Quick Search

Buy Rent


15 Costly Mistakes Made By Home Sellers





The greatest problem facing home-sellers is lack of information.  Some people only buy or sell a home once or twice in their lives.  Even those who sell more often, rarely have the experience or the information to know how to get the best selling price with the least risk.

Your home is probably your greatest financial asset.  When you sell it, you should take the time to consider all your options.  It may have taken you years to save to buy your home and then years to pay for it.  A few hours of research can give you big rewards.  Be careful.

Selling your home can be a nightmare of frustration and disappointment.  It can cost you thousands of dollars, either in selling too cheaply or in needless expenses.

It need not be this way!

Selling your home should be a pleasant and rewarding experience.  You should receive the highest possible price at the lowest possible cost.

This information will help you avoid fifteen costly mistakes made by home-sellers.  It will help you achieve the highest price at the lowest cost.  It will make selling your home a pleasant and rewarding experience.


MISTAKE 1 - Auction

Auctions are also riddled with deceit. One of the worst deceptions is the "reserve" price. Agents will tell you how your home can sell for thousands above reserve. But the reserve is your lowest price! It is the minimum you will accept, under pressure. Many buyers who buy at auctions openly admit they would have paid more. Insist on an agent who focuses on a buyer's maximum price not your minimum price. Agents will also tell you that auction prices go up. Do not be tempted. The reason auctions go up in price is simple: they start low!

Don't start low. Start high. You always get a much higher price by starting high. If agents were forced by law to guarantee that no home-sellers could lose at auctions, the auction system would cease to exist. Auctions might be best for agents. Be warned: They are not best for you.


MISTAKE 2 - Advertising Costs

Most real estate advertising is a waste of money! An agent who is confident in selling your home will never need to charge you for advertising.

Make sure it is not your money. Many agents advertise to promote themselves, not your home.

Home-sellers are often pressured to pay thousands of dollars for advertising. The industry is addicted to advertising. There are dozens of advertising awards, yet client satisfaction awards are almost unknown. Many agents receive huge kickbacks from advertisers and this money is not passed on to sellers. Many agents raise their profiles and their profits at your expense. Do not allow this to happen to you.

Never pay money in advance to an agent for advertising. And, DON'T SIGN ANTHING which asks you to pay for advertising before your property is sold.


MISTAKE 3 - Choosing a High Quoting Agent

Some agents tell lies to win your business!

Be very careful that you do not choose the agent who tells you the biggest lie about the sale price of your property. This is called "buying your business". Also, be wary of agents who try to talk you into auction by telling you stories of incredible prices. This is a common trick. 

If you choose an agent based on the selling price they quote you, you may be badly disappointed. If you suspect that an agent is attempting to "buy" your business with an over estimated sale price estimate, insist they give you their estimate in writing. Insist, also, that they charge you nothing if they sell for less than the price they estimated. This will identify the agents who are enticing you with false quotes.



MISTAKE 4 - No Negotiation Skills

Poor negotiators will cost you a lot of money!

Negotiation skills are vital to ensuring you get the highest possible price. There are several Principles of Real Estate Negotiation. Ask an agent to quote some to you.

You will soon discover who is the best negotiator. A good negotiator can easily create up to an extra ten percent on your selling price. Work it out, it can mean thousands of dollars. If you have an attractive home you don't need a salesperson as much as you need a negotiator.

Be very careful: most agents are poor negotiators. Insist on an agent who is a skilled negotiator.

"Negotiation skills are vital to ensuring you get the highest possible price."





MISTAKE 5 - Open Inspections

Your home should only be inspected by Genuine Pre-Qualified home-buyers.

They are an invitation to thieves who will return later. Do not allow anyone into your home unless you have two assurances: 1) they have been identified; 2) they are interested in buying it. Do you really want dozens of strangers opening your wardrobes and inspecting your private possessions? Insist on your security. Protect yourself, your home and your possessions. 'Sticky beaks' and thieves will not buy your home. Only buyers will buy. Therefore, only buyers should inspect. And do not restrict genuine buyers to one or two hours a week. Allow these people to inspect anytime. Do not allow others to inspect at any time! Be aware that your home may not be insured when you hold an open inspection. The Police Service will offer you similar advice. Please, never open your home for public inspection.

MISTAKE 6 - Using a Bait Price or No Price 

Experts have proven that almost 90% of buyers will not enquire about a property with 'no price'.

Never allow an agent to use a low false price to 'bait' buyers. If you use a price range or guide or a 'by negotiation' strategy, you are encouraging buyers to offer you less. Your 'bait' price will 'hook' you more than the buyers! A lower 'bait' price attracts the wrong buyers!  Your lowest price will advertised can quickly become the highest price you will get.

