When selling a home there are several common pitfalls that most home sellers make at one time or another. This article will discuss the 7 most common mistakes most home sellers make and ways to avoid them.

1. Failure to effectively market the property.

Many home sellers fail to ask their realtors how their property is going to be marketed. This is an important part of selling every home. Although traditional styles of marketing like newspaper ads and open houses are still an important tool in the overall marketing strategy, it is important that your REALTOR® uses other methods as well to attract prospects.

Ask your sales professional to provide a list of things they will do to market your home. River City Realty has a comprehensive 21 Point Marketing Strategy that we use for selling every home.

2. Basing your asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value.

We often encounter sellers that have a very clear idea of what they would like to list their home for. Sometimes this price is very close to actual market value, and other times it is based on subjective value, such as what a seller paid for the house, or their emotional connection to the home.

Market value is determined by looking at comparable sales in your neighbourhood based on a variety of factors such as the style, age and features and overall condition of your home. At River City Realty we offer a no obligation FREE market evaluation, this will give you an accurate assessment of what your home is worth in today’s market place.

If your home is not priced competitively, you reduce your chances of selling your property, as buyers will be comparing your home to other larger, newer or nicer homes listed at the same price. When your price is later lowered, buyers may be wary because they suspect other reasons the house has remained unsold for so long.

3. Failing to "show" the home at its best.

First impressions can be everything, and a house that is not clean or too cluttered can scare away a prospective buyer before they have had a real chance to assess the home. Sellers should make necessary repairs, and spruce up the house inside and out, keep it clean an neat for all showings. A home that is untidy may signal to buyers that it has been poorly maintained, this will cause buyers to offer less for a home as they will often leave a large margin of error for the cost of repairs.

4. Over-improving your home before you sell it.

As much as we have recommended that it is important to spruce up your home prior to selling, it is also important to not go too far and over improve your home. Although some homes may benefit from some renovations, other times you will not get a return on investment for improving a home prior to selling.

A professional Real Estate agent will be able to give you an accurate assessment of your home prior to renovations and give you advise on what areas of the home could use some improvements. Most REALTORS® will also be able to give you an estimated asking price for your home if you did some renovations.

Next you should get a written estimate for improvement costs, if the cost of improvements is less than the difference in Market Value your home would be worth after renovations, it may be wise to do some upgrading.

Talk to your realtor to discuss which upgrades may be cost effective, but generally speaking, the most important and saleable areas of any home are the kitchen and bathrooms.

5. Choosing the wrong REALTOR®

Many homeowners list with the real estate sales representative who tells them the highest price, or a popular Real Estate company in the area. Make sure when interviewing a realtor you ask them questions such as "on average, how many days are your listings on the market? How does this compare to the board average?" or "what is your average list to sale price ratio?".

For a list of 10 important questions to ask when interviewing a REALTOR®, read our 10 Questions when Interviewing a Realtor free report.

Also take into account a realtors reputation for negotiating and how much experience they have. More experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time and with less hassles along the way.

6. Failing to take the first offer seriously.

Many sellers believe that the first offer will be one of many to come, hoping to hold out for a higher price, especially if the offer comes in soon after the home is listed. It is important to take into account the current market conditions, and other factors surrounding your own personal motivation in terms of selling. Often times the first offer can be the best one.

Most houses see the greatest amount of traffic within the first 21 days of listing, and generally speaking most offers that come in the first 21 days are often the best ones. Many sellers decline the first offer and then down the road end up reducing their asking price and selling for less than the initial offer. Don’t let how quickly an offer came in determine your decision to accept it or not.

7. Not fully understanding your rights and obligations.

Real estate contracts can be complex and contain a lot of language that many sellers are not familiar with. Never sign a contract without fully understanding all of your rights and responsibilities.

A good REALTOR® will fully explain your contract and will not pressure you to sign something without fully understanding it first. At River City Realty, if you are unhappy with our services at anytime, you can cancel your listing contract with us!