5 Mistakes Sellers Make When Listing their Home

As real estate professionals, it’s interesting to see the mistakes sellers make when they list their home.  Some of these can be very obvious, while others creep up on the homeowners and aren’t evident until either market time or dollars have been lost. 

1. Listing with a family member or friend. When you decide to list your home for sale you can get bombarded with people telling you that they’re “Realtors”, but are they really? Someone who has kept their license but sells homes only occasionally, for friends and family can’t provide the professional service that a true Realtor can.  What happens when a buyer wants to see your home and your agent can’t be reached because they’re at “work”?  Or how about someone who wants to make an offer but your agent can’t be reached?  Will that agent have the time to thoroughly check every detail of your listing to make sure items like taxes and schools are correct?  Selling your home is a big decision and now more than ever you want to do everything you can to get the most money possible.  Agents with less experience can cost you thousands of dollars. 

2. Listing with the highest bidder. When interviewing real estate agents you may find a range of values that each agent gives.  Look carefully at the comparable properties used in the analysis. Does the value the agent is giving you really make sense? Just because you’d like to get that higher price for your home, doesn’t mean an appraiser will agree with that price. Do you know what happens when you sell your home and the appraisal comes in lower than the sale price?  Either you or the buyer needs to come up with the difference, otherwise the buyer can’t get the loan and the sale falls through. 

3. Listing for the lowest commission.  If an agent is willing to “sell your home for cheap”, how cheap is their service?  Will they take the time to provide quality photos online?  Do they pay for upgraded internet marketing in places like Do they create a virtual tour for your property?  All of these things cost extra to the agent and if they’re discounting their fee they can’t afford to put dollars into the best marketing for you. 

4. Listing with a company nobody has heard of.  You will also find that many agents who offer a lower commission are with no-name or rarely heard of brokerages.  You want your property listed with a brand name company that buyers will look for when they go online.  A company that provides worldwide exposure is a huge help to you because buyers from all over the world purchase real estate in the United states these days. 

5. Listing without knowing your costs.  Ask your agent for a Net Proceeds sheet.  This will outline all of the expenses involved with selling such as attorney fees, title, transfer stamps and commissions.  Misunderstanding your selling costs can make the difference between receiving money from the sale or needing to bring money to the closing, which can be devastating.


The Watsons are active in local communities and have lived in the Northwest Suburbs for over 40 years. Their knowledge and experience will get you the results you want! ~ Jayne Smith, Palatine, IL