Here are some of the absolute worst mistakes you can make when selling your house:
Signing a Standard Agency Agreement: The most dangerous thing you can sign is a general selling agreement. Once you sign, you are at the mercy of the agent. Agents may say their agreement is “standard“. But it is designed to the agent’s standard, not to your standards. It totally protects agents, not you.
Never sign a contract: unless you are guaranteed that it protects your basic rights. Seek independent legal advice or use the Consumer Protection Guarantee for home-sellers which has been designed in consultation with legal experts and consumer advocates. This Guarantee is available to all home-sellers at no charge and with no obligation. It has been described as a “lie detector” test for agents. If an agent does not want to sign it, do not hire the agent, no matter what you are told.
Not Trusting the Agent: If you don’t trust the agent, don’t hire them. The most important thing in this relationship (or any) is trust. Before you choose your agent, ask many questions, check references, test their negotiating skills and ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this person handling the sale.
Signing up For Too Long: If you sign a ‘standard’ real estate agreement, and, later, you are not happy with the agent, it is very hard to get out. Don’t sign anything that locks you up for a long time. The longer the agent has your home, the more chance that you will be pressured to lower your price. Be cautious, and insist on a short selling agreement.
Poor Negotiator: The main reason people lose money is that their agent is a bad negotiator. To discover if an agent is a skilled negotiator, ask the agent to teach you something about negotiation. If you are not impressed with what you hear, if you do not learn something worthwhile, do not hire the agent.
Rejecting the Early Buyers: It can be a huge mistake to reject early buyers for your home. Many sellers have discovered, from bitter experience, that the buyers they rejected when their home was first placed for sale were the buyers prepared to pay the highest price.
A good agent will select the best buyers and bring them to your home. This can be your best chance to get the best price. The number of buyers for your home will get lower not higher, as time goes on. And your price will often get lower too. Consider all offers you receive in the beginning.
Paying Too Much in Commission: The most important point is what you get for the commission you pay. lf you get a lower price than the agent quoted you, then you should not be paying any commission. The wrong agent can do tremendous damage to the value of your home.
Not staging your home: A staged home sells for more money. Do, however, be careful what you spend on improvements to your home. Your taste, and the buyers taste, more often than not will differ. You rarely get back more than half the cost of your improvements when you sell. Do not spend large sums on home improvement immediately prior to selling your home.