What are the Most Common Seller Mistakes?


I Hired My Neighbor Because He Knows Our Neighborhood

That’s great, but knowing every street in your sub doesn’t make your neighborhood expert the best agent for the job. Back in when I got my real estate license it was important. Now, all the information we need is online.

When you are in the process of finding a real estate agent, the factors that will most effect you are:

  • The agent’s production – number of homes they typically sell
  • The agent’s experience – your investment deserves to be handled with experience and you will need expert guidance
  • The agent’s reviews – are they good negotiators? Do they offer you good resources to help you through the process? Are they new to real estate? Do they have a good reputation? Are they available when you need them?


I Hired The Agent That Gave Us The “Best” Price

According to the National Association of Realtors, most sellers choose an agent by the agent’s suggested listing price. I’m not kidding. Big mistake. Agents know every seller wants the highest price.

Using price as the hiring criteria invites unscrupulous agents who inflate comparables to obtain a listing. Once under contract, to the seller’s bitter disappointment the agent constantly pounds through reductions. In the end, the seller loses valuable market time and maybe even money.

The market is what it is. The value is what it is. Your listing price does not determine the amount a buyer is willing to offer, it only determines the length of time in which you will receive it. Buyers have buyer representatives and appraisal contingencies that will prevent them from overpaying, no matter what price you begin with.

First, do your homework and choose a good agent.

Second, come to an agreement with that agent on the listing price. Most agents will work with you on list price as long as you are within reason.


Using Online “Guesstimates” to Price Your Home

Accurately pricing your home for sale is perhaps the most the most critical part of a successful sale. It is also the most difficult. I wrote in depth about Accurately Pricing Your Home here.

Accurately pricing your home for sale is part science and part skill on the part of your agent. If it were as easy as listing at your Zillow Zestimate, everyone would be doing it, and in the process giving thousands of dollars away.

Selling at the highest price possible and successfully navigating the appraisal process is currently one of the largest hurdles. Below are some things to consider when evaluating a changing market:

  • Current market trends—are days on market changing?
  • Recently sold homes—did they have reductions? How do their updates compare to yours?
  • Current competing listings—what else is for sale in your price point and what does your home offer over the competition?


Not Hiring a Forecaster” to Price Your Home

Weather forecasters are not successful because they can tell us when it is raining; they’re successful because they forecast the weather in advance so we can properly prepare for it.

It’s the same with a good real estate agent. Having the ability to accurately forecast coming market conditions so that you can take advantage of them is a rare gift. I would hire that one.

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