Elaine Abercrombie

Elaine Abercrombie (Roe Anne White photo)

In today’s real estate climate, you want to be sure to take all the necessary steps to squeeze every possible penny out of the sale of your home.

Small oversights or missteps can be costly when it comes to your bottom line. However, there are some common mistakes that are easily avoidable if you listen to the experience and advice of your Realtor.

One error that can cost you is to put your home on the market before it is truly ready for presentation. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Image is everything, so get all the cleaning, painting, patching and lawn care done well in advance of your first showing.

Another costly stumbling block is the initial listing price. Remember that you control the asking price, but not the selling price — which is determined by the buyers and what the market will bear.

Try to detach yourself emotionally from what you want to net, and price your home aggressively against your competition right from the beginning. Homes that buyers feel are a good value usually get more than one offer, and then you can choose the best offer to take with the help of your professional.

Emotional attachment can keep you from perceiving and presenting your home as what it is — a commodity.

Present it, market it and price it as you would any new product on the market. Your Realtor will make sure it gets exposure to the right demographic, and will help you avoid costly errors along the way to a successful closing so you can move to your next home.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes at Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at elaine@elaineabercrombie.com.