Top Seller Mistakes

Top Seller Mistakes

Half the battle of selling a home is anticipating problems before they come up. Selling a home is a major life milestone, and it can be complex when you consider all of the steps involved: preparing and listing; making repairs; finding a buyer; navigating the closing process; and finally moving into your next place. The consequences of a mistake can impact your finances and most importantly, your peace-of-mind.

These are the TOP 10 Sellers Mistakes:


FOR SALE BY OWNER! The biggest mistake a homeowner can make is trying to sell the home on their own. According to the National Association of Realtors, FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner’s) sold their homes for 16% less than if they were agent assisted. If you are sick, you go to the doctor. If you are accused of a crime, you get an attorney. So needlessly to say, if you need to buy or sell a home you should call a Real Estate Professional with the Realtor designation. If you feel that the Realtors you have met are not up to your standard, then this leads us to number 2.

Choosing the WRONG REALTOR! Instead of picking a friend of a friend or a relative or someone who is great working with buyer, pick someone who is great at listing and selling homes. Someone with a real track record for selling homes. Someone who can sit with you and give you a plan on how they intend to sell your home.

OVERPRICING your home! If you followed #1 then you hired the right Realtor. That Realtor should bring you a strong market analysis to help guide you in your pricing strategy. It’s always best to price it right the first time rather than “test the market” with a higher price. You do not set the price – We do not set the price – The market sets the price.

ONLY considering the highest offer! The highest offer, while exciting, isn’t always the best offer given your needs. It’s common in many traditional sales to have contingencies. These are conditions that must be satisfied for the sale to close. You may have contingencies that protect the buyer’s interests like a financing contingency or an inspection contingency. It’s important to be aware of these types of contingencies because they can impact the timeline of the sale, the certainty of the sale, and the complexity. For example, you may receive a really high offer that is contingent on the buyer selling their existing house.

You’d have to consider how the added timing and uncertainty compares to a slightly lower offer without that contingency. In another scenario, you may have a buyer who is willing to be more flexible on repairs versus another who is offering a higher price but asking for repair credits.

NOT using professional photos! If you hire a Realtor and they pull out their cellular photo to snap photos of your home, ask them to leave and hire someone else. The photos of your home are the first impression most buyers and buyer agents will have of your home. They go online, on marketing pieces, on social media and so much more. Pictures MUST BE AMAZING for you to get the RIGHT BUYER in your home.

NOT preparing your home for sale! One of the challenges of listing your home on the market is showing your home to prospective buyers. Generally speaking, the cleaner, less cluttered, and more well-decorated your home is, the more appeal it can have. Clutter can make your home appear smaller and make it more difficult for buyers to picture themselves living in your home. In fact, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged, according to

Don’t forget about curb appeal. As puts it, “Your home’s exterior is like the cover of a book, setting the stage for what’s inside.” If a home is disorganized or appears in disrepair, buyers may be more skeptical about its condition when they’re considering an offer.

LIMITING showings! Once you’ve put your home on the market, you’ll have to try to cooperate when your agent wants to show it. That could mean scampering out at dinnertime for a private showing, or vacating for several hours—or most of the day—for a weekend open house. The goal is to accommodate as many buyers as possible, even if their timing is inconvenient. If your house isn’t easy to show, it won’t be easy to sell either. While interruptions and added weekend planning may feel inconvenient, just remember the end goal—a good return on your investment that can support your next move. Selling your home is a major life-changing decision, but it doesn’t have to involve aggravation, frustration, or hassle. Steer clear of these classic mistakes and you might close your sale faster and easier than you’d have thought possible.

NOT understanding the cost of selling a home! The total cost to sell a home can amount to much more than the 6% in agent commissions most people expect to pay. When you account for closing costs, repairs, and other concessions to the buyer, the costs of selling can be closer to 10% of the sale price sometimes. It all depends.

For example, if you move into your new home before selling your old one, you may have to rent a temporary place or pay for both mortgages as well as other carrying costs, such as utilities, HOA dues, taxes, and storage. Always ask agents for a net sheet at your listing appointment to see all the expected expenses. 

IGNORING major repairs! A long list of maintenance issues can turn buyers off and potentially decrease the value of your home. More importantly, buyers expect the condition of your home to match the description. Consider prioritizing the most glaring issues, particularly those that are likely to turn up during a home inspection—many buyers will require an inspection before closing.
Being Unprepared for the Next Chapter! “Oh gosh! I didn’t think it would sell that quickly”. Agents hear that quote more than they would like. Many sellers are unprepared for the next chapter. Start planning the second you put your home on the market. Where are you going to move? Have you seen homes there already? Is it time for a yard sale?

WAIKOOL TIP: Kids and pets bring enormous emotional attachment to the home. Take them out for a ride so the buyers can envision themselves in the home with their family. Its important to keep the home as neutral as possible.

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