According to sellers have little room for error when putting their home on the market, or they risk having their property linger. When it comes to selling houses fast there are some common mistakes that should be avoided and the right agent can help.

1. Overpricing the home. Home values have dropped significantly since peaking in 2006, but many sellers still want to list a home based on what they paid for it. Eventually they realize their error and have to reduce their price, sometimes several times. In the past month, 23 percent of homes listed for sale on Zillow have reduced their price.  Ironically, if more agents and sellers understood financing options they’d be able to maintain pricing in exchange for terms.  

2. Relying too heavily on comparable sales. Effective market evaluation looks both backward and forward. Sizing up the competition currently on the market, not just the homes that have already sold for a dose of market reality. Evaluating other homes with a listing price similar to the seller’s to see how well it stacks up against the competition – and how it can be differentiated.  The total market inventory contains REOs (Real Estate Owned by banks that were taken back in foreclosure) as well as short sales.  In some markets these represent 80% of the sales.

3. Failing to consider the home’s web appeal. A home that can’t sell itself on the web may have trouble selling itself in the real world, and photos and even videos are key elements of online presentation. Include lots of high-resolution photos of the interior, including areas that home buyers care about most, such as kitchens, living spaces and bathrooms.  Don’t forget exterior spaces that add value suck as gardens, views, or outdoor recreation areas.

4. Hovering during showings.
Sellers shouldn’t be home for showings, but as a seller’s agent, neither should you. Lurking sellers or seller agents may make buyers nervous. Other real estate agents often want privacy with their buyers so they can gather true feedback about the house.

What advice do you have for selling quickly in this market?

Source: “Six Common Mistakes That Home Sellers Make,” (April 11, 2011)