The 5 Biggest Mistakes Owners Make When Selling Their Home

As a seller, there are lots of mistakes you can make that can sabotage your efforts to sell your house. The five biggest mistakes owners make when selling their home are listed below. If you take care to avoid these pitfalls, you’ll have better success when selling your home.

1. Rejecting Early Offers

Many sellers have learned the hard way that rejecting early offers can be a big mistake. People get really interested in buying a home when they become emotionally vested in that property. First offers may or may not be made with emotional investment. But when you give the buyers the tiniest reason to hope that—yes, they could have this house—it draws them in so that they are emotionally attached to the house. One reason that sellers reject early offers is that they’re too low, especially considering how little time the property’s been on the market. But instead of discounting early offers out of hand, make a counteroffer. At this early stage, you don’t need to go very low. A reasonable counteroffer is enough to establish that important emotional connection to your house. Another reason not to reject early offers is because you can use that low offer to leverage a better offer from another buyer. Finally, if you end up with no other offers, at least you’ll have something to fall back on; but only if you’ve created and maintained the emotional connection.

2. Not Trusting Your Agent

When you look for a real estate agent, you should do your due diligence. Check local references, ask lots of questions, and review their online reputation. If a seller has done all this, there’s no reason to think they shouldn’t trust their agent. Yet, many do. A difference of opinion can trigger the distrust. Maybe the agent comes up with a much lower listing price than the seller. Or maybe the agent is recommending a different course of action with regard to showings, inspections, or even what color to repaint the front door. Whatever the reason that you’ve begun to distrust your agent, try to curb that distrust. Remember that you’ve already researched the best agent, and this is who you came up with. They have years of real estate buying and selling experience. How many do you have? They meet with hundreds of people in the industry every week, and spend their free time acquiring new knowledge and skills to make their business grow. Your agent knows what they’re doing and they need and deserve your trust in order to best represent your interests.

3. Auctioning Your Home for Sale

There are times when auctions make sense; usually when the owners are diseased, and the heirs, who live long-distance, want to liquidate as soon as possible so they can divvy up the proceeds. Most times, auctions don't work out the best for sellers. Here’s why. You won’t get the best price for your property. Auction buyers aren’t going to offer the highest price that the home is worth, because they’re looking for a bargain. Auction companies often charge some of the highest commission rates in the industry. Auctions are a lot of work, and the companies that conduct them demand high rates for their work. Auction agents often pressure sellers to accept the earliest and lowest offers, just to get the deal done, take their commission, and get out. An auction should be the last option that you consider for selling your home.

4. Refusing to Sell for Emotional Reasons

Sometimes sellers have petty reasons for not selling to a particular buyer. Maybe the seller knows the buyer and doesn’t want them to own the property. Or the seller found out through the agent that the buyer made a negative comment about an aspect of the home, like the choice of carpet, or the rooster motif in the kitchen. Sellers shouldn’t let emotional reasons get in the way of objective reasoning. The business of selling a house is…business. Once the transaction is over and the seller’s moved on to a new home, all those meaningless reactions will fall away into the background, where they belong. That’s why sellers shouldn’t let temporary feelings get in the way of making a sale.

5. Failing to Take Care of Minor Home Repairs

Sellers who have lived in their homes for many years often fail to properly prepare the property for presentation. You might have gotten used to the cracked front porch step, that stain in the carpet, and having to shake the handle on the toilet after flushing. But buyers won’t see it like that. They’ll be scrutinizing every square inch of the house, looking for major—and minor—flaws. Your job as a seller is to repair as many of these flaws as possible before you ever have your first showing.

The very best advice you can take when selling your home in San Diego is listen to your real estate agent's suggestions. Your real estate agent has information and helpful tips for how to best take care of minor home repairs, which offers to counter, and which offers to accept. In today's market, you should be able to sell your home without a glitch when you avoid these five common mistakes.

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