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Top 10 mistakes of home sellers -- Page 2

5. Not getting your home inspected before listing it.
Have general inspections done ahead of time. Even though buyers will often have the house inspected again, it's best to prepare for any potential problems. "It can be very costly to the seller if he or she does not go ahead with the inspection before the offer is placed," says Gaylord. "You don't want to get stuck with a $7,000 fee because the termite, dry rot, and fungus report determined that the wood in the foundation of your house had deteriorated so badly that the whole house needs to be leveled."

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6. Withholding information from potential buyers.
While it is tempting to hide or fail to mention the downfalls of a home -- perhaps it's a haven for cockroaches or located in an area that's prone to floods or earthquakes -- it is best to give buyers full disclosure. This kind of information can greatly affect the value or desirability of the property.

7. Not being objective about your home.
While you may think your purple walls or poly-classic columns are great, it is best to keep that opinion to yourself. "Sellers may feel they know their home best but that doesn't mean they are the best people to sell it," Bernard says. She recommends that sellers leave their home while the agent shows it. "A lot of people feel uncomfortable looking at a home if the buyer is right there. It's important to give the buyers space."

8. Poorly communicating with your agent.
Sellers should take a proactive approach to the selling process and not rely solely on the agent. Sellers should insist upon regular updates about the house and never assume the agent has taken care of everything. Ultimately, it is the seller's responsibility to ensure everything is running smoothly.

9. Not investigating your buyer.
Once you have an offer on the table, it's important to secure letters of pre-qualification or loan approval from the buyers. These letters should not only state that the buyers' credit has been checked but also that it was acceptable to the lender. Also, it's important to ask buyers to complete a loan application and submit it to their lender within a few days after acceptance of the offer.

10. Not proofreading the closing statement.
Carefully review the statement, including the loan balance, repairs, and other expenses that are detailed in order to avoid last-minute surprises or errors. Make sure you get an estimated statement a few weeks prior to closing and compare the final statement to the estimated one.

-- Updated: July 18, 2006
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'05 Real Estate Guide
30 yr fixed mtg 3.82%
15 yr fixed mtg 3.05%
5/1 jumbo ARM 3.19%
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