Common Problems Encountered When Selling a Property Yourself

Some homeowners decide to sell their property by themselves. Their common belief is that it’s simple; they save money and sell their property faster. However, there is a common set of problems a homeowner has to face when selling a property without the advice, guidance and expertise of a professional real estate agent.

 Proper pricing

Homeowners often will overprice their property due to inexperience and lack of objectivity. This can cause less interest and makes the home less appealing, especially during the important first three weeks the property is on the market.

A real estate professional knows how to determine the true market value, and how to properly price the property by using comparable listings and sales, square footage comparisons, amenity comparisons and countless other factors both gross and subtle.

Property marketing 

Not only is there a lack of marketing resources when owners market properties themselves, they often times don’t know how to attract the right target group.

A real estate professional has more resources and methods available to market the property than a homeowner. A professional can and does market the listing to other real estate professionals and not just to the public.

Furthermore when home owners market their homes themselves, they are missing out on all the buyers who are represented by agents, as real estate professionals are more inclined to bring their buyers to properties listed by a professional.

Showings and open houses

Once the property is advertised, calls have to be taken, questions must be answered and appointments scheduled in a timely manner. Also property showings, open houses and broker’s caravans have to be implemented. Homeowners don’t always have the right solutions, answers and the time to manage all of it by themselves.

Screening and qualifying prospects

Potential buyers have to be screened to find out how interested they are in buying and if they are even qualified. Homeowners usually don’t know how to determine if someone qualifies to buy or not. However, a real estate professional knows how to ask the right questions to find that out.

Negotiating offer

After a buyer submits an offer to purchase and a pre-qualification, the homeowner has to write a counter offer to counter-bid and address particular items. Most homeowners are not able to handle the negotiations in an experienced and objective way and need the support of a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer. Negotiating is both an art and a science.

Coordinate inspections and appraisal

The buyer’s lender requires these steps to determine the value of the property and to support the price agreed upon in the offer.

Once the buyer’s loan is approved, the homeowner will receive more instructions from the escrow officer or buyer to follow up with. Coordinating those inspections and understanding what they entail is often beyond the scope of the seller, without the support of a real estate agent.


A home seller is obligated to disclose problems, conditions and circumstances regarding the property and sale that could affect the property’s value. There are countless disclosures required by the Department of Real Estate and the State as well as local ordinances pertaining to disclosures. Proper disclosure prevents legal trouble in the future.

Usually a homeowner doesn’t know what the state and local laws are. They not only don’t have the forms, but also don’t know how to execute them. A real estate agent knows all that, as well as certain legal ramifications that can protect or hurt the owner, in case of non-disclosure.

Learn more about selling a home and how you benefit by working with a real estate professional.

Author: AMSI Real Estate Services

AMSI is a full-service Real Estate Brokerage (Rentals, Property Management, Real Estate Sales and Relocation), headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 1970.

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