7 most common mistakes made when selling a property



Shane Kempton

The real estate market is cooling in a number of capital cities across Australia and sellers are now finding it harder to attract buyers.

Blogger: Shane Kempton, CEO, Professionals Real Estate Group

With the balance in the national property market moving in favour of buyers, anyone listing their home for sale should avoid simple mistakes that could undermine the selling process of their property. 

While many sellers are finding it more challenging to find a buyer, the reality is that each week in Australia, thousands of properties are still being sold relatively quickly.

Sellers have to take a pragmatic approach when listing their home for sale and avoid common mistakes which may result in the property being listed for sale over a long period of time, with the seller eventually having to accept a disappointing sale price because it had been overlooked by the vast majority of property buyers.

Sellers should avoid the following most common mistakes that could frustrate the sale of their property:

1. Believing the property is worth more than its true market value. This leads to overpricing the property and the result is that after several months it remains unsold. The longer the property is on the market, the more likely it could become "stale" and the owner will have to take a lower price than would have been the case if the property had been properly priced at the beginning of the selling process.

2. Placing the home on the market before it's ready. Most times this happens because the seller gets impatient. In such cases, it is common for the property to come on the market with horrible carpet (that gets replaced during the marketing of the home) or they are painting it while it goes on the market. Presentation is everything, so get the work done before marketing the property. 

3. Overlooking the importance of the property's street appeal. If there are several homes for sale in the area at a similar price, buyers will least likely inspect the property that is poorly presented from the outside.

4. Hiring an agent based on non-business factors, i.e. they promise the owner the highest selling price. Make sure you're hiring a professional with a proven track record. It might be nice to hand over your largest asset to your nephew who just got his license, but make sure he has a mentor to keep your deal from going south. 

5. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home. This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their house on the market. Once you decide to sell your house, it's no longer a home, but a product. The property needs to be prepared as a product, marketed as a product and priced as a product. 

6. Trying to cover up problems. Home buyers are much more informed about building and maintenance issues. For example, if during a closer inspection the potential buyer finds faults with the swimming pool or bore, they quickly lose interest because they will then believe other problems have been hidden.

7. Not allowing the selling agent to do their job. For example, home opens are now a very effective way of selling a home because buyers like to visit a home in an informal manner. Some owners, however, do not like home opens and as a result they are excluding a large number of potential buyers from viewing the property. Once a home owner hires an experienced selling agent, they should follow their advice.

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About the blogger

Shane Kempton

Shane Kempton

Shane Kempton is the inaugural Group CEO of Professionals Real Estate Group which has nearly 300 offices located throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Professionals have been operating in Australia for four decades and provide a wide range of real estate services to consumers.