners being present.
  • If people unaccompanied by an agent request to see your property, you should refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment.

Not knowing how to price your home to sell.

  • Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price.
  • Listing the home too high can be as bad as too low. If the listing price is too high, you’ll miss out on a % of buyers looking in the price range where your home should be.
  • It is a flaw in thinking that you’ll always have the opportunity to accept a lower offer.
  • Chances are the offers won’t even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price and aren’t even taking the time to look.

Not planning your move early enough.

  • Many sellers simply don’t plan their move early enough and then feel totally overwhelmed at the time of moving out of the house
  • If you are able to move at any time of the year, don’t wait until summer, the peak-moving season. Consider also that the 1st & last few days of the month are extra busy.
  • Keep a record of all expenses related to the move, some of which may be tax deductible. Fill out the Personal Household Inventory for each room.
  • The following list includes items that might fall into this category:

    * Antiques

    * Art Collections

    * Cameras

    * China Collections

    * Computer Equipment

    * Crystal

    * Figurines

    * Firearms

    * Jewelry

    * Manuscripts

    * Oriental Rugs

    * Silver

    * Stones Or Gems

    * Tapestries

    * TVs Or Stereos

  • Unless you have been given a binding moving estimate where a firm cost is established in advance, the exact cost of a move cannot be determined until after the shipment has been loaded on the van & weighed. The weight on which charges are based is calculated by weighing the van before & after loading. The total cost of the move will include transportation charges, any charges for declared valuation, plus charges for any extra services performed at your request.

Using a “Convenient” Realtor® rather than using an “Experienced” Realtor®

  • It’s critical that you have full confidence in that agent’s experience and education.
  • A skilled, knowledgeable agent should be able to explain to you exactly why your home needs to be priced at a certain level.
  • Experienced agents also know exactly what the current pool of buyers is looking for in relation to particular styles and price ranges of properties.
  • A skilled agent can recommend changes that will enhance the salability of your home, thus increasing the price – and/or decreasing the length of time before a sale.

Not Preparing Your Home To Look Attractive To Buyers.

  • Your home is competing with many more homes in the area.
  • Buyers buy on emotion, not logic. The best marketing program in the world can only bring lots of buyers into your home – it can’t make them like the home.

Signing A Long-Term Listing Without A Written, Specific Performance Guarantee And Easy-Exit Clause.

  • Don’t rely on verbal promises. Make sure that you receive a written promise stating that you can cancel without charge if the performance is other than what was promised.

Not Obtaining Written Pre-Approval For A New Home Loan For Your New Home.

  • Nothing is more heartbreaking than to sell your home and find your new dream home, only to find that you can’t obtain financing for the dream home.

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