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5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Listing Your Home for Sale

  1. Set your asking price too high. This is the number one mistake that sellers make. A high asking price dramatically reduces the number of qualified buyers (and their agents) who will look at or consider your house and it lengthens the time the house will remain on the market unsold. A slightly-below-market asking price significantly increases buyer activity and may even generate multiple offers that bring the selling price up to the seller’s original hoped-for amount!
  2. Rely on out-of-date information. In a volatile marketplace, comparable sales from last year or sometimes even last month may be too old to be valuable. Be sure to examine figures for properties near yours that have similar attributes and have sold recently; asking prices have little significance—rely on recent sales only.
  3. Don’t read the fine print. You’ve heard the expression “Buyer beware”? Well, the same goes for sellers! Read every document carefully and ask for explanations of any terms you don’t understand. There are no stupid questions when it comes to contracts. Your real estate agent should be able to give you clear explanations; if not, you might question whether your agents has the skills to represent you!
  4. Dismiss the importance of “online curb appeal.” Today’s tech-savvy buyers begin their home search online and photographs are the first thing they look at. Make sure the photos show your property clearly. Appeal to buyers by posting pictures of one or two features you consider really special about your home.
  5. Represent yourself. Many homeowners think they will save money by listing their home for sale without the benefit of a real estate agent. In fact the opposite is true. Not only do such owners increase their stress and compromise their security, they end up netting less than those who enlist—and pay for—the services of a skilled agent.

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