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Selling Your Home? Don't Make This Costly Mistake





Bill had to sell his house quickly.

He was being transferred out of state, and the company wasn't footing the bill. Instead, they offered him a higher salary. Now he had to sell quickly or risk paying two mortgages.

But Bill wasn't sweating it. After all, his house was in a great neighborhood in a desirable part of town. He hired a real estate agent, confident that once the “for sale” sign went up, the buyers would come knocking. He'd get a quick sale at asking price, no problem.

Only a month went by, and there were zero offers. Bill had to move soon and was getting nervous about those double mortgage payments, but no one was interested. Then, to really rub salt in the wound, buyers were leavings tons of negative comments!

So what was the problem?

You aren't making your house ready for buyers

Bill refused to make his house buyer-friendly.

His real estate agent, Lynda Conway, had warned that unless he got the house show-ready, it would sit on the market and sell for far less than asking price. Lynda, who heads The Turner Team in Austin, Texas, and teaches for the Austin Board of Realtors, says Bill's mistake is a common one.

“Many sellers think they can just put a sign up and that's enough,” she says. “But buyers don't fall for that. They want to back up their moving truck, unload their stuff, and put their toothbrush in a cup by the sink.”

And when sellers refuse to believe they need to get their house ready to go on the market, they can suffer financial consequences. In Bill's case, his refusal to invest in sprucing up his home was about to cost him a double mortgage payment, not to mention the stress of trying to sell his house from out-of-state.

It can also result in a lower final selling price. Lynda recalls one seller who refused to make basic repairs and cosmetic improvements. “After a long time on the market, we finally got an offer,” she says. “But the owners felt insulted because it was $20,000 below list price. They wound up taking the offer because it was the only one.”

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