Top 10 Biggest Home-Seller Mistakes

ActiveRain asked me to participate in a survey last week.  Along with 999 other Realtors®, I was asked what the top 10 seller mistakes are.  The results of that survey were just released.  As expected, there were not a whole lot of surprises on it…at least to us as the Realtors®.

Don’t be silly, sellers.  If you want to achieve your desired outcome, you should avoid these Top 10 Biggest Home Seller Mistakes that happen everyday.   Without further adieu, here’s a quick infographic of those top mistakes that we, as Realtors®, see home sellers make most commonly.

Top 10 Biggest Home-Seller Mistakes

Real Estate Seller's Top Mistakes

#1 – Overpriced Home:  77%

Now, you may think that the top ranked “Overpriced Home” may seem a bit “uhh, yeah, no kidding…,” but you’d be surprised how many people don’t quite understand the implications of doing so.  Some sellers think, “well, let’s just put it on at that [overpriced] list price and just see what happens…we can reduce later if we need to.”  The house goes on the market, thousands of buyers and Realtors® see it, and once they see that [overpriced] list price, they say or think “haha, yeah right…NEXT!”  The property sits stagnant for 2-, 3-, 4-weeks, and then finally reduces the price.  The price reduction triggers another round of thousands of buyers and Realtors® seeing the listing again.  The next thought is, “Oh wow, they finally became a little more realistic.  They are probably getting desperate now.”  Additionally, new buyers entering into the buying market for a home like this see this listing.  Even though the home may be listed reasonably at this point, it now has 30+ of Days on Market (DOM).  Buyers and Realtors® have a first impression of “Ok, what’s wrong with this house; why hasn’t it sold yet?”

Ultimately, the longer a house sits on the market, and the more price reductions it has/shows, the more it will cost a home seller.

#7 – Bad MLS Photos:  <20%

This one shocked me.  It only ranked #7 on the list from the surveyed group of Realtors®, however, I ranked it at the 2nd biggest mistake.  I know this one truly falls on the seller’s Realtor®, but the negative implications ultimately fall onto the seller.  88% of buyers used the INTERNET as their primary home searching method.  What’s the very first thing on the internet that a buyer looks at?  The PHOTOS!  No question about that.  The photo is also typically what calls the attention of the buyer to clicking on a certain listing.  The quality of the photo used in the MLS and online marketing is what will make the difference between getting 100 views and 1,000+ views.

I look at anywhere from 20-200 property listings in any given day.  Within that, I’d say that two-thirds of those will have bad photos or none at all, with the remainder one-third being great photos.  This may be the exact reason why less than 20% of the agents surveyed on this list actually listed this as an important “Home Seller Mistake.”

Make sure that your listing agent uses a professional photographer to photograph your house if you want to attract more views, more prospective buyers, and more offers to your house.  This is a 100% guaranteed tactic to help achieve your desired outcome.

In Conclusion…

In conclusion…price your home correct at the onset of marketing, and make sure that your listing agent uses professional photography.  Between these two, you will drive the most amount of traffic possible to your accurately priced listing.  That’s the perfect ONE-TWO punch for a successful sale of your home.

2013: The ‘Year of the Short Sale.’ – Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act Extends

Fiscal Cliff Jump

Fiscal Cliff Jump

Take that big sigh of relief now that we know what was to happen to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.  As of a couple days ago, we had no idea what was going to happen (well, most of us didn’t, that is…).  The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provided for relief from being taxed on the forgiven debt.

Typically speaking, without this act in place, seller’s that sell for less than is owed (short sale) on their home, are subject to adding that dollar amount difference to their taxable income.  This Act that has helped to give a little spark to the real estate market, and has certainly helped millions of underwater homeowners, was set to expire on December 31, 2012.

But, wait for it…wait some more…ok, yes, it has been extended by congress for 1 additional year.    Just yesterday, congress passed the ‘revised’ HR-8 into legislation yesterday.  A part of that revision to HR-8 was that the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was to remain in affect until the end of 2013.

This means that for one more year homeowners that are underwater, and that are in a position to short sell their home, and that actually do, will not be taxed on that difference between the home is sold for and what was owed to the lender(s).  Of course, like anything, there are other restrictions to this, but there are also other options and alternatives to this Act’s relief.  For a full breakdown of this Act, refer to this page.

The next 2 important questions become:

  1. Will the State of California extend it’s similar relief act’s expiration to the same as what the HR-8 did?  There is no specific information released as of this moment about such.  Let my hunt begin.  (Look for an update to this post once I have the info). 
  2. Will congress extend the Act past the new expiration date of December 31, 2013?  My take is ‘no.’  I guess we’ll be back to this same guessing game in about 354 days.  But think about how much revenue the Internal Revenue Service is “missing out on.”  There’s more to it than that, surely, so we will see.  

 We are not tax experts or qualified to advise on tax codes.  Information on this page is provided for informational purposes only.  We advise you confirm the information provided herein with a tax professional.  We advise you consult with a tax professional before considering a short sale or any other voluntary or involuntary transfer of real estate.

Photo Credit

The information contained herein has been provided by San Diego Board of REALTORS®. This information is from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed by San Diego Board of REALTORS®. The information is for consumers' personal, non-commerical use, and may not be used for any purpose other than identifying properties which consumers may be interested in purchasing.

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