Published January 16, 2013
It can be hard for homesellers to shed their emotional attachments with their residence, but letting that cloud their judgment and ignore a real estate agent’s advice could be costly.
“Many homeowners that don’t heed the advice of the real estate agent sadly catch on once the house has been sitting there,” says Michael Corbett, Trulia's real estate expert and author. “When there’s no activity and no offers, they are much more willing to jump in and do the simple things they need to do but didn’t.”
While the housing market is showing signs of a sustainable recovery, it’s still important that homesellers listen to the professionals on how to get their home sold. Here are three pieces of advice that real estate agents say sellers often choose to ignore-at their own detriment.
Mistake No.1 Overpricing the Home
It’s understandable that a seller wants to get top dollar for a home, but overpricing from the start can result in a much lower price in the end.
“Usually the top issue is price, especially for folks who have been in the home for a long period of time,” says Carter Morris, broker/owner or Century 21 Randall Morris & Associates in San Marcos, Texas.
Emotional ties cause owners to think their home is worth more and is better than other homes on the local market—even if they don’t have any hard data to back up the asking price.
When a home isn’t priced at the correct level, it will linger on the market with no interest, which can lead to major price cuts.
“Many sellers will go with the theory of ‘let’s just price it high and see what happens,’” says Corbett. “It’s a terrible mistake because it won’t sell and the longer a property sits on the market the more stale it becomes.”
Mistake No.2 Ignoring Necessary Repairs
It’s hard to swallow spending money on home repairs and upgrades just to have another person enjoy them, but experts say it takes money to make more money in the housing market.
“If you don’t take care of the visible maintenance problems it sends a clear message to buyers that the house hasn’t been maintained,” says Corbett.
He adds that homesellers don’t think any upgrades are necessary to garner interest because they wrongly assume everyone is going to love the house as much as they do and will simply overlook minor imperfections. “It’s much cheaper to do it up front. It’s a much better selling tool to take care of all the physical maintenance issues.”
Mistake No.3: Not Showing Enough
To get a home moving on a market, it’s important to get as many potential buyers into the home as possible. Agents advise sellers to keep homes in ready-to-show condition for any last-minute dropins or showings and to be able to leave the property when it’s being shown.
According to Morris, some owners ignore this bit of advice because they either don’t have confidence in their realtor to highlight all the salient points on the house or they don’t feel comfortable having strangers coming in their home when they aren’t there. Whatever the reason, limiting access will slow down the entire sale process. “Many disputes are on not letting the agent work the sale and have ease in the ability to show the home,” says Morris.