There is a lot involved when it comes to selling a home. With dozens of moving parts, there are many places sellers can find themselves making mistakes and ultimately costing themselves money; the real estate market is constantly evolving, and what worked years ago may not work now. The good news is- thousands of homes are sold every day thanks to REALTORS® who have made it their job to guide and educate their sellers through this process. Below is a list of the most common mistakes home sellers make as well as recommendations for how to avoid them! 

The fact is all Real Estate agents and companies are NOT the same. Be sure your agent is a full-time agent who sells homes regularly. Bonus points if they are a registered REALTOR®. The industry is constantly evolving and you want a skilled agent familiar with the current market environment who can best negotiate on your behalf to get you your ideal property with the best price and terms. The average real estate agent in New England sells about four homes per year. That is simply not enough experience to properly manage the complexities of a modern real estate transaction.

How to avoid this: Don’t just hire someone you know or a friend of a friend because you feel obligated.  Selling your largest asset should be handled by the most experienced and proven agent you can find.  

There are several reasons why this is not in the seller’s best interest. There are endless statistics that show homes that are listed for sale by owner (FSBO) take longer to sell and sell for less money. Home sellers don’t have access to the sophisticated marketing avenues to create the necessary demand with current buyers for their homes. Yet some people still try it!  Saving on commission does not mean you will save money.  Selling for more is what will make you the most money. By having a REALTOR, you are also expanding the buyer pool due to more exposure.

How to avoid this: Hire an exceptional agent and company that will properly market your home and navigate you through your home sale. The right agent can get your home sold for up to 18% more than a homeowner doing it themselves.

In the world of selling homes, less is undoubtedly more!  There is no better way to make a buyer feel like they are in a bigger space than taking out as much as possible. 

How to avoid this: In the months leading up to listing your home get rid of anything that you will not be taking to your next home.  You will have to dispose of or move these items anyway, so better to do it before listing for sale. Also, depersonalize as much as possible so buyers can imagine what their new life in the property would be like. Less clutter also allows buyers to better envision what they would do with a space and where they would put all of their own things.

Overpricing a home is a very common mistake. Popular belief is that the higher you list the more you receive. Buyers typically are working with a REALTOR® as well so they will be provided with recent home sale data from their Buyer Agent.  Buyers know what homes in the area are selling for and will not be willing to overpay for a property.  If yours is priced higher than your competition buyers WILL know it.  

How to avoid this:  The best way to avoid this is to look at what homes around you have sold for.  Try hard to look at them as if you were a buyer.  What would you pay for your home?  Don’t always hire the agent who tells you the highest price.  Some agents will try this just to obtain your business knowing they will let you down later.

Selling a home is about marketing in order to create as much demand as possible. More demand on your property translates to more money in your pocket.

How to avoid this: Interview at least three agents and compare their marketing plans. Also, inquire about their sales experience.  Make sure the company and agent have a significant online presence. Get the specifics on the different types of marketing the agent and company intend to do. The plan should include several avenues not just placing the property on MLS and hoping for the best.

If you want a buyer to buy your home then you have to let them see it!  There is no denying that selling a home is a bit of work but to ensure that you get top dollar it’s worth the occasional inconvenience.

How to avoid this: Be as accommodating as you can be to buyers.  There is nothing wrong with requiring something like 12-hour notice for showings; that is typical.  What’s important is not to just flat-out deny showings. When sellers do that, we often see buyers go someplace else and never come back.  You don’t want to risk that with any buyer.

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