Help Your Clients Avoid These Costly Home-Selling Mistakes

As a real estate agent, it’s up to you to guide and counsel your clients. According to Real Trends, a real estate research firm, the average commission for agents in 2009 was 5.36 percent. That number has climbed slightly higher in recent years. With your commission on the line, it pays to keep your clients moving in the right direction. Help your clients avoid these costly home-selling mistakes:


The real estate market peaked in 2006. Since the peak, home values have dropped an average of 27 percent. Don’t let your clients sell their home for what it used to be worth. When your clients insist on setting their price too high, their home can sit on the market until they are willing to come down to a realistic amount. Help your clients research prices for similar homes in the local market and decide on a price that will move the home quickly.


Another mistake that home sellers make is setting an asking price based on what homes have sold for recently. Home values change and what was a fair price two months ago may not work for your clients today. Don’t let your clients set a price based on comps. Take your clients on a tour of homes for sale in their own neighborhood, gather prices and compare those homes to the one your clients are trying to sell. For example, if a home is on the market for $150,000 and has features that your client’s home does not, the starting price will need to be lower.

3.Narrow Marketing

It’s not unusual for people to want to advertise their home only within their region. Remind your clients that there are home buyers outside of the city, and even outside of the state, that may be looking for a home just like theirs. Cast a wide marketing net for your clients, even if they are resistant. Remind your clients that employers transfer workers, college students graduate and families relocate. There’s no reason not to take advantage of national advertising media.

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4.Open House Faux Pas

Don’t let your clients stay home during an open house. Sellers often cannot resist the urge to follow potential buyers around their home, pointing out all of the features they love. Shoppers not only want to look at their leisure, but it’s just downright strange to look at someone’s house while they’re sitting in the living room. Encourage your clients to leave the house for the afternoon, promising that you will keep them updated throughout the showing.

5.Listing Before Repairs are Made

Don’t let your clients post any photos of their home, much less list their home, until needed repairs are made. Things that aren’t of importance to your clients may be of major importance to potential buyers. Something as simple as dirty caulking in the bathroom can turn off someone who would otherwise have bought the home. Walk through the property with your clients and help them make a list of things that need to be fixed. Make sure that those things are repaired before one single shopper steps through the front door.

As an agent, it’s up to you to make sure your clients are doing everything right. Follow the tips above to keep your clients moving forward on the path to selling their home. When you get irritated or frustrated, just remember that your commission may depend on it.

Writer Sheila Madison is an avid blogger. Trying to sell your house? Check out more tips at

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