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Even in a hot seller's market, avoid these mistakes when listing your home, experts say

Karen Modlin with daughters Sarah,9, left, and Emily,

Karen Modlin with daughters Sarah,9, left, and Emily, 11, at their home in Commack. The family recently sold their three-bedroom home in Commack and purchased a four-bedroom home in the same community. Credit: Morgan Campbell

It’s a seller's market on Long Island these days, but there can be pitfalls for those listing their homes.

Sellers can run into trouble by overpricing their homes, among other potential errors, real estate agents say.

"If you think you're going to price your house above the market and buyers are going to jump to it, that's a mistake," said James Manikas, a real estate agent with Hauppauge-based Realty Connect USA.

Another potential mistake is to accept an offer and immediately stop letting other potential buyers see the home, Manikas said: "What if that person then bails out of the deal?"

In addition, