Common Seller Mistakes

A significant value Steve offers as your agent is helping you negotiate the best possible price and terms. He uses specific tactics and techniques in his discussions with the buyer and the buyer’s agent.
Knowing what to say, how to say it, and when is critical; even body language and the types of questions asked can reveal much more than intended. All of Steve’s clients receive "Steve’s Guide to a Successful Sale." This easy-reading guide contains specific suggestions for avoiding the following pitfalls commonly made by sellers (and their agents!):

Discussing or Disclosing Anything

Everything you say and do (or don’t say or don’t do) will affect your position later. Disclosing or discussing your needs, motivation for selling, financial circumstances, time frame, likes and dislikes about the property, or points about a potential offer, etc. with the buyer or buyer’s agent can definitely weaken your negotiating position.

Insufficient Information

It’s important to learn as much as possible about the buyer and the agent, including the buyer’s motivation for moving, time frame, the status of their previous home, their financial situation, how long they’ve been looking, etc. Steve has specific questions for learning these valuable details.

Incomplete Data

Do you know what the buyer’s inspections will reveal? Most sellers negotiate the sales contract without this critical information. Steve will advise you on how to get this information, how to interpret the reports, what to do about any issues, and what it means to your bottom line. Steve puts you in control, not the buyer.

Showing Emotion

Try to contain your excitement or it could cost you money! It’s good to thank agents for showing your home and to thank buyers for visiting, but stop there. As a professional, Steve protects you because he is not emotional about your transaction.

Excluding Personal Items

Buyers often fall in love with items in a home and write them into their purchase offer, shifting the issue from the house to your belongings. Steve will advise you on staging your property so that you sell the house, not your family heirlooms.

Improving the Property

First impressions are the most important, but most upgrades will not return 100% of the money spent. Steve will help you focus on items that might be of concern to a buyer, decide what to fix, paint or replace prior to showing your home, and easy, inexpensive tips for showing your home.

Marketing As-Is

Yes, you can sell "as is," but is marketing your property that way the best strategy to net you the highest value? Will buyer’s wonder what’s wrong? Steve will suggest strategies that will accomplish your goals while protecting your pocketbook.


Never apologize for a bad view, small bedroom, noisy street, dirty carpet, or any other "negative" or it could cost you money! Some buyers want these (i.e. a busy street is good for a home business), or don’t consider something negative until you mention it. Let the buyer decide what is, or is not, desirable to them.

Showing the Property

Who better to show your property than you? Probably anyone! Showing your home yourself means you may be revealing information and/or turning off potential buyers. Steve has several innovative techniques for highlighting the unique features of your home. In the meantime, leave the property and let the buyer’s agent handle their client in their own manner.

Offer Presentation

Steve will guide you, in advance, about how to manage the offer presentation, including multiple offers. He’ll counsel you as to what to expect, what to say, and how to react, including counteroffers and addendums.

Qualifying Buyers

Not only must you understand the intricacies of the buyer’s financing, you must verify everything with the underwriter. Often, buyers are not as "approved" as their agent claims. Failure to confirm the loan conditions verify can cost you delays, money, and possibly result in a T-F-T ("transaction fell through," i.e. the sale is canceled). Steve will help you evaluate the financing and protect your interests.

Lack of Disclosure

What must you disclose? Not disclose? In today’s real estate, the seller has the greatest exposure to a lawsuit. Not only does Steve help you prepare all the disclosures required by law, he has additional disclosures to further minimize the potential for problems.

Verbal Negotiation

By law, verbal offers for real estate are unenforceable and they carry no weight in the mind of the buyers or agents. In the meantime, you’ve disclosed information about yourself. All offers, or later changes to the contract, should always be negotiated in writing.

Multiple Offers

With the right marketing, creating multiple offers is likely. But, without the right system for evaluating and countering the offers, and managing the buyers and their agents, you can end up with a debacle and hard feelings. Steve uses specific tactics to maximize the situation to your benefit.

Using Time To Your Advantage

Don’t let deadlines force you into a concession. Remember that other terms, such as the close of escrow date, deadline for contingency removals, move-in dates, and rentbacks, all translate into money.

Making Concessions

How you concede to changes is as important as what you concede. Amateurs offer to "split the difference"; Steve has other suggestions.

Contingent Offers

Accepting an offer contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s current property can work for or against you. If you receive this type of offer, Steve will discuss strategies.

Through skillful negotiation, Steve has put tens of thousands of dollars in the pockets of his clients, both buyers and sellers. Together with Steve, you will be a strong team and sell your property at the best possible price and terms!
If you have any doubt what a good broker can accomplish, see Steve’s Results page.

Test your negotiation skill! (could you make the sale?)

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