Dear Trulia Brooklyn:
The most common mistakes home sellers in Brooklyn make in my opinion are as follows:
1) Fixating on a number. Often times a seller has a number in their head which they fell they need to achieve in order to sell. They fail to realize that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that a buyer is only going to offer what they feel the home is worth. This has not correlation to what the seller feels they want or need. The fact is that if the seller wants and/or needs are in line with current market value and conditions, they will sell the house. If they are not being realistic, they are not going to sell, it is that simple. In the large scheme of things, homeowners want to sell for a reason and usually it is not just the money. You have to be willing to take what you can get and move on.
2) Not preparing the home to be shown. When you go to sell a house in Brooklyn, you have to make sure the property looks it's best. This means a thorough cleaning, removing of clutter, emptying out closets and doing minor repairs. If your home has not been painted in a while, you can never go wrong when painting, you will always get your money back. Do not do major renovations unless you know you will get back a decent return on your investment.
3) Being home while the house is being shown. Buyers like it better when the seller is not around. They can take their time, look at the house and voice their objections to the agent. This gives the agent a chance to overcome those objection. Besides, I have witnessed times where the seller feels the need to "sell" their property and this actually gives the appearance to a buyer that they are desperate.
4) Not having photos of the interior of their home online as part of the marketing plan. If you do not have photos on line, buyers will think your house is too ugly or in too terrible condition to be shown online. If this is not the case with your home, you better make sure you have a boatload of great photos of your beautiful home online! Good agents will take these photos for you.
5) Hiring the wrong real estate agent. Often times a homeowner will hire a real estate agent simply because they charge the lowest commission and/or quote highest sales price. Some agents purposely quote a higher price just to "buy" the listing. When homeowners hear an agent tell them a price higher than any other agent, often times they are inclined to go with that agent. I hate to say this but agents know this and some of them play games just to get the listing. You have to be careful. I would dare to say you should list with the agent telling you the lowest price because they are telling you the truth! With regard to commission, all I can say is you get what you pay for. Agents earn their fee based on their skills, knowledge, professionalism and how good a job they do. The lower the commission is that an agent is willing to take shows how much an agent thinks of their own self worth. Some agents have to take a lower commission because they cannot get business any other way so they have to make themselves the cheapest alternative. Like they say "cheap is dear!" Homeowners need to evaluate what the agent is going to do for them and then list with the agent where they will get the best value and highest level of service for the fee they are paying. Good agents, like anything else in life usually do not come cheap!
There are others I can think of but in my opinion these would be the top 5.
Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783