The Top 10 Most Common Costly Mistakes When Selling Real Estate

Common Critical Mistake selling real estate in seven hillsAny­one who has ever attemp­ted to sell real estate has wanted the same thing:

To sell their home quickly, effort­lessly and for the best pos­sible price.

You can sell your prop­erty your­self and prob­ably achieve mar­ket value, but if you want to get your dream price there are some mis­takes that sellers often make (espe­cially in seven hills) when selling their home you need to be aware of.

Aware­ness of these mis­takes will ensure you dont fall into this trap and also max­im­ise the value of your home.


1. THE Num­ber 1 Selling Mis­take – Advert­ising For A High/Unrealistic Price

This is by far, the worst prop­erty selling mis­take any seller can make. At the end of the day, buy­ers are well-informed due to their dili­gent research and know value when they see it.

Now I’m not say­ing you should put no price tag on it, in some cases that can be worse because people start to think it may be too expens­ive and don’t bother look­ing at the property.

How­ever, when the ini­tial price is too high, poten­tial buy­ers will simply walk away. If you put a reas­on­able price on it that is roughly $10,000 less than what it’s worth, you will have a much bet­ter chance at get­ting the amount you are after.

Let me break down for you what happened in this case study of a recently sold house:


1 Munn Pl Toongabbie frount yard

1 Munn Place Toongab­bie NSW


  •  Own­ers dream price $620,000
  • Mar­ket price $610,000
  • Advert­ised price $609,000
  • Released on mar­ket Tuesday
  • First open home Saturday
  • Nego­ti­ations star­ted at @$609,000
  • Sold $660,000 Monday morning



1 Munn Pl Toongabbie  floorplan

1 Munn Toongabbie backyard

This is called an “Offers Over” strategy and not all agents are suc­cess­ful with this method. This will not always get you the best price, some­times auc­tions work well in par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances. See 34 Carinya Road, Gir­raween, NSW as our auc­tion case study, with over 200 buyer inspec­tions in which we got over a $100,000 over the own­ers expectations.



Pri­cing a home to sell is an art all real estate agents work to mas­ter. Most but not all of mar­ket value is based on com­par­able sales, but other factors agents look at include mar­ket move­ment, demand in the area (schools can drive this), prop­erty loc­a­tion and if it’s been renovated.


2. Do Not Try To Sell Your Home On Your Own


This is a com­mon mis­take that many sellers make. Many think that nobody will ever know their home as well as they do, and you are right, nobody will know it like you do.

Here is the kicker: A pro­fes­sional real estate agent may not know the home as well as you, but they can sell it bet­ter (if you hire a good nego­ti­ator that is). They know how to focus on the pos­it­ives while stay­ing away from the neg­at­ives. Stud­ies have shown that when you try and sell on your own home, you are far less effect­ive than the pro­fes­sion­als because you are emo­tion­ally attached to the prop­erty and ten times more likely to make bad fin­an­cial decisions based on emotions.

One of the biggest time wasters that can make you pull your hair out is buyer qual­i­fic­a­tion. Basic­ally this is the abil­ity to find out the ser­i­ous buyer from the nosey neigh­bours. This skill can make or break a dream price sale. A good real estate sales agent runs them­selves by a strict set of rules and dialogs/qualifying ques­tions that sep­ar­ate the rocks from the dia­monds. This becomes a fine art and believe me, I have seen plenty of rocks!


3. Not look­ing Up Your Real Estate Agent On Google


The last thing you want when you hire a pro­fes­sional real estate agent is one who is inex­per­i­enced. You do not want a buyer to come to your open home, look at your agent and walk out the door due to exper­i­ences they had with them in the past or at the open home. Its essen­tial to hire some­body who is well-informed, exper­i­enced and has good nego­ti­ation skills.

It is easy to look up real estate agents through online reviews or testi­mo­ni­als given by their buy­ers and sellers, as well as if they have any industry awards. If this inform­a­tion is hard to find (not on the first page of Google) I sug­gest not to go with them, because if they can’t mar­ket them­selves online what makes you think they can mar­ket your property?


4. Prep Work: More Import­ant Than you Think


What would you like to see when you look at a home you want to pur­chase? Do you want to find a dirty 1970s yel­low kit­chen or dark purple shag pile car­pet? Or do you want to see a bright clean home with fine fix­tures through­out, trendy fur­niture, a nicely man­i­cured lawn and a smell of freshly baked cook­ies? You know what you want so give it to them! When your home is sched­uled to be viewed by pro­spect­ive buy­ers, you need to pre­pare it so that it looks like a place where the buyer would want to live.