"Many buyers confess to becoming frustrated with no price, or bait price strategies!" 


 MISTAKE 7 - Revealing Your Reason

Your reason for selling is confidential!

No one, other than the agent you trust, should know your reason for selling. If your reason is revealed it can severely hurt your chance of obtaining the highest price. This is especially true if you need to sell by a certain date. If buyers know the reason you are selling it can weaken your negotiating position. Too often, many agents say, "Must sell because bought elsewhere/financial problems/job transfer." If asked the reason for selling, simply say that you are "re-locating". Don't let the reason you are selling your home be the reason you receive a lower price. Your reason for selling is confidential.

"If your reason is revealed it can severely hurt your chance of obtaining the highest price."




MISTAKE 8 - No Guarantee

Avoid agents who do not offer a Guarantee!

All agents will ask you to sign an agreement before you sell your property.  But remember that you are being asked to sign their agreement.  Many sellers bitterly regret signing that agreement with the agent.  The solution is simple: If they want you to sign their agreement, you must insist that they sign your guarantee first.  Just say to the agent,

"I will not sign your agreement until you sign my guarantee."

The best agents will gladly GUARANTEE their services.

MISTAKE 9 - Ignoring Early Buyer Offers

High prices often come early, low prices often come late!

Be careful. The buyer offers you reject when your home is first placed for sale may be the buyers prepared to pay the best price. The number of buyers for your home usually gets lower, not higher, as time goes on. 

Lots of buyer activity over time could damage the value of your home. It tells buyers that your home is not sold. And homes which are not sold often require a big reduction to make them sell.

The highest price comes when your home is fresh, not when it's stale.

The best agents are those who can find the best buyer willing to pay the best price in the shortest time and with the least cost to you.






MISTAKE 10 - Over Capitalising

Many home improvements do not improve your price!

Be careful what you spend on major improvements to your home. What suits you may not suit every buyer. Waiting for a buyer with the same taste as you may take years. The main purpose of home improvements is to improve your enjoyment, not to improve your price. 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.



MISTAKE 10 - No Buyer Records

The best agents keep detailed records of buyers!

Most agents get dozens of enquiries from buyers each month. Some get hundreds. Why don't they keep records of these people - names, details and phone numbers? Why don't they keep in contact with the genuine buyers? If they do keep records, why do they want to keep advertising to the same buyers? The answer is simple - self promotion. They call it 'profile'

Be careful. Most agents advertise difference properties to attract the same buyers. 

Many agents are commission only, unskilled and keep no buyer records. Do not pay for the incompetence of any agent. 

"The best agents have one 24 hour office contact number that records every buyer enquiry, not multiple agent numbers."




MISTAKE 12 - Sparkle Presentation

Do not confuse improvements with presentation. Make your home sparkle and your price will shine. Pay attention to little things which create a big impression - the front garden and the first appearance of your home. Stand back and look at what buyers will see when they arrive. Cleanliness is vital. One of the most important and most overlooked aspects of selling a home is its smell. Pleasant scents create pleasant moods, whereas bad odours will be an instant repellent to a buyer. A home which sparkles always sells for a higher price.



MISTAKE 13 - Not Trusting the Agent

If you don't trust the agent, don't hire the agent!

A major ingredient in any relationship, business or personal, is trust.  Before you choose your agent, ask many questions, check references, ask for a guarantee, test their negotiating skills and ask yourself a BIG question:  Do I feel comfortable with this person handling the sale of my family home?  If your answer is 'no', do not hire the agent.  Once you decide on an agent, give the agent your trust and confidence.  If, later, you lose your trust, you can dismiss the agent (if you received a guarantee).  In the meantime, show your trust.  The best agents are worthy of your trust.  They won't let you down.

MISTAKE 14 - Open Listing

The more agents you employ the lower will be your price!

Do not place your home with several agents.  You may think this will increase your chance of finding a buyer.  But it decreases your chance of getting the highest price. The price will be forgotten. Buyers shop around.  They will use the agent who can obtain your home at the lowest price.  Choose one agent, one you like and trust.

MISTAKE 15 - Selecting a Discount or Cheap Agent

Cheap agents get cheap prices!

Be careful choosing an agent based purely on their fees. If agents give their own money away, what do you think they will do with your money?!

1 Magnolia Parade, Victoria Point, QLD | PO Box 3032, Victoria Point, QLD 4165 | Phone: 07 3207 6000 | Fax: 07 3207 8600 | Email: sales@tidboldrealestate.com.au