With the real estate market glutted with properties the three biggest mistakes I see sellers make are the following:
Overpricing. The greatest mistake that sellers of real estate make is overpricing. The problem with pricing a house is that no house is worth a specific dollar amount. Accept the reality that the market has changed and your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
The way the price is set can determine several factors about the sale: how quickly the house will sell, how difficult it will be to find a qualified buyer and how much you will stand to gain from the proceeds. Some owners feel that they can get away with overpricing their property at the start and then lower the price if they have a negative response from the market. Unfortunately, by that time the house has been on the market a long time - it has become "shopworn."
Every potential buyer asks two questions: "What's the price?" and "How long has it been on the market?" The longer the house has been on the market the more the seller loses his or her ability to negotiate from a position of strength. The buyer smells blood. The seller and the price immediately become vulnerable. A buyer will not pay a premium price if he or she believes the property is hard to sell or not in demand.
Slow Lawyers. Real estate brokers often call lawyers "the deal-breakers." Most often lawyers foul up deals by their lack of a sense of urgency. They're not at the office, they can't be found and they don't return your phone calls. Every day the lawyer delays, the less likely that the deal will proceed to a closing.
Disclose, Disclose, Disclose. Sellers should make a complete disclosure of everything known about your house. Remember the point in selling a home is to end the seller's financial obligation for the property. That's why its best for the seller to make a full disclosure to their buyer so the seller won't have to worry if they will be sued after the closing. And insist that the buyer have the house inspected. If the buyer knows about a defect and there is written evidence such as an inspection report, the chances of a lawsuit decrease.
This text is from the weekly ad of Roger V. McCaffrey-Boss & Associates. Contact info: 312-263-8800, 19 S. LaSalle, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60603; or rvmLawyer@aol.com .