We have spoken with some sellers in SW Florida who were happy with the price they received for their home, only to find out later their neighbors received tens of thousands more.  Today we would like to talk about which common mistakes cost sellers thousands at closing and how to avoid this.

Common Mistakes Cost Sellers

Lack of Promotion Buyers love it when they see a new listing enter the market.  They want to beat out other buyers to new listings before they get promoted.  Buyers know more promotion promotes more competition, and they do not like that. 

Taking Offer 1st Day Sure, a full price offer could come in the first day, but should you take it?  In today’s market, probably not.  The buyer might not have viewed the home in person and may back out later once they do. You may be shortchanging yourself as subsequent offers may be far better than day 1 offers.  Day 1 offers try to beat the market before the price goes up.

Do not sell to a tenant without testing the market. Many tenants don’t have the best credit and either want seller financing or a deal.  Neither may be in the seller’s best interests.  Put the home on the market and make the tenant bid on the home just like any other buyer.  If they are the strongest offer, then sell it to them.

Strongest Offer May not be Highest Offer- Many low-down payment buyers utilize this strategy. They offer a high amount.  Their pre-approval letter says they can afford it, but what happens when the house does not appraise?  You guessed it, you must lower your price or find another buyer.  Why not find a buyer that can pay the difference between appraised value and sales price?

Appraisal– An appraisal is an opinion of value the appraiser can prove on paper, and it is based upon everything that has happened in the past.  The Ellis Team is selling homes above appraised value, and to do that you must be smart about the financing and which offer to take.  It takes years of experience to sort out which offer is the best on paper.

Using As-is Contract The as-is contract allows the buyer to back out for any reason.  The standard FAR/BAR contract keeps buyers in the deal. Many newer agents do not understand the difference between the contracts.  Do not hire a Realtor that does not know the difference and understand the nuances.

FSBO– You can sell for sale by owner, and you will probably make a sale, but it will be at your own expense.  There is no way an owner can generate as much promotion as we can.  We know the more buyers you have, the greater price and more qualified buyers for you to choose from.  Many people believe if they save a commission, naturally they will have more money in their pocket at closing.  This makes sense, until you later realize we sold the same home for 20% more than you did.  It costs sellers to sell on their own, and you do all the work.

List in MLS and it will sell is a common myth. In this market, it may sell, but not necessarily for top dollar. Getting top dollar is a skill and takes marketing.  Luck is good, but rarely should you count on it, and never should you pay for it.  Hire the best and you should net more money in your pocket at closing.

Is Property Sellable to every buyer? The answer is no. Knowing how old the roof, plumbing, water heater, and certain items are and if they are insurable matters.  An experienced agent can sometimes find a carrier that will accept an older item, but it costs more.  Getting buyer to qualify for a higher cost policy is an expensive lesson to learn after inspection.  An experienced agent will ask questions and find answers upfront.

If you have questions about getting Top Dollar for your home, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for an instant home value.  Keep in mind, the Ellis Team can probably beat that estimate when we expose it to the full market!

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