The 9 biggest mistakes sellers should avoid to get the best sales price

by Nicola McDougall

Tips for going to auction. Buyers agent Rich Harvey gives some advice for approaching that upcoming auction.

Selling your home can be a stressful time, so it’s important that it runs as smoothly as possible to give yourself the best chance of a top sales price.

The trouble is, with an emotional attachment to your property, sometimes sellers can be more hindrance than help.

In fact, there are common vendor mistakes that can make selling your home much more trouble than it ever needed to be.

House prices have fallen 1.6 per cent in the September quarter. 

Principal of Peter Snow & Co. David Snow said the No.1 seller no-no in his experience was when vendors don’t actually listen to their agent’s professional advice.

Instead they prefer to adhere to “advice” from their circle of friends or family, he said.

“I think it’s filtering advice they get from well-meaning friends, neighbours and family … it will influence them and ultimately cost them money,” he said.

“But you’re there supposedly as a professional, with runs on the board, with experience, with testimonials – you name it.”

By sometimes paying scant regard to their agent’s advice, especially when it comes to the listing price, vendors run the risk of their property languishing on the market.

The first few weeks of a sales campaign are the most important, Snow said, because that is when the most qualified buyers will be interested in the property.

“They really have to be ready for that … in the sense that they have a well-balanced marketing campaign, both in print and internet, the open houses have to be beautifully staged and the house has to be immaculate. It’s a performance. The curtain goes up and everybody is ready,” he said.

“Some classic statements have been ‘David, if we’re getting that sort of an offer now, just imagine what we’re going to get in a month?’ And generally it’s 10 per cent less.”

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella considers not pricing your home correctly as one of the biggest seller blunders.

But she also includes not using professional photographs as a seller no-no as well as attempting to sell your property yourself.

“Your photographs will be the first thing a potential buyer sees when they are scrolling through the property listings, so give your property the best chance you can to stand out,” she said.

“Selling a house can be a big undertaking and can be very time-consuming. It requires knowledge of the current legislation, an understanding of how to complete all the prescribed government forms correctly, of how to effectively market a property, of the current market conditions … along with first-rate negotiation skills so you can bring reluctant buyers up to your home’s true value.”

The nine biggest seller mistakes

  • Not using a professional photographer or including a floor plan
  • Hanging around during an open home
  • Trying to sell your home yourself
  • Not listening to your agent
  • Not pricing your home correctly
  • Selecting an agent based upon the quoted sale price
  • Selecting an agent based on the level of commission they charge
  • Not listening to your agent with market feedback from buyers
  • Not investing sufficiently in the marketing of your home to attract the quality of buyers required to achieve the dream price.

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Source: Antonia Mercorella and David Snow


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