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Avoid these costly pitfalls when selling your home

Posted by Justin Rollo December 9, 2013 12:22 PM

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You've decided to sell your home. Great! Now what? Many folks who make the decision to sell their home fall victim to the following four pitfalls. By educating yourself about some common missteps you can save yourself from making a costly mistake when hiring an agent and listing your home.

1) Overpricing - It's no surprise that every owner wants the highest possible sale price for their property. This desire is one that some agents take advantage of by selling you on an unrealistically high list price. Once they have a signed listing agreement they'll bank on price reductions to sell your home. The problem with this tactic is that it costs homeowners thousands of dollars. A property that is originally listed too high not only squanders its first few weeks on market but also carries a stigma throughout its life on-market due to the unrealistic original list price. All this results in lower demand down the road and a lower sale price. It's important to remember when interviewing agents that the highest suggested price is not always the best. Make sure to ask your agent for specifics on how they arrived at their price suggestion.

2) Not Managing Expectations - Real estate is very much a perception based industry. Buyers want to feel like they are receiving good value. Many times agents try to stretch the truth by counting a glorified hallway as an extra bedroom, only to have potential buyers disheartened when actually viewing the home. One of the jobs of a good agent is to accentuate the home's positives and frame things in a way that adds perceived value to a home. Rather than listing a home with an extra bedroom, listing it with a utility room can turn a disappointed buyer into an excited one as they discover a useful extra space. Many times in our industry perception is reality and buyers who leave a property feeling great about all the "additional" value a home offered will be far more likely to put in an offer than those who left disappointed about the tiny bedroom.

3) Not Making the Best First Impression - You know the old saying a picture is worth 1,000 words? Well in real estate they are probably worth 100,000. Too many times sellers allow their agents to take photos with a cell phone or take photos themselves. Today's buyers are making snap decisions viewing homes online and are basing these judgements off your photos. Hence they need to be high definition, clear, and purposeful. You are telling a story with your media plan and want to entice buyers to see your home in person. The single best way to turn off potential buyers is with poorly lit, poorly edited, and poorly executed photos. Additionally, video is becoming huge in real estate as even more of the house hunting process is taking place online. Ask your agent about adding HD Video to your listing to further entice interested buyers to your property.

4) Not having a Customized Marketing Plan - Our last pitfall is one that many sellers fall into. Many agents you will interview will not have a specific plan to market your home. They will instead rely on scripts and a standard listing presentation to get you to sign on the dotted line. After that they'll simply list your home on MLS and hope buyers find it. Marketing for homes cannot be one-size-fits-all. Every home has a distinct set of buyers that will be interested in it and every set of buyers has a distinct way to be reached. Ask your agent who your home will appeal to and how they plan to proactively market to them. If their plan relies heavily around submitting your listing to hundreds of sites you've never heard of you may want to stay away.

If you're interested in selling your home and would like to set up a consultation to discuss a plan for your property please fill out the short form below or click here.

Please note by submitting this form you allow a local agent to contact you about your home. Upon submission you will be taken to Propertiesinthehub.com and asked to fill out another brief questionaire about your home.

Do you have any experience with any of these pitfalls? Can you suggest any others? Tweet us @propinthehub or use #listingpitfalls.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Justin Rollo of RE/Max Realty Plus in South Boston provides an analytical and irreverent look at the Boston real estate market. More »
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Justin Rollo
Real Estate Sales
 
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Lieberman Law Office
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