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The biggest mistakes made by Sellers & For-Sale-By-Owners

One of the biggest mistakes is under-pricing their home, sometimes by as much as 20%. About 1 out of 10 of all FSBOs (For-Sale-By-Owners) will under-price their homes, and feel successful when it sells in less than a week. Agents will sometimes under-price homes for a quick, easy sale and commission.

Overpricing their home. About half of all FSBOs are overpriced when they first appear on the market. Many agents will list homes above market value to appease the seller just to get the listing, and assume their seller will drop the price when it doesn't sell. The result is wasted time and money.

Spending money on advertising that doesn't generate qualified buyers. Most For-Sale-By-Owners are selling a home for the first time, and don't know what works until they've spent the money.

Assuming buyers and agents will rearrange their schedules to see the house. Unless it's truly spectacular, they will most likely just move on and look at other houses.

Declining a showing because the house isn't clean, or it's inconvenient. Missed showings usually don't reschedule, so it's better to show a dirty house than not show it at all (lesser of two evils).

Allowing showings "By Confirmed Appointment Only", especially when someone isn't always home.

Not using a keybox for agents to gain access when someone isn't always home.

When allowing showings "By Confirmed Appointment Only":

a) Having the phone answered by a voicemail. Typical scenario is an agent calls and leaves a message to set up an appointment. Seller calls back and gets agent's voicemail. By the time they connect, the agent is through with showings and the buyer has gone home.
b) Not always being available to show the home.

Use of a Keybox and call service solves both of the above problems. Typical scenario: Agent calls call service. Call service answers (never by voicemail), verifies with their database that it's a licensed agent, schedules the showing, and leaves a message for the seller with the time of the showing. This is called a "Courtesy Call", and the seller doesn't need to confirm. Agent gains access with the keybox if nobody is home. Result: Easy access and no missed showings.

Sellers being home during showings. Buyers tend to be inhibited about looking around as thoroughly as they'd like when a seller is around. This reduces the chances of an offer.

Even worse than just being home, is wanting to act as tour guide to show a buyer around when the buyer is there with an agent. These sellers reason that they know the house better than the agent, so they are more qualified to tell the buyers everything they need to know. While most buyers and their agents may be polite when the seller does this, most are very put off by it, and the agent is not likely to bring another buyer to show your house. The better solution is to leave a flyer in an obvious place with all the information on it.

Making the entire process of showing and marketing the home revolve around the convenience of a pet. Some people actually prohibit all showings during business hours (over half of all showings) because they are at work and their dog is home and doesn't like visitors. Of course pet owners love their pets, but some have their priorities out of order.

Bad odors from pets, cigarettes, cigars, certain foods, dirty carpet, etc. Perfume type air freshener make matters worse by making the house smell like a cheap motel. It's best to get rid of the source of the odor and air out the house.