5 Things that sellers should avoid then selling their homes

20 Sep 2011


In order to get the best price for their property in the shortest possible time, not only estate agents but sellers too need to up their game.

Here are five things that sellers should avoid:

1. Thinking their property is unique, thus worth more money
Sellers consider their homes special; most likely they've put a lot of heart, soul, and money into fixing it up. It may be where they started a family or built a lifetime of memories. When a seller believes their home is unique, however, they also believe it is worth more. Sellers then end up fixating on an asking price that's too high, despite the advice of an agent. If it's priced too high, a home will sit on the market for months. Unfortunately, nine out of 10 times, the seller will end up selling for less money than they would have gotten if the home was listed at an appropriate price from the start.

2. The home is a mess
Sellers: It's important to pick up the home before a showing. Potential buyers touring a home usually don't appreciate stepping on a child's toy and fail to see the charm of a dog's discarded tennis ball. Buyers want to feel that a home is clean and well maintained. If it's not, they'll likely move on to the next.

3. Hanging around during an open house
There's a reason why real estate agents don't want sellers sticking around when potential buyers arrive. While a seller may be perfectly friendly and agreeable, they can alienate buyers or make them feel uncomfortable without even knowing it.

4. Holding out for extra money at the last minute
Say a buyer made an offer that was less than what the seller wants. The agent and the buyer have gone back and forth with a series of counter offers. The seller is close to achieving their dream price but they insist on trying to squeeze more out of the buyer. In demanding more money, the seller may have created bad will, as well as stressed those involved in the purchase. When it comes down to it, extracting that extra little bit may actually cost the seller more at the end of the transaction.

5. Not cleaning up before turning over the keys
Sellers should imagine themselves as the future buyer. Would they want to walk into their new home and find twelve cans of old paint in the garage? Or an old sofa with a broken leg in the storeroom? The tip to sellers is to try to make the home as spotless as possible for the new owners. They'll appreciate it and so will the agent.

Sellers should view their homes with a critical eye, and always assume that potential buyers are going to spot the faults. Over a period of time, one tends to turn a blind eye and overlook problem areas.