Big 5 mistakes to avoid when selling

Big 5 mistakes to avoid when selling

06 Jul 2011

Staying emotionally detached is one of the biggest challenges for any home seller, but necessary if you don’t want to put buyers off and lose the sale.

Staying emotionally detached is one of the biggest challenges for anyone selling a home.

“Once you decide to sell your property, it’s a mistake to see it as anything more than a commodity to be packaged, priced and marketed,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

He says this might sound callous, but the truth is that potential buyers are going to come in and ‘kick the tires’ and you can’t afford – emotionally or financially – to get upset if they make negative comments or fail to appreciate all the hard work it has taken to get the property into good condition.

Everitt has the following advice on what to avoid for home sellers:

– Shrewd buyers, he says, will often deliberately make negative observations to try to put sellers on the back foot during price negotiations. “But with the help of an experienced and reputable agent, sellers can usually avoid this trap, as well as the four other major mistakes that can easily scotch a successful sale.”

– Putting the property on the market before it’s ready. This often happens, he says, when the seller has a relocation deadline and is in a hurry to sell. “But first impressions really do count in property sales so if there’s a horrible carpet to replace or the house needs painting, do the work before your agent begins marketing.”

– Not having all the financial information you need. “Home sellers need to know what the outstanding balance is on their own mortgage, for example, and how much notice they need to give the bank in order to avoid a pre-payment penalty. They also need an agent, he says, who will give them the most up-to-date and comprehensive market intelligence on home sales in their area.

– Pricing the home based on what you want (or need) to net. “This pricing strategy always ends in failure,” he says, “because while the seller can control the asking price, the market will dictate the eventual selling price. And the market generally consists of buyers who are avid comparative shoppers and very quick to spot (and avoid) overpriced properties.”

A good way to check what other similar properties in your area, street or complex have recently sold for is to get an online property valuation report. This way you can feel comfortable that your asking price is in line with the current market. Your agent, as Everitt says, should also have provided this information.

– Trying to cover up problems, or not disclosing them. The best course of action, says Everitt, is to rectify any problems or defects before you put the property on the market, but if this is not possible, you must be totally frank with your agent and potential buyers and be willing to negotiate a fair price for your home in its true condition.

Anything less than such honesty is very likely to lead to legal action being taken against you, and the loss of more than any profit you might have made on the property sale – especially now that the Consumer Protection Act is in force.”