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8 Things First-Time Home Sellers Often Get Wrong in Today’s Market

1. Overpricing your property

Just because sellers dominate now, don’t think “red-hot market = super high list price.” A smarter strategy is to list lower than your goal and let the market do its magic.

2. Skimping on home showings

As soon as the house is listed, it’s vital to allow as many qualified buyers view it as possible, to help build demand.

3. Staging slip-ups

With houses selling so fast, you may think you needn’t bother with professional staging. Still, if you want to fetch that dream price that you’ve heard is within reach, it could pay to present your home perfectly, with some professional home-staging help.

4. Seeing only dollar signs

A big payoff is tantalizing, but money isn’t everything. Many people look at price as the end-all-be-all, but a smart seller considers a variety of factors to make an educated decision. For instance, the highest offer may have a loan with an appraisal contingency, while a somewhat lower offer might be in cash.

5. Pouncing on an implausible offer

Buyers know it’s a seller’s market too, so some may make huge bids to beat out the competition—offers that can fall apart in financing or upon appraisal or inspection. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is! Work with your real estate agent to understand who is bidding and how serious they are, to avoid having your deal unravel.

6. For Sale by Owner blunders

While “for sale by owner” sounds like a direct route to extra profit, cutting brokers out of the picture is a risk.

Sellers may be tempted to try selling their house on their own to save the agent’s commission, but doing so severely limits your exposure. FSBO homes, after all, can’t be listed on the Multiple Listing Service, which is where most buyers shop for homes. And this exposure is crucial if you want to reach a large audience and fetch the best price.

In this era of bidding wars, having an agent at your side is a huge help. Navigating a flurry of “highest and best offer” bids is tough for a rookie!

7. Not having a new place

Avoid winding up with an anxious buyer on one hand and no place to go on the other.

It can be hard to find the right new home now, so start searching immediately once your property comes to the market. Then be sure to negotiate an extended closing or leaseback, or even make the sale contingent upon purchasing another home. If all else fails, line up a rental.

8. Assuming this hot market will last

Inexperienced sellers may turn down a worthy offer or even forestall listing their home, hoping prices will continue to go up. However, as interest rates continue to creep up the pool of buyers is reduced.


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