Mistake #1. Using a real estate agent instead of a
When you're looking for help buying or selling
property, it's important to remember that the terms "real estate agent"
and "Realtor" are not synonymous. Realtors can provide an extra level of
service, and to be a
Realtor you must be a member of the National
Association of Realtors (NAR). The equivalent organization in Canada is
the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Both are non-profit trade
organizations that promote real estate information, education and
professional standards. The National Association of Realtors also has
earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property
rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible. The
NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the
principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers. Realtor
business practices are monitored at local board levels. Arbitration and
disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or
board members. This local monitoring keeps Realtors directly accountable
to the individual consumers they serve and therefore the consumer is more
likely to find better service and accountability by using a
Mistake #2. Complacent marketing when selling a
When selling your home there are no guarantees that the
ultimate buyer of your home will have simply walked through the front
door. In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer.
Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum
exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer in the shortest period
of time. Ask your Realtor to list for you all of the ways he/she intends
to market your home and on what time-line. Also, be sure to ask about the
home being advertised on the Internet.
Mistake #3. Taking for
granted the "curb appeal" of your home
When you're preparing
your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. A
buyer's first impression can make or break whether they even want to go
inside for a look. It is estimated that more than half of all houses are
sold before the buyers even get out of their cars. With that in mind, be
sure to stand outside of your home and take a realistic "fresh look" and
then ask yourself what can be done to make the "curb appeal" improve. Also
ask your Realtor's opinion as to how to improve the curb appeal. It could
make a huge difference in your final sales price.
Forgetting about health and safety issues
Be upfront and
disclose to your Realtor any problems with the property. The problems are
going to be discovered anyway. A decade ago, health and safety issues were
rarely a part of the typical real estate transaction. Today, however, it's
common for inspections relating to health, safety, and even environmental
concerns to be a part of most sales contracts. Moreover, in many states,
the seller must disclose to the buyer any knowledge of existing property
problems. In many cases, these issues have been or can be factored into
the home's listing price.
Mistake #5. Forgetting what you would
want to see if you were the buyer of your home
although people can be different in personality, they tend to be the same
when it comes to expectations at someone else's expense. In other words, a
prospective buyer would probably like to see a perfect home from top to
bottom, inside and out, when it comes to your home. Try to do as many of
the following items as possible to improve the likelihood of an expedient
On the outside
1) Sweep front walkway.
newspapers, bikes and toys.
3) Park extra cars away from the
4) Trim back the shrubs.
5) Apply fresh, clean paint
6) Clean windows and window coverings throughout.
Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order.
8) Maintain all
sealant (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.)in good condition.
sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
10) Mow the lawn
frequently and plant flowers.
11) Keep pet areas clean.
1) The kitchen and bathroom should shine.
once-over with the vacuum; carpets should be clean.
3) Place fresh
flowers in the main rooms.
4) Put dishes away, unless setting a formal
display for decoration.
5) Make all beds and put all clothes
6) Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
8) Put toys away.
9) Turn off television.
Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
11) Keep pets out of the way and
pet areas clean and odor-free.
12) Secure jewelry, cash, prescription
medication and other
13) Enhance the spaciousness of each
Mistake #6. Thinking you need to be in the home to
explain things to a prospective buyer
You will be better served
if you allow your Realtor to do their job without you there. Most
potential buyers usually feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to
the real estate professional without the owners being present. If people
unaccompanied by an agent request to see your property, you should refer
them to your real estate professional for an
Mistake #7. Not knowing how to price your home to
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is
listing it at the correct price. It's one of several areas where the
assistance of a skilled real estate agent can more than pay for itself.
Listing the home too high can be as bad as too low. If the listing price
is too high, you'll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the
price range where your home should be. This is the flaw in thinking that
you'll always have the opportunity to accept a lower offer. Chances are
the offers won't even come in, because the buyers who would be most
interested in your home have been scared off by the price and aren't even
taking the time to look. By the time the price is corrected, you've
already lost exposure to a large group of potential buyers who have most
likely bought another home that was priced right. The listing
price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or
falling. It's critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is
moving - both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer. Again,
an experienced, well-trained agent is always in touch with market trends -
often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on
what a property is worth if sold as-is, right now.
Not planning your move earlier enough
Many sellers simply don't
plan their move early enough and then feel totally overwhelmed at the time
of moving out of the house. If you are able to move at any time of the
year, don't wait until summer, the peak-moving season. Consider also that
the first and last few days of the month are extra busy. If you plan to
sell your house, get it on the market as soon as possible. Keep a record
of all expenses related to the move, some of which may be tax deductible.
Fill out the Personal Household Inventory for each room. This is important
for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as
a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as nearly as possible,
the year of purchase and original cost of each item. Attach any invoices
or records of purchase to the completed inventory. Prepare a separate
high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of
"extraordinary" value. The following list includes items that might fall
into this category:
* Art Collections
* China Collections
* Computer Equipment
* Stones Or Gems
* TVs Or
Also, unless you have been given a binding moving estimate
where a firm cost is established in advance, the exact cost of a move
cannot be determined until after the shipment has been loaded on the van
and weighed. The weight on which charges are based is calculated by
weighing the van before and after loading. The total cost of the move will
include transportation charges, any charges for declared valuation, plus
charges for any extra services performed at your request. All of these
charges are based on tariff rate schedules.
Mistake #9. Using a
"convenient" Realtor rather than using an experienced
When working with a real estate agent, it's critical
that you have full confidence in that agent's experience and education. A
skilled, knowledgeable agent should be able to explain to you exactly why
your home needs to be priced at a certain level - compared to recent
listings and sales of homes similar to yours. Experienced agents also know
exactly what the current pool of buyers are looking for in relation to
particular styles and price ranges of properties. A skilled agent can
recommend changes that will enhance the salability of your home, thus
increasing the price - and/or decreasing the length of time before a
For more information contact The Korn Team at 816-224-KORN (5676) or email us
at [email protected]
Copyright © 2001 The Korn Team & By Referral Only, Inc.