Six Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Selling a home during this real estate downturn can be stressful on the seller. It’s not unusual for some homes to sit on the market for months on end, and many areas are still working through a backlog of foreclosure inventory, which also drives down home prices. Fact: 36 percent of homes nationwide sold for a loss in January. As we enter spring’s home shopping season, buyers are in the driver’s seat in many markets, and they know it. That’s why if you’re planning on putting your home on the market, it’s crucial to understand the time-honored mistakes sellers make, and how to avoid them:

Pricing for Yesteryear: Nationally, home values have fallen 27 percent since the market peaked in 2006. In some markets, total declines are in the 50-60 percent range. Yet, many sellers are tempted to list their home for sale based on what they paid for the home, not on their area’s current real estate market conditions. If you set a price too high, your house will sit. This will inevitably lead to price reductions, which could signal to buyers there is much more room for negotiation. In the past 30 days, 23 percent of homes listed for sale on Zillow have had their price reduced.

Tip: Arm yourself with information on comparable home sales, percentage of listings with price cuts in your area, and find out how long homes are typically on the market. Then you can have an informed discussion with your agent about the appropriate price for your home, given local market conditions.

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