10 Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Costly Mistake #1.  Using a "convenient" Realtor rather than using an experienced Realtor
When working with a real estate agent, 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 - compared to recent listings and sales of homes similar to yours.  Experienced agents also know exactly what the current pool of buyers are 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.  Using someone with a real estate license like a friend who's "part time" or "can help you out" can cause problems later.  These people may also not be up on the latest disclosure laws and regulations, may not have the skills to handle complicated issues, and could cause you litigation worries down the road.  Use a lender for your loans, use a full time professional Realtor for helping you buy and sell property.  Better yet - use a licensed real estate BROKER, they can serve you best!!
Costly Mistake #2.  Using a real estate agent (someone with a license) 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 provide an extra level of service, and to be a Realtor you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  The equivalent organization in Canada is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Both are non-profit trade organizations that promote real estate information, education and professional standards.  The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.  The NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers.  Realtor business practices are monitored at local board levels.  Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or board members.  This local oversight keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve and therefore the consumer is more likely to find better service and accountability by using a Realtor.  Today it's not uncommon for mortgage lenders to try to list your home for a reduced fee, in the hopes that they can earn money on your next purchase AND earn fees on the home loan you receive.  True professionals let the lenders do the loans, and the Realtors do the house selling or purchase assistance.  If you use a person with just a "real estate license" they will not have access to all the UAR purchase forms, may get you involved with litigation - with no means to settle it on a local level, as there is no trade organization or local real estate board that monitors their actions...

Costly Mistake #3.  Complacent marketing when selling a home
When selling your home there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyer of your home will simply walk through the front door. In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer.  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. Also, be sure to ask about the home being advertised on the Internet, and his own personal web site with photos, too.
Costly Mistake #4  Trying to negotiate a cheap commission with your agent when selling
Most good Realtors charge a fair price to sell a home.  If you try to squeeze all of the profit out of
a sale from your agent - how hard will they work to sell your home?  If an agent reduces their fee,
many times they will place your home in the MLS system and pay the cooperating broker a
reduced fee also (since they took your listing for less).  The problem with this is, many agents will
refuse to show your home, as they see your agent is not paying a customary commission for the
sale - this hurts your showings.  Some agents do not tell an owner that they are paying a reduced
fee to the agent who has the buyer - thus deceiving the owner.  Some owners (if they knew this)
would want the full commission for a buyer's agent put into the MLS - however, if that happens,
then your agent would make only a small fee for all the work they are doing - and most (not all)
agents I know, don't work very hard for a small amount - or for free.  If an agent has a buyer for his own listing, he may not want to show his buyer YOUR home.  Why?  Cause he could make a lot more in commissions by selling another agent's listing that is paying a full commission.  It's a fact of the market.  Agents work hard when they know they are being paid.  Consider carefully whether you will try to negotiate a small selling commission...it is really in YOUR best interest??  If you do negotiate a lower commission when selling - insist your agent place it in the MLS for a full commission to the buyer's agent (thus helping you) and reduce his own fee, instead.

Costly Mistake #5.  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.

Costly Mistake #6.
 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.  Moreover, in many states, the seller must disclosure to the buyer any knowledge of existing property problems.  In many cases, these issues have been or can be factored into the home's listing price.

Costly Mistake #7.  Forgetting what you would want to see if you were the buyer of your home
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.  Call me for "Rod's Checklist" of how to make your home show better!

Costly Mistake #8.  Thinking you need to be at home to explain things to a prospective buyer
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 cans speak freely to their Realtor without the owners being present. If people unaccompanied by an agent request to see your property, simply hand them a marketing flyer on your property and ask them to call me, I can then insure that the buyers have the ability to purchase your home should they want to do so.  That way, we don't waste time showing your home to buyers who are not serious about buying it.

Costly Mistake #9.  Not pricing your home correctly or not following your agent's pricing advice.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price.  It's one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate agent can more than pay for itself.  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 percentage of buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. This is the 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.  By the time the price is corrected, you've already lost exposure to a large group of potential buyers.  The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling.  It's critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving - both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer.  Again, an experienced, well-trained agent is always in touch with market trends - often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as-is, right now.  Many sellers feel that a Realtor wants to underprice a home in order to sell it quickly & earn a commission.  However, this is simply not true with most professional, good Realtors.  As professionals, our job is to try to obtain the HIGHEST price for our clients, and yet still sell the home in a time that the sellers prefer.  Most agents will try to work with a seller to get them the most money, in the shortest amount of time, and with the fewest problems.

Costly Mistake #10.  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 first and last few days of the month are extra busy. If you plan to sell your house, get it on the market as soon as possible.  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. This is important for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as nearly as possible, the year of purchase and original cost of each item. 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.  All of these charges are based on tariff rate schedules.

Don't make the mistake of choosing the wrong agent!...email me at rod@rodusa.com or call me directly at: 435-668-7885.  Service to you, is important to me!