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HOW TO AVOID THE SEVEN MOST COSTLY MISTAKES WHEN SELLING                                                                                                                     

1. KNOW THE MARKET

Do some homework. What else is for sale and has sold near your home? Is it a Seller’s market or a Buyer’s market?

2. GET YOUR HOUSE READY

Do the repairs, paint, wax floors, clean, de-clutter. Make it as appealing as possible, inside and out.

3. SELECT THE "RIGHT" AGENT

Choose an agent who knows your neighborhood and how your house fits into the market; gives you information you need, INCLUDING written substantiation on how to price your house; and tells you what to expect in the transaction. You must feel confident in your trust of how the agent will market your home, keep you informed, and protect your interests in negotiation. Be cautious of agents who offer to list your home with a discounted fee --- usually this relates to either reduced service or the agent’s lack of confidence in their worth. Although it is tempting to save money, you must remember that agents are business people…if they do not have a concern for their income will they have respect for yours?

4. PRICE IT RIGHT

Correct pricing is crucial in any market. A complete written market analysis will indicate the proper range for the list price. How does your house compare with others on the market? If you are TOO HIGH, it will take longer, necessitate price reduction(s), or might not sell at all. If you are TOO LOW, you might sell fast. BUT, would you have been able to sell higher and realize more return? If you are well below the indicated market range, you risk agents and buyers assuming there is something wrong with the house and selling time might be longer. This area is where your homework and the agent’s knowledge are critical. Beware of listing your house with an agent who recommends a price without accurate substantiation and knowledge of the other houses that have sold or currently on the market, either by taking your listing at any price you want, or one who encourages you to list below the indicated market range.  If you are unsure, interview more than one agent.

5. IF YOUR HOUSE IS NOT SELLING, MAKE THE NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS (or have patience)

Is your house easy to show every day? Are you getting showings? What are agents and buyers saying after seeing your house? Do you need to do anything to make your home more salable? Price? Fix-up? If the problem seems to be market conditions (buyers’ market, time of year) then sometimes, you just need to wait for the right buyer.

6. ELIMINATE EMOTION

Selling a house is a business transaction. While you have emotional ties to your home this is the time to put emotion aside to accomplish your goal. The buyer is buying a house - not your home. While each of the parties is naturally considering their own situation, it should not be an adversarial transaction.

7. EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN SELLING "BY OWNER"

While some people are successful in this endeavor, statistics show that most sellers find they need professional assistance. Marketing (or finding a buyer) is a very small part of the value of having an agent. More important are the knowledge of the agent in legal aspects, mortgage financing, problem resolution, negotiation skills, and the protection against costly mistakes that could exceed the "savings" that are intended. Bear in mind that it is likely that your buyer will have a Buyer’s Agent who is representing the buyer …not you. This agent will expect you to pay a brokerage fee of 3%-5% of the sales price (for doing the work of 2 agents.) As you consider selling "By Owner", you should factor in the brokerage fee for the buyer’s agent, the cost for an attorney to ensure your contract is valid and all State laws and disclosures are followed,  and your estimated costs for marketing. Then compare your time and "risk factor" against hiring a listing agent (who represents you) for 1-3% more.

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(Credit is given to Kellie Lanphere, RE/MAX of Cedar Creek, Denver, CO)

 

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