A simple tip is put away the dishes, you will be sur­prised how this can set off neg­at­ive emo­tions dur­ing an open home but it is often over looked. Set out fresh flowers to give it a look and smell that is wel­com­ing to oth­ers, have the floors pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned and have the kids go to a friends house. Your real estate agent should know all these little tips that all add up to a bet­ter price. The house should look live­able, not lived in.


5. Address All Main­ten­ance Issues


Before your home can be shown, you need to address any main­ten­ance issues that may be present. For example, if you have a leaky pipe, it should be fixed prior to any­ inspec­tions.

Not many buy­ers are look­ing for a “ren­ov­at­ors dream”. Just about every­one we talk to wants a home they can just move into and not have to do any work and guess what, people are pre­pared to pay for it! Just think for a minute how busy we are in today’s soci­ety and how we struggle to find time for ourselves let alone work on our own home.

Addi­tion­ally, if your home has any mould, it should also be taken care of. Your real estate agent will point out all of the issues that should be fixed but it is ulti­mately up to you to get it done. You do not need to use top of the line or the most expens­ive products, but everything that is included with the home should be in proper work­ing order.

Most home sellers choose not to make repairs before selling because of the expense but don’t think of the big­ger pic­ture. What will most likely hap­pen is that you will lose money the longer your home is on the mar­ket and you will be forced to accept a lower offer due to lack of pro­spect­ive buy­ers enquir­ing on your property.

Remem­ber, the money you spend on fix­ing these issues will be paid back when the house sells for much more than it would have without the issues resolved. In say­ing all of that please don’t make mis­take num­ber 6.


6. Do Not Over­spend On Renovating


Aus­tralia has been hooked on renov­a­tion shows like “The Block”, “Back­yard Blitz” and “Bet­ter Homes & Gar­dens”. Any­body who has actu­ally ren­ov­ated a prop­erty or has land­scaped a back yard knows what a chal­lenge and how time con­sum­ing it can be. So why does it seem so romantic and easy on all those home makeover shows with their big budgets and “expert help”?

Clearly, it is designed to enter­tain – and it is far from real­ity, you dont see the 30 trades­man and labour­ers in the back ground (off cam­era) wait­ing for the act­ors to get out of the way so they can get on with the job. Some­times you do see them in the show but they are not dis­cussed nor how much they cost.

In say­ing that, you are going to want to invest some money in fix­ing up your home with a new coat of paint, pos­sibly some land­scap­ing and other light main­ten­ance. The import­ant thing to keep in mind is what your home may sell for. What you want and what you get out of it are often two very dif­fer­ent things.

Out of exper­i­ence this is what happens;

  • Buy­ers just go buy in a bet­ter sub­urb unless they have an emo­tional reason for buy­ing in that location.
  • The buy­ers look­ing in your sub­urb are not in that price bracket and nor­mally can’t get bank approval which can be a deal breaker.
  • You can be forced to reduce your price, the type of
  • buy­ers you want just simply don’t want to live in your sub­urb, so please con­sult some local real estate agents.

Here is an example:

  • You think you can get $200,000 for your home
  • You still owe $150,000 which needs to get paid off when you sell.
  •  Now let’s say you can get away with $30,000 in renov­a­tions but you could spend up to $60,000.
  • If you end up spend­ing the $60,000, then you will have a total of $210,000 inves­ted as opposed to just $180,000 if you were to stay on the low end of your renovation.
  • Over cap­it­al­isa­tion can very eas­ily cost you $10,000 in the long run using this scenario.

This hap­pens all too often because people fall in love with their home and make changes accord­ing to their require­ments, so please keep in mind to stick to light neut­ral col­ours rather than pink and yel­low polka dot fea­ture walls, if you catch my drift…..


7. Bad Mar­ket­ing Or Not Advert­ising Your Home At All


Most people think that all advert­ising is good advert­ising but they are wrong. You want to be sure that your home is mar­keted in the right places and in the right way.
An example of this can be bad pho­to­graphy. Buyer’s agents love it, and selling agents col­lect. The reason why buyer’s agents like it is because it shows the selling agent;

A) Does not know his trade

B) The agent is most likely desperate

C) A poor negotiator

This is how buyer agents can sniff out a good deal a mile away, and start mov­ing in for the kill.

Dili­gent local selling agents col­lect it from them and do the following;

A) Laugh at the bad agent

B) Feel sorry for the owner

C) Then to put it in their mar­ket­ing kits to show sellers what the com­pet­i­tion does in the area.


