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5 Ways Not to Blow Your Real Estate Deal

by Debra Gould
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It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to sell your home in a hot real estate market or in a down real estate market, there are many ways to avoid blowing your real estate sale.

In an interview with the Today Show, $5 billion real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran (who you may recognize from the show Shark Tank), shares these tips:

1. Set a realistic asking price.
If it’s too low a bidding war will drive it up later, if it’s too high your home will just sit there getting stale.

2. Don’t imagine that buyers will want to take care of home repairs.
Get these done now otherwise they’ll show up in a home inspection. Buyers tend to over-estimate the cost of repairs by 300% and this will be reflected in their offer price.

3. Don’t haggle and try to undercut the real estate commission.
Naturally Barbara Corcoran would say this, she’s a real estate broker after all. I don’t totally agree with her recommendation of paying an extra 1% to the agent if they sell within a set period of time, though I do appreciate how this would give them extra motivation to promote a particular real estate listing over another they might have.

Frankly, that’s why I won’t list my home with a real estate agent who mostly deals with properties way more expensive than my own. Why would he put lots of energy into my listing to earn 3% of $500,000, for example, when he could be earning the same percentage on a $2 million listing he has at the same time.

4. Don’t make the mistake of saving a few hundred dollars on a home inspection.
This is penny wise and pound foolish when you’re buying a home because surprise defects can cost you much more in the long run, says Corcoran. While I do agree with getting one done, I have learned from experience that a home inspector can miss expensive things (like the need for a new roof) and have no liability for that omission later. I know this is surprising, but have you ever read the fine print of the waiver you sign when you purchase an inspector’s services?

You can always sue later if they miss something big, but how much time, money and energy would you want to invest in doing that?

I have also learned from experience that if you’re selling in a hot market, it can be worth your while to pay for the home inspection on your own home, rather than leaving it up to potential buyers. This increases the chance of getting multiple offers (above the asking price) without conditions.

5. If you’re trying to buy, even in a buyer’s market, don’t insult the seller with and overly low bid.
I found it interesting that Corcoran says that most deals take place in 3 moves, in other words, the offer is made, the seller counters and the buyer counters again (and that’s the accepted offer).

She cautions that if you insult the buyer upfront, your likelihood of doing a deal drops dramatically. As someone who has bought and sold 7 homes, I have to agree!

Home sellers and buyers, I’m really interested in your point of view on this topic. Please add your thoughts here. I’m also curious whether real estate agents agree with Barb Corcoran’s points.

Learn more about how Six Elements can help you with home staging advice and real estate advice to get the most equity out of your home when you sell, and help you sell faster.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Home Staging and Interior Redesign

Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould is President of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. which operates Six Elements Home Staging and is the creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with over 7,000 students in more than 20 countries. An entrepreneur since 1989 and author of several staging guides Debra has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate and uses her expertise to train others worldwide.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

KELLI TULLY June 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

In regards to #3…A smart Realtor will work just as hard to sell a home for $500,000 as a multimillion dollar home because more buyers exist for the lower priced home and the likelihood of selling in a reasonable timeframe for continuous income is greater. Also, more clients are gleaned from the less expensive home sale.

Debra Gould June 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

You make an awesome point Kelli, thanks so much for sharing!

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