This is the most common Seller mistake. The result of over pricing is increased market time. Even if the price is eventually lowered your home can become "stale" and end up selling for less than it would have if it were priced to the market originally.
Many times sellers base their pricing on unrelated or unrealistic information. It could include things such as how much you will pay for your next home, how much you originally paid for your present home or based on unreliable information such as what a neighbor says it should sell for.
An honest market evaluation that is well researched will give you the information that you need to make the right choice. It usually will cost you money if you "Dutch Auction" your home. A Dutch Auction occurs when you set the original price at an exaggerated value and then drop it five thousand dollars every week or so. The reason this is not recommended is that there is not an unlimited number of Buyers for your home. When you initially put your home on the market you will experience the greatest activity and number of showings during the first one to three weeks. During this time all the Buyers that are currently looking for a home similar to your home will be exposed to it. After the first week or two you will only have new Buyers that become interested.
You want to put your best price forward when you have the very best opportunity to sell it. It is very difficult to get a Buyer back in after the Buyer has made his mind up about your property so you want to start with a realistic price up front. Over pricing usually just helps the neighbors to sell their home because your high priced home will make their home look great. When a home is over priced the people that would buy it often don't even see it because they are looking at larger or better homes in a different price range.
The result of over pricing is increased market time and even if the price is eventually lowered your home can have become "stale" and end up selling for less than it would have if it were priced to the market originally.
2. Failing to "Showcase" your home. (Doing too little)
Make sure your property shows the best it can prior to listing it for sale. Some Buyers cannot see past a minor problem so they discount your home. Poor maintenance can be construed as an indication that there are other underlying problems with your home. Buyers can be poor judges of the cost of repairs, and usually overestimate possible expenses when making their offer. Sellers are always better off doing the work aheadof time.
3. Over-improving your home. (Doing too much)
You can spend thousands of dollars in upgrades only to find that the Buyer isn't willing to pay for them. You need to be aware that only certain upgrades are cost effective. The "rule of thumb" is that the easy inexpensive items you can fixare worthwhile and you will usually sell faster and most likely recoup your investment in floor coverings. Always consult with your Agent before committing to big dollar upgrades before selling. But, if you have over-improved your home, at least you have been able to benefit from the improvements and enjoyed them over the years :-)
4. Choosing the wrong Agent or choosing your agent for the wrong reasons.
Many homeowners list with the agent who tells them the highest asking price or the lowest commissions. The bottom line is that you should choose the best Agent to get the job done with the least chances of legal entanglements and other headaches and for the highest NET dollar value in your pocket.
As with many things in life what you see on the surface isn't necessarily what you get. Of course anyone can tell you anything as far as price goes but be sure that the numbers are solidly substantiated with fact. It could keep you from making a mistake. The strategy with some Agents is to get you committed with a listing contract and then work on pressuring you to reduce your price later. Watch out for this "High Price Tactic”.
Low commissions should be a red light to warn you of possible dangers. Usually people are worth what you pay them. You need to investigate their marketing plan to sell your home. In addition, reputation in the industry is something you need to consider and investigate. If an Agent has had problems with other Agents they will possibly prefer to show other agents listings before your home, especially if they will be paid less than selling a home down the street. This can reduce exposure and less activity means less chance of selling for top dollar in a reasonable amount of time. And when you sit down to negotiate a contract on your home how will you feel with an Agent working for you that couldn't negotiate his/her own pay cheque?
5. Using the "Hard Sell" during showings.
Buying a home is a very emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do that if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made.
Good Agents let the buyers explore your home on their own and since the agent knows their client they point out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by overselling. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favour of a less expensive home without the features.
One expression in the industry is that you " sell the sizzle not the steak ".Home Sellers usually sell steak. It is usually best to not be at home at all and let the Agent do the home tour with the client. If there are features that need explanation have them highlighted on the feature sheets or have your Agent post note cards to draw attention to them.
6. Failing to take the first offer seriously.
Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come, especially if they are fortunate enough to get an Offer in the first few days or week after listing. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after your home is placed on the market.
Experience tells us that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process.
Two reasons: the first purchaser submits an offer right away because they have previously seen every other similar home on the market, now they saw your home, it's perfect, it was priced right.Also, your home is most presentable early in the marketing period, and the amount a purchaser is willing to pay for your home diminishes with the length of time it's been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and only, offer.
7. Not knowing your rights and obligations.
The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars or tie up your home needlessly for weeks as Buyers shop for a better deal while you are on hold. You need an experienced Agent who knows the "ins and outs" of the business and can fully explain the contract, or at least have your lawyer review it before acceptance.