Bad agent in our Toongabbie -seven hills property-



Above: Example of Seven Hills Real Estate Agents.


• This guy can’t even upload his own photo

• He has used a stran­ded lens

• The angle is wrong

• He has not fixed up the light­ing issue

• No open homes scheduled

• I could go on……

How can this guy be in busi­ness seriously….!!!!!


I once saw the top of the own­ers head sit­ting in her favour­ite chair with dirty car­pet and clut­ter all over the place, it felt like nails down a chalk board when I looked at it.

Another issue is mar­ket­ing online, a good agent will double check his list­ing online on the day of the release to the inter­net. I can­not tell you how many times and domain have miss­ing inform­a­tion or list­ings and to the own­ers hor­ror, find it has not even been advertised.

On top of all this the need to be found on google and have a large social media pres­ence is cru­cial, without it you will be miss­ing out on a grow­ing por­tion of the market.

8. Mar­ket­ing Stuck In The 1990s And Not Optim­ising Their Online Marketing

People in gen­eral do not like change (espe­cially real estate agents) and there are times when tra­di­tional works, how­ever new tech­niques are some­times bet­ter. Selling your home is one of these times. You want to get your list­ing out there so you need to know how to do it. You want to get your list­ing to your friends on Face­book, your fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and your circles in Google+. While your basic news­pa­per ads, for sale signs and open houses will def­in­itely help, they need some help with the new and innov­at­ive mar­ket­ing tech­niques found in social networking.

See Graph below, print advert­ising is dying and it has become a daily need for real estate agen­cies to truly know online marketing.

If your agent has no idea about search engine optim­isa­tion or doesn’t even have a Google plus page don’t hire them because they are liv­ing in the 1990s and its 2013 Hello….!

9. Lack Of Flexibility

In our busy lives it is hard to find time to catch up with fam­ily and friends let alone buy a home. You really want to be flex­ible for the qual­ity, time poor buy­ers to come through your prop­erty whenever they can. This time poor buy­ers are usu­ally the decision makers of the fam­ily and con­trol the fin­ances. I have seen many sellers that miss out on $1000s of dol­lars just because the agent has lack of access to the property.

Flex­ib­il­ity can also add to your prop­erty sit­ting on the mar­ket for too long. I’ll give you an example, let’s say you want to get $300,000 out of your prop­erty but if it has been on the mar­ket for months and the best offer you have had was $280,000, should you take it?

When selling your home you need to take a long hard look at your sale, what it means to you mov­ing onto the next chapter of your life and if you are not flex­ible, and you don’t give the buyer a win, your home could be on the mar­ket for months or even years before it will sell for what you want out of it.

When you are flex­ible, you will save time and money in the long run by accept­ing an offer that is less than what you had ori­gin­ally expec­ted. Usu­ally people are buy­ing in the same mar­ket and you will find the home you want maybe ask­ing for a slightly lower price as well, so try to think of the big­ger pic­ture, you could be pleas­antly sur­prised in the long run.

10. Look Closely At The Fine Print


Your real estate agent should be able to walk you through most of the fine print in a solicitor’s con­tract but there may be other people involved in your sale. It is imper­at­ive that you know exactly what you are sign­ing as the fine print can eas­ily include things like dish­wash­ers, agents fees, repairs that should be done.

If you don’t read all of the fine print, and con­sult a soli­citor, it could end up cost­ing you thou­sands in the sale of your home that you were unaware of. We strongly recom­mend you read through the con­tract care­fully with your soli­citor before you sign.

If you are care­ful enough not to make some of the key mis­takes, and apply all of these tips and tricks sug­ges­ted, you have set your­self up to get the best pos­sible price for your property.

Should you want to reduce all the hassle in doing this or you just need someone to guide you through the process

please give me (Jhai Mitchell) a call on 02 9896 2333.



Jhai is an award win­ning Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Real Estate Agent for Eld­ers Toongab­bie and Kings Langley. After run­ning his own inter­net mar­ket­ing busi­ness he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to mar­ket them­selves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can mar­ket online so much bet­ter than they cur­rently are.

Since then he has been con­sist­ently quoted in the Sydney Morn­ing Her­ald and Real Estate Busi­ness online. He is a reg­u­lar guest blog­ger on, shar­ing his expert­ise of mar­ket­ing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest pas­sions are his wife, mar­tial arts, dogs and most of all property.

seven hills real estate agent NSW
Cnr Federal Road Prospect Highway Seven Hills NSW 2147 Australia