6 Common Seller Mistakes

Some things Sellers think are okay to do, but are never a good idea:

  1. Pricing with a lot of wiggle room.  Sellers normally end up selling their houses for less than if they would have priced it competitively from day one.  Nobody is afraid to make a low offer on a house that has been on the market for a looooooong time.
  2. Not painting when they know the house needs paint.  Sellers say “Since I don’t want to make the wrong decision in picking a color, I just won’t paint.  The buyer might end up repainting again anyway?”  Truth is very few buyers have any vision.  If the paint is ugly and/or in poor shape, it makes the house feel bad.  Buyers don’t buy houses they don’t feel good in, unless they can get a bargain.  Plus, if your house isn’t selling, you know that your current paint color isn’t working.
  3. ANY type of allowance.  If you write in the marketing remarks that there is a painting/carpeting/decorating allowance, it immediately tells everybody that your house has a problem.  People don’t want to buy your problem.  You know who is attracted to allowances?  Bargain shoppers who want to get your house for below it’s market value.  Also, if you build an allowance into the asking price, it means your house is competing with better houses.  I was in two houses today.  Both were the same size in the same neighborhood.  One was move in ready and gorgeous.  The other had stained up carpet.  The nice one was $204k.  The not so nice one was $214k but had a carpet allowance.  Which would you pick?  Yeah, me too!
  4. Not moving everything out.  I see this one all the time.  The seller no longer lives in the house, but some of the closets have stuff in it and the garage is full.  You are going to have to finish moving sooner or later.  Do it now so the house looks better.  People want “Move in Ready”, not “Move OUT ready” condition.
  5. Checking out.  I mean mentally.  I see a lot of sellers who have vacated their houses and never look back.  After a few weeks, the floors are dirty, there is dust everywhere, there are 3 phone books on the front stoop and mother nature begins to reclaim the once nicely mulched flower bed.  Then there are the business cards.  Many realtors leave a card on the kitchen counter……which tells the next buyer that many other buyers have looked at the house with their agent and none of them wanted it.
  6. Reducing the price too late in the game.  Many sellers decide to reduce their listing price at exactly the same time all the other sellers do.  If everybody drops their list price by $5k all in the same week, then your house is no more competitive among other listings than it was before.  The goal of a price reduction is to become more competitive.  So, if you’re going to reduce, the sooner the better.

This is just the short list, but enough to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot.

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