Selling your house is one of the most important transactions of your life.

To conclude a sale quickly, at the best price, and reduce the stress associated to the sale of your house, we suggest avoiding the nine following mistakes:

Choosing a broker for the wrong reasons

It is imperative to trust the real estate broker representing you. You have to have faith in his/her abilities and experience. You need a broker who can easily explain to you the entire listing process, a broker who knows the market really well, has a pool of potential buyers and can give you sound advice to increase your chances of selling. Do not choose the broker who provided the highest evaluation of your property. Choose a broker who provided you with a fair evaluation and who can supply the best performing tools.

The asking price is too high or too low

Setting the asking price should not be taken lightly. Asking too much is as harmful as not asking enough. You have to know that the average buyer will visit 15 to 20 houses before making a decision.

If your property does not compare favourably to other ones in the same price range, potential buyers will not take you seriously. The results: your property will stay on the market longer and buyers will have the false impression that something is wrong with your house.

Choose a real estate broker that offers the highest price

One of the oldest tricks in this business is to hold the promise of a “very good, almost too good” selling price. The contract is signed and then, the price is reduced. Inform yourself on the latest sales of houses similar to yours in the neighbourhood and find out the asking prices of your competitors. It’s not you or the broker that will buy the house but a potential buyer. The selling price will be determined only by the market.

Inadequate preparation of your house for the visits

The owner seller controls the quality of the product and the listing real estate broker controls de quality of the marketing efforts. Each year, North-American companies spend billions of dollars in product presentations and package designs. The look is vital. You can’t relocate your house and it would be very difficult to change the layout. However, you can improve the look:

  • Clean like you never cleaned before.
  • Pick-up, rearrange, place and repair.

Correcting little imperfections might seem insignificant, but it can produce a very favourable first impression on the buyers who could already imagine themselves living in your house. The decision to buy a house is more emotional than logical, thus, let the buyer visit as he/she pleases and ensure he/she feels comfortable doing so.

Miscommunicating the information about your house to potential buyers

One of the most important reasons to entrust the sale of your house to a real estate broker is to take advantage of his/her expertise in advertising and specialized marketing tools. Make sure your real estate broker is available and advertises in newspapers with the greatest advertising impact.

  • Allow the real estate broker to install a sign for sale
  • Do not limit the length of time the buyers can take to visit your house
  • Advertise your house in local newspapers
  • List your house on the Internet, ideally on a personalized web site

Applying undue pressure on the buyers as they visit the house

Nobody likes being pressured, particularly when buying a house. Buyers could wonder why you are such in rush to sell.

If you follow the buyers in their steps while providing all kinds of details that seem important to you, such as a new water heater or a large pantry, you will make the buyer uncomfortable. Let the buyer discover the house on his/her own.

Hide some defects in the house

As the owner seller, make sure you reveal everything. The informed seller will take the lead and inform the buyer of any known defects that could impact the value of the house. Then, the buyer can fill in his/her offer to purchase with confidence and adjust his/her budget accordingly. This will facilitate the process of the inspection of the property.

Not knowing your buyer

Your objective is to control the pace of the negotiation process and, wherever possible, set a time limit. You must find out the buyer’s motivation:

  • Does he/she need to move soon?
  • Does he/she have the financial means to conclude the sale?

Knowing these factors, the negotiation will be to your advantage because you will know until what point you can insist to get what you want.

Not knowing our financial limits to buy the next house

80% of people sell their house with the objective of buying another one that better fits their needs. When you put your house on the market, establish clearly your objectives with your real estate broker and start the research process.

As it is the case with the sale process, it is important to know where you stand with your purchase project. Deal with your financial obligations with a mortgage broker and reserve your interest rate for the upcoming months; this will increase your control over the negotiation process.

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