Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Home sellers' 7 costly sins

Home sellers' 7 costly sins

If you're thinking of selling your home, do it right if you want top dollar, even in this hot market. Here, from author Sid Davis, are the seven costliest mistakes home sellers make:

1. Putting your house on the market before it is ready. Packaging brings in the money, writes Davis in his new book, "A Survival Guide to Selling a Home" (Amacom Books, $15). Fix what's broken.

2. Overimproving the house for the neighborhood. If the neighbors don't have a granite kitchen, you shouldn't either -- unless you live on the water and the people across the street don't.

3. Pricing the home based on how much you want to net. Look at the comparables. Overpriced homes languish.

4. Not hiring an agent based on merit or track record. Let your friend or relative who just got his real estate license practice on someone else.

5. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home. It's worth what the market says it's worth.

6. Trying to cover up problems, or not disclosing them. That's asking for trouble, especially if the problems are found after the closing.

7. Not getting your ducks lined up before trying to sell. Where will you live after you sell? Does your mortgage have a prepayment penalty?

Be careful when selling your property on your own. Make sure you have all of the necessary disclosures executed or you could wind up getting a phone call years later from your Buyer telling you he discovered a problem and expects you to pay for it.

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