Top 5 Costly Home Selling Mistakes

Are you selling a home in the Portland real estate market this summer, or just considering putting it on the market? As your pro real estate team, we want you to get the best possible sales price for that home. Here are five big price-killers, costly home selling mistakes, to avoid.

1. Selling a Home at the Wrong Time

During early summer, buyer activity is at its peak, but inventory is also high, meaning your home could be overlooked. Generally, spring is the best time to sell a home in Portland, when inventory is low and eager buyers are hitting the market. Early summer is also good, but we don’t recommend listing in August, unless you can’t avoid it. Inventory peaks in August while buyer traffic goes down. Most school swing buyers have already purchased. Many buyers are on vacation. The hot weather slows buyers down. Therefore prices typically fall in August. (This is all specific to your price range and neighborhood, if you don’t see a lot of inventory around your particular neighborhood, August might be fine, but most neighborhoods will be oversaturated with inventory with not enough buyers to go around.) If you’ve missed the spring and summer sales windows but need to sell your home in 2019, we recommend listing in fall (Sept. – Nov.). The fall Portland real estate market is actually pretty good! For a more detailed look at the best time of year to sell a home in Portland, check out our blog post.

2. Selling your Home with your Cousin

It’s great – cousin Joey finally got a job and he can sell your home! While you might be tempted to sell your home with your friends or relatives, do yourself a favor and look into whether Joey (or whoever you had in mind) has a successful track record and is able to market your home property to get the highest possible price. For instance, we pay extra to the top websites, like Zillow and to feature your home so it sells faster and for more. We also pay for the best marketing presentation around, professional photos, 3D modeling, whatever the property needs. We do it all for 4.5% commission max. and top it off with a cancel anytime policy for no charge. See everything we provide here. The results speak for themselves, we sold 139 homes in less than 30 days on market in 2018 (56 in the first weekend) and are poised to repeat that in 2019.

3. Pricing the Home too High

Is your home worth what Zillow says it is? Or should you price your home based on what your neighbor’s home sold for last year? A good real estate agent will help you figure out the best starting price based on a comprehensive market analysis. This step in the home selling process is crucial: Price too low, and you’ll be losing out on the value appreciation your home has gained in the time that you’ve owned it. Price too high, and your home will languish on the market — meaning you’ll have to slash the price later on. Read our article on the three best ways to determine your home value.

4. Neglecting basic home staging 

We’d like to say that there’s a secret real estate agent trick to woo Portland home buyers, but the simple truth is that decluttering, cleaning and sprucing up your home (just a bit!) is an effective way to bring in those full-price offers. (Of course, this has to be combined with really good professional photography and possibly video and 3D.) Having too much stuff around will make the home look smaller and less appealing. Simple curb appeal boosters like maintaining landscaping can increase the perceived value of a home (ie, what buyers are willing to pay) by a significant degree. And according to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged. Now you don’t have to remove all your furniture and bring in new furnishings, we pay for an interior designer to consult on your home, work with what you have – so it best appeals to the current buyer pool.

5. Buying too early, or too late

Most home sellers are buying a new home with the equity from the home they’ve sold. Timing this just right is tricky — move out too soon, and you might be paying two mortgages and two sets of utility bills, property taxes, etc. Then again, if the new home hasn’t closed by the time your old home sells, you’re looking at paying top dollar for temporary housing. Talk to your real estate agent about how to time your home sale and home purchase to minimize your excess costs. We’ve helped hundreds of clients transition in town and know all the tips and tricks needed to make it go smoothly.

June 24, 2019

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team. We work from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington and beyond. Check out our full services areas on the top menu.