ArticlesSelling August 22, 2022

Other Seller’s Mistakes

Zillow has compiled a list of “don’ts” to help people avoid the pitfalls of an otherwise successful sale.

Entering a contract to sell your home before you get qualified to buy another is problematic. Your financial situation may have shift since your last purchase, and you may not meet the requirements for a loan, or you may not be able to sell at a price that enables you to buy the kind of replacement home you desire. You might have to rent or buy another house that is far from ideal. before you decide to sell the house, get preapproved by a lender you have confidence in and study the housing market in the area that you want to live to get a good idea how much it will realistically cost you to buy a replacement home. Make plans in case you have to move right away.

Wasting Time on Unqualified Buyers

It is wasted effort to show your home to someone who cannot buy it. An example is the seller who spent two weeks preparing his home for an acquaintance who wanted to buy his home. The seller spent $1,000 removing an old shed and met with the prospect several times to discuss price and terms. It was well into the process when the seller found out the prospect could not qualify for a loan. Real Estate agents spend considerable effort weeding out showing to nonqualified and unqualified home shoppers.


Whenever possible, don’t be home when showing. This is impossible or impractical if you are selling the home yourself. If you have a real estate agent, leave when the house is shown.

Lurking sellers make buyers nervous. Buyers may feel they are intruding and then rush through. They may be hesitant to talk about changes to the home or features they don’t like. Buyers will feel uncomfortable closely inspecting the house in the presence of the owners. It’s easier for buyers to visualize the home being theirs when they have a chance to critique and discuss the home among themselves. If you must be home, try to stay out of the way and answer questions only if asked.

Unless there’s a real reason for it, don’t as your agent to be present for all showings, either. That will limit your showing activity. Othe agents want privacy with their buyers and they do not usually have time to work around your agent’s schedule.

Waiting It Out

If you decide to wait, you are joining the thousands of other homebuyers who have also decided to wait. When a few decide it’s time to take the plunge, you’re already too late. If you need/want to sell now, then sell now. There will never be a better time.

Not taking the First Bid

This happens repeatedly. The seller gets a bite early on and is suddenly filled with confidence that the house will easily sell and maybe even get involved in a bidding war. It feels like you’re standing over a pond packed with hungry fish. The first offer doesn’t seem great and you naturally assume there must be bigger, juicer fish to be had. So, you throw the not-so-small-after-all fish back in. Big mistake. That “tiddler” is often the “catch of the day”.

Becoming Friends with the Buyer

It’s appropriate, even important, to be friendly, but don’t let the personal nature of someone being in your home allow you to get into too many long discussions with the buyers, because personality conflicts often cloud judgements. Watch what is said in discussing items related to the house and neighborhood. Remember, this could be their new home. You’re no doubt excited about moving. But buyers will start second guessing. A casual statement about the home “really being too small for a growing family” or “the schools are going through some changes” might be enough innocent chatter to squash their interest.

Excerpted from my book “Selling Secrets – You Can’t Afford to Miss”
Ricardo Parente, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Realty | Winter Park, FL

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