Common mistakes that Torrance home sellers make

And how to avoid them

When the market favors buyers (and even when it doesn’t) it is important to do everything possible to avoid the common mistakes which often lead to homes sitting on the market. Without question price is the most important aspect of getting your home sold, and the most common mistake that sellers make. Here is a list of common mistakes and how best to avoid them.

1.  Pricing Your Home Too High

Solution:  Price is almost everything! We are area experts and can research comparable sales in your area and advise you of the appropriate price range of your property. Every homeowner feels that their home is special, but it is critical to know what the competition is, and what they are priced at. Overpricing a home is the most common, and often the most costly, mistake home sellers make. After sitting on the market for a while, often price reductions don’t draw great interest and the home often sells for much less than it would have if appropriately or aggressively priced from the beginning.

2.  Not Using Up to Date Information

Solution: Many home sellers base the “value” of their home on what a neighbor’s home sold for 6 months ago and figure that the market has gone up in that time, and their home is nicer than their neighbors. What happened 6 months or a year ago may be irrelevant and lead to unrealistic expectations.  In the current market, with prices either going down or softening, it’s important to know the prices of the homes currently on the market similar to yours, and more important to know the prices of the homes that are in escrow or recently sold.

3. Not Utilizing Current Marketing Technology

SolutionWe are always up on the latest technology and market heavily on the internet. With 80% of home buyers starting their search online, it is critical to get your home exposed to as many of these potential buyers as possible. See “How We Market Your Home” for more information. We are e-Pro certified and are up to date with all of the facets of online real estate.

4. Ignoring the Importance of First Impressions

Solution: Sales have been not happened for minor reasons such as messy yards, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, locks that didn’t work, bad colors, stains, lack of light and bad smells. Spend some time onthe little, and simple, things. Double up on your gardening, keep things cleaner than usual, tidy up the clutter and make sure your pets are under control.

5. Not Providing Easy Access for Showings

Solution: There are many ways to show a home. “Appointment Only” is the most restrictive and lock boxes are the most accessible. If your home is easy for agents to show, more prospective buyers will see it, improving your odds of getting the deal you want. However, your lifestyle or situation may not be compatible with frequent showing. We can help you determina a solution that best fits the situation.

6. Not “Staging” Your Home to Show it’s Best

Solution: Staging can mean lots of things for various homes and situations, but in general it means presenting your home to appeal to the greatest number of potential homebuyers. In some situations (vacant home) it may mean consulting a professional “Home Stager” and renting furntiture to give your home a warm and comfortable feeling. Often times it makes financial sense to have carpets cleaned, walls painted, and the home professionally cleand. In other situations it may mean removing clutter and adding small touches to make things look cleaner and larger.

Some simple solutions would be to put some items into storage, create more light, play music, set out candles and improve the overall ambiance. We can help create a great first impression.

7. Not Knowing the Competition

Solution: We strive to give our clients the best information as to what’s out there that a potential buyer might also be looking at.  When possible we like to take our clients to look at the other homes and look at them from a buyers perspective. If you were viewing both homes, which would you buy?….and why?

8. Believing Your Agent is Not Doing the Job When There Aren’t Any Offers

Solution: Most sellers are unaware of all of the activity that goes on behind the scenes. Any agent can do the basics, but we strive to update our clients on all of the networking, advertising and marketing that continually goes into how we try sell homes. In general if the home is in good showing condition, is easily accesible and hasn’t generated any offers or interested buyers, it may be time to re-evaluate the price.

9. Not Re-Evaluating the Marketing Plan

Solution: We sit down and re-evaluate the marketing plan several times a month. We look at who is showing the house, the feedback we get, where we are targeting the marketing and advertising and are we reaching the right buyers. Every home is different and appeals to different type buyers.

10. Errors in Market Timing

Solution: We can help you determine whether the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. Many homesellers do not have the luxury of waiting, but for those that do, it may be best to list right away, wait a while, or even rent the home until the market is right.

11. Not Giving the Sales Effort Enough Time

Solution: You should never give too little time to what is inherently a long process. Homes may take 3-6 months to sell in any market. Estimate how much time you have before you “need” to sell and then plan ahead to allow extra time. You don’t want to be forced to accept a disappointing offer.

12. Taking  an Inflexible Position on Financing

Solution:  We can explain what financing options are available. Being flexible on financing terms may secure a better selling price, with other advantages as well. In markets that favor the buyer, certain financing offerings (such as seller financing) may be what makes your home sell while others don’t.

13. Not Making the Right Kind of Repairs

Solution: Don’t be tempted to make improvement’s or upgrades prior to listing your you home without consulting a real estate professional. Some upgrades will not yield any real increase in value which others may increase property value substantially.

14. Believing That Selling Property is Seasonal

Solution: Don’t base selling decisions on the seasons or time of year. Homes that are ready to show and priced well will sell year round.

15. Not Screening Prospects Adequately

Solution: One of the best reasons for hiring a Realtor® is their ability to pre-qualify a prospect financially before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, your agent may discover when a prospect may just be shopping or “looking for a deal”.

16. Believing That You are Not Part of the Marketing Plan

Solution: According to some statictics the sellers themselves are responsible for at least one out of every ten sales. You can network your home to your business and personal friends, neighbors, and keep the house in move-in condition. We can help let you know just how you can help.


If you are considering selling your home in Torrance or the South Bay we would love to help.  With extensive experience and expertise in the Torrance real estate market we are a great asset for all of your real estate needs.  Keith Kyle has been a top  producing realtor since 2005 and has the backing of one of the most reputable real estate companies with unparalled national and international reach.