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Airdrie House and Home: The nine biggest mistakes sellers make when listing their home

Airdrie real estate agent Natalie Berthiaume presents nine tips if you are thinking of selling your home

I have been a licensed real estate agent for 11 years now, and as a result of my experience, I've seen certain mistakes repeated over the years.

If you can learn from the mistakes of others, you won't fall victim to their circumstances. Sound dire? Well, I like to add a little drama but truly, there is a tidbit in here for everyone.

Playing games

When presenting an offer to my seller clients, I sometimes hear, “Well it's only the first offer, so I don't really think we need to act quickly.” 

This kind of thinking is a mistake. Why? For one, it takes the strategic planning away from the realtor that you hired for this very reason. 

Secondly, it's an offer and all offers are worth exploring. The lesson here is to do your best, always. Send a counter-offer (even if it's the asking price), to explore the angles with your agent, and collaborate. This will ultimately get you to the best offer, I promise.

And a little freebie, the offer is a starting point and it doesn't tell you much, but the counter-offer is always a little more telling.

It's important to note having multiple offers is a different scenario, and that's a different article altogether.

Telling me you're not in a hurry.

When listing a home, it's like running a marathon or writing an exam. There's a lot of effort and time spent preparing for the big moment, for both the seller and agent included. If you say you're not in a hurry, that translates to me that you're not going to put that effort in and prepare for success.

Guess what? If you don't train, you don't win. If you trust the process, you will sell for top dollar – on your terms too.

Holding on

If I – or let's be honest, my designer – ask you to take down that medieval knight sword from your wall, just do it. When people get emotionally attached to their design style or their décor, they take away the experience from the prospective buyers – and that hurts the bottom line.

Focus on getting out of that “It's my house!” state of mind and focus instead on getting the buyer into that emotionally attached state. You can do this by de-cluttering and following the designer's instructions. The result is being more organized and richer at the end of it. 

Pricing the home too high

The realtor tells you what your home is worth and you think it's too low. The next four agents tell you the same thing, yet you don't listen. You finally find one who agrees to price it outside of the suggested range. You go on the market, you wait, you sit, you wait, you sit, you wait....The neighbour sells their home, and you don't. The other neighbour sells, and you don't.

If you said you're not in a hurry, that's good because you're not going anywhere. Price it right, get people excited, and sell for as high as you possibly can – this is the magic formula. 

Being home for showings

Every realtor will shudder a little inside when they hear a seller say they want to be home for their home's showings.

Let's be honest, it's awkward and the prospective buyers hate it. Don't do it and don't make me explain why. 

Going wild with the room sprays

This is minor but has a major impact. Those plug-ins (scented outlets) pack a punch. To the realtor's nose, it means something is being covered up. If the dog smells or the home isn't clean, go to the source of the problem. Start scrubbing those floors and bathing that dog. Then, toss out the artificial scents and plug in a diffuser instead. Spearmint happens to be my favourite. 

Not having a plan B

When selling your home to move into another, you have two worst-case options: selling first, then ending up temporarily homeless, or buying first, and carrying two mortgages at a time. 

In a market where the sale of a buyer's home condition is not a viable option, you need to explore the depths of your comfort zone. You need to have a plan A, but just as importantly, you need to have a plan B.

Plan Bs suck, but they bring the stress down from a DEFCON 5 level to a “Let's pour another glass of strong whiskey” level. These include a bridge loan, living with the in-laws, renting a container, etc.

Knowing everything – or at least thinking you do

Hire a realtor if you're selling your home. We do this all day, week after week, and I can promise a good one will put more money in your pocket once you've sold your home – even after commissions are paid. 

Not reading the Airdrie Today Home Section.

We have a goal of educating buyers and sellers on a monthly basis. Stick with us and we'll turn you into a real estate wizard! 

Did we miss anything? We'd love to hear your comments and ideas for future articles! 

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