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Five mistakes to avoid when selling your home
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 • Posted June 30, 2009 10:00 PM

Making mistakes on your own can teach you important things. Just think about the first time you touched a hot object. But wouldn’t you have rather learned that lesson by observing someone else putting his hand on a hot stove? Fortunately, you don’t have to make your own mistakes when selling your home. Plenty of other people have provided examples of what not to do when your home is on the market.

Setting the price too high

What’s wrong with asking for a lot? A buyer can always offer less. True, but most won’t. Not if the home is priced out of line with other similar homes in the area. Instead, buyers will assume that the home’s owners are unreasonable and negotiations will not lead to a fair price. A home that’s priced higher than the market will help sell other homes, though. Think about it: if you saw two similar homes and one had a much lower asking price, which one would you submit an offer on?

Homes with prices set too high usually stay on the market longer than average and often sell for less than homes that are fairly priced to start with.

Putting the house on the market too soon

You may be ready to sell, but is your house ready to be shown? Have you fixed leaky faucets, spruced up the landscaping, repainted the dingy dining room walls, replaced the broken mirror in the master bath? Sure, you learned to live with these minor annoyances, but a prospective buyer doesn’t want to. Also, clear out clutter and neutralize any offensive or odd odors.

Not making your house easy to show

There’s a saying in marketing that you should make it as easy as possible for the buyer to buy. In retail, that means things like accepting credit cards and being open during times when your customers can visit your store. To sell your house, you want to make it as convenient as possible for prospective buyers to see your home. A lockbox will allow your agent to show prospective buyers your house at the buyers’ convenience. Keep your home in “showing” condition as much as possible. And don’t forget to secure your pets when you’re away.

Hanging around

Do you know the best place to be when buyers come to view your home? Anywhere. Anywhere but the house, that is. Buyers don’t want the owners looking over their shoulder as they form their opinion of the property. They want to be free to discuss the pros and cons of the house without fear of offending the owners. If for some reason you can’t leave the house, try to give the buyers and their agent as much space as possible. Don’t worry—if they have questions for you, they will find you.

Not knowing what you’re getting into

I’m not going to tell you that no one should sell their home on their own. Some people achieve good results. Those sellers who are successful typically know quite a bit about the local real estate market, have bought and sold many homes before, understand how to market a property, have good negotiating skills, and have plenty of time to take care of all the necessary tasks involved in this complex process.

If you are lacking in one or more of these areas, you probably will come out ahead by relying on a Texas Realtor to sell your home. In fact, many people who go it alone end up hiring a Realtor after some time without success. Of those who do sell on their own, a good number decide they will hire a professional the next time.

If you strike out on your own and make a mistake pricing your property or negotiating the transaction, you may leave more money on the table than you saved by not hiring a Texas Realtor in the first place. And that is one selling mistake you definitely want to avoid.

For more information, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.

For your real estate needs, please contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000.

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