There are literally millions of real estate articles discussing mistakes home sellers make. However, a majority of these articles list the most common mistakes made, like overpricing their home or having showing restrictions. While common mistakes can certainly prohibit a home sale they’re not the only types of mistakes that sellers make. Sometimes there are off the wall mistakes that nobody discusses or writes about, until now. Here are 7 of the most off the wall mistakes home sellers have made, are making or will make.
Contacting the Buyers Agent
Some sellers don’t see the harm in contacting the buyer’s agent directly. Regardless of their reason, this type of contact should be avoided at all costs. Sellers need to let their listing agent do their job. If they want feedback from a showing their agent needs to call. If they’re upset by something going on in the transaction they need to have a conversation with their agent. And if their agent deems it necessary to contact the buyer’s agent then they should be the ones to do so.
Why? For starters, agents never want to talk to people that aren’t their clients. Secondly, they may create a situation or make a bad situation worse. There are seller’s who’ve contacted the buyer’s agent to yell at them because closing was delayed. This accomplishes absolutely nothing! Then there are seller’s who contact the buyer’s agent in the midst of the transaction to tell them how desperate they are to close asap. Guess what? When the closing was delayed and the listing agent went to negotiate a credit to extend the contract the buyer’s agent knew they didn’t have to pay a dime due to the seller’s desperation. While sellers feel they may know best odds are they don’t. An experienced agent has encountered many obstacles throughout their career and knows how to handle them. And if they don’t they will most certainly have a broker who does.
It’s not uncommon for sellers and buyers to share their real estate journey online, DON’T! Believe it or not buyers and even real estate agents will investigate a seller trying to figure out their position. Are they going through a divorce and desperate to sell? Did the seller’s employer transfer them? Is the seller going to accept an offer, but the listing agent is trying to get a little more? Posting these types of things online can negatively impact a home sale, even if the seller’s accounts are private. The world is smaller than people think especially when you’re buying or selling real estate in the area you currently reside in.
Real estate contracts spell out what’s included in a home sale, such as appliances. While some contracts state the “refrigerator, range and dishwasher” are included, it’s not brand or model specific. However, the contract isn’t referring to any refrigerator, range or dishwasher, it’s the ones currently in the home. So sellers cannot remove their $40,000 appliances and replace them with $2,000 appliances. Yes, this has and will happen, so it’s not uncommon for some real estate agents or buyers to take pictures and write down the serial number of the appliances if it’s not included in the contract.
The same goes for fixtures, such as curtain rods or lighting. If there are items a seller wants to exclude from the sale it needs to be part of the contract. This way there won’t be any surprises at the final walk-through before closing. Sellers need to avoid these types of mistakes, which can inevitably delay closing or bring on a lawsuit.
There is ZERO reason for a seller to put post-it notes all of their home pointing out “features” or listing instructions. Home buyers can see the cabinets are 42″ high and that the master bedroom closet has built-ins. While post-it notes are handy, they’re ugly and can take away from the overall appeal of a home and how it shows. If there are features a buyer won’t be able to see then it should be added to the MLS description and mentioned to the buyer’s agent, if necessary. Also, sellers need to keep in mind what they consider an upgrade isn’t always an upgrade, sometimes it’s standard or outdated and should never be highlighted.
Refusing to Leave
Yes, it’s true some sellers change their mind about selling their home and decide not to move. The obvious issue with this is they signed a legal binding contract selling their home to another party. Sometimes reality hits them, they pack up their belongings and close. Other times they don’t, which very well could end up in the buyer filing a lawsuit against them. Before a seller lists their home for sale they need to make sure this is what they really want to d.o They also need to know where they’re going to ensure they’re not scrambling at the last minute.
Covering Up Mold on Walls & Ceilings
Mold is a serious issue and can be deadly, so it should never be taken lightly. However, some sellers think spraying a little bleach and painting over the area will be sufficient enough, it’s not! Sellers need to determine why they have mold. Is it a plumbing leak or roof leak? Once they find the source they need to have it fixed. Depending on the cause it may be covered by homeowners insurance.
Then they should have the mold professionally remediated and tested to ensure the problem has been rectified. The seller also needs to disclose this information to all potential buyers. Will it scare some buyers away? Absolutely, but if it’s professionally remediated and a clean certificate is provided it will put a lot of buyers at ease. Sellers who decide to do it themselves, cover it up and not disclose it could face a lawsuit.
Not Factoring in Liens
It’s rare, but sometimes sellers don’t think or realize the line of equity they have on their home needs to be paid at closing. The same goes for any other type of financial liens they’ve taken out against their home.
Liens on a home have to be paid at closing, which may net a seller less than expected. In some cases, the seller may even have to bring money to closing or try to qualify for a short sale.
While a top listing agent will educate a seller on this aspect of the selling process some sellers don’t know or forget they have liens, it’s rare, but happens. So it’s imperative sellers know what mortgages and liens are on the property and the amount owed for each. This amount then needs to be added to all of the closing fees and subtracted from the projected sales price. This is the number the seller will net and it needs to work for them. Otherwise, they may put themselves in a position they don’t want to be in after closing.
Sometimes lack of education or common sense can create unnecessary obstacles for a home seller in a real estate transaction. However, if they hire a top Realtor a majority of these issues can be avoided. Just keep in mind not all real estate agents are created equal. So a seller really needs to screen listing agents before they hire one.
Please consider spreading the word and sharing; 7 Off the Wall Mistakes Home Sellers Make
— Michelle Gibson (@WellingtonHomez) June 4, 2019
Additional Real Estate Advice from Top Professionals
Home selling mistakes can negatively impact a home appraisal, which might just blow up the transaction altogether if the home under appraises. Now, if the home buyer is paying cash they may move forward. However, if the buyer is obtaining financing the home needs to appraise. If it doesn’t the seller needs to decrease the contracted price to the appraised price or the buyer can come up with the difference. Another option is for the seller and buyer to try meeting in the middle.
One of the most common mistakes home sellers make is hiring the lying agent. The one who tells them everything they want to hear. That their home will defy the odds and sell well above market value even though it won’t. It’s show ready even though it’s a complete mess and has so much deferred maintenance. Sellers need a top Realtor who’s going to tell them the truth, not what they want to hear.
Sellers aren’t the only ones who make mistakes, buyers do too! Whether a person is buying or selling they really need to hire an agent who can guide them through the process. By doing so they should be able to avoid a majority of mistakes that home buyers and sellers make.
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “7 Off the Wall Mistakes Home Sellers Make.”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.