What common mistakes do home sellers make?

Asked by Trulia Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY Wed Nov 7, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Chad Gray, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Trulia Brooklyn,

Here's a link to a blog I wrote about the Top 10 Legal Mistakes Sellers Can Make: http://www.trulia.com/blog/chadgray/2012/07/top_10_legal_mis…

What do you think? Did we hit the nail on the head?

Chad Gray PA, Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

100% of clients rated our service as "EXCELLENT"!
1 vote
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
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
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
2 votes
NAILED it! Thanks :)
Flag Thu Nov 8, 2012
Kevin, Both Buyer And Seller, Brooklyn, NY
Fri Nov 30, 2012
I see a lot of mention about Overpricing as being the biggest mistake. This is true, especially if the location is in a Buyer's market. Many unfortunate Sellers are not being greedy but they are simply looking to price the home high enough to cover the existing mortgage, sure a short sale may be the answer (low success rate and takes months or years to complete) and even a loan modification before a sale may work (only if the Seller is having trouble paying their current mortgage and can show proof of this with income) but the #1 mistake home sellers make is not knowing ALL of their options when they are looking to sell. Selling in the Retail (Realtor) market is not always the answer, sorry to bust bubbles here, their are many non-traditional ways to sell a home that most people will never know about because no licensed professional can or will share with them.

If you are in the NYC area, contact me with your selling situation.

All the best.

Note: I am not a Realtor, but I do purchase homes below, at, and above market value.
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Over pricing, restrict access,not fixing obvious problems before listing the home, such as pumping the septic system, making sure heating system was serviced, listening to friends and neighbors instead of the agent
0 votes
Your right! Now friends and neighbors can give some solid tips if based on experience with selling their own homes. Just because some one is licensed doesn't mean they know it all. When I have a medical problem, I make sure to get 2nd and 3rd opinions as well as testimonials from clients/patients.
Flag Fri Nov 30, 2012
Marcus Neces…, Agent, Bentonville, AR
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Mitchell knocks this one out of the park! Great answer! I totally agree!
0 votes
Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Setting their asking price too high because of personal need or emotion
rather than fair market value. Consulting with a professional real estate agent.
He/she can assist you in pricing your home correctly. Failing to "showcase" their
home by highlighting the best features. Thoroughly cleaning, repairing, and readying
your home for showing before you put it on the market.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes
Luke Constan…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
I have to say, through all the years I have been doing real estate, the biggest mistake a homeowner can make is:


Once you put a property out on the market it is fresh to the public. Most of your action is going to happen in the first 2 week to 6 weeks. If you overprice your property you have buyers who come in from a whole different type of market than what your property is, expecting much more and leaving. Then your property is practically invisible the market your home should have been priced for and old to the market.

Then, after the property owner come to his/her senses they put it back out on the market as a lower priced property stale.

People aren't stupid these days, they are very computer savvy and know approximately what your property is worth before they walk in the door! A majority of theses smart buyers will buy if the price is right, but will not buy a recycled property too often.

Luke Constantino
Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate
M: (212) 300-3919
D: (718) 935-6135
F: (917) 369-2690
325 Court Street, Brooklyn NY 11231
0 votes
Steve Kazole…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
They over value there home.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more