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7 home seller nightmares & how to avoid them

Paul Reddam

Paul leverages his 25 years of experience in the Austin market to provide individuals with an unparalleled level of personal attention and responsive ...

Paul leverages his 25 years of experience in the Austin market to provide individuals with an unparalleled level of personal attention and responsive ...

Apr 22 6 minutes read

"Surprise!" is a word you want to hear at a birthday party or another monumental life event, but it is NOT a word you want to hear when you're selling your home.  

It's not unusual to experience a few bumps along the journey of selling your home.  While some issues may unavoidable, many can be prevented when you have the right people and resources on your side.   Today we’re getting candid about the 7 possible issues that sellers could face, and more importantly, how to ensure they don’t happen to you.

Structural issues, mold, and more

Buyers typically get nervous when it comes to structural issues, mold, termites, or any other problem that could compromise the bones of the home.   One of the BEST ways to avoid this is to have a pre-inspection when you are listing your home. This way, if there are any issues, you have time to remedy them prior to the sale.

Lender totally dropped the ball

You know that not all real estate agents are created equal.  It’s the same for lenders too. Unfortunately, a weak lender can impact your transaction.  If the lender isn't thorough, your paperwork could end up forgotten on the bottom of their to-do list. Even if your deal isn't entirely forgotten, careless mistakes such as failing to track down a signature, misspelling a name or adding the incorrect loan amount could derail things.  Since the buyer picks their own lender, there's not much you can do to avoid this, but your Realtor can help nudge the lender along and facilitate clear communication when needed.

Buyer was pre-qualified but NOT pre-approved

It is pretty easy for the majority of potential buyers to get pre-qualified for a loan since the screening process is not very in depth. Just because a buyer says they are pre-qualified does not mean, however, that they have actual buying power. A serious buyer needs to have a pre-approval commitment from a lender proving they will back the loan.

In this situation, your Realtor can ask the buyer to get pre-approved with one of their trusted lenders to ensure that the offer they submit on your home is legitimate. If the buyer insists on using their own lender, be sure to only accept offers from buyers who have true pre-approval commitment letters.  

Appraisal was faulty

If your buyer is purchasing your home with bank financing, the bank will require that your home be appraised to confirm that it is actually worth the amount of money being loaned to the buyer.  In a hot market where buyers sometimes pay over the asking price for a home, we can run into problems with the home not appraising.  And if the home doesn't appraise, the buyer may not get the loan they had  hoped for.  An experienced Realtor can help navigate this issue with a few careful adjustments to the purchase terms in the contract or by showing property appreciation values to the appraiser.

Buyer got angry you took the curtain rods

You might think this one is a joke but it’s really not. Sometimes, a seller removes what is deemed as a “permanent fixture” during the move out process. Fixtures such as chandeliers, blinds, some lights, appliances, and yes, curtain rods are generally expected to remain in the home when the seller moves out. 

To prevent confusion, it’s a good idea to review the list of permanent fixtures with your agent when the offer is made. You can agree together what stays and what can be taken with you. If you are planning on taking your refrigerator etc. with you be transparent with the buyer up front and delineate those items in the purchase contract.   

Repairs weren’t completed in a timely manner

In some purchase negotiations, the seller and buyer agree to a change in price to cover the costs or repairs or updates.  In other negotiations the seller and buyer may agree to the seller making certain repairs prior to closing.  

If you agreed to make repairs to the home as part of the sales contract, be sure to get them completed before closing day.  Instead of making multiple trips to the hardware store and rushing around, consider hiring a contractor to handle all repairs.  We are very knowledgeable about the best and most trustworthy contractors in our area and we’re always willing to help you find the right person for the job. 

Unsatisfied with your agent

Your real estate agent can make or break your overall experience when selling your home. Using your friend’s cousin might sound like a great idea at the time, but it could ultimately lead to some serious regret. Your home might sit on the market for a long time without interest or you might not get the full value of your home. 

Do your research, talk to friends, and read reviews.  The agent you choose to represent you and your home should be knowledgeable, experienced, likable, and tech-savvy.

If you had a bad or even average experience with your last agent, we have full confidence we will exceed your expectations. We couple great service with cutting-edge digital technology to make your home stand out to potential buyers. See how we use Facebook, email marketing and more to get your home SOLD! 

Have these things happened to you?

We’re curious.  Did any of these things happened to you when you sold your last home? Let us know right here!  

Paul Reddam, Associated Broker

[email protected] 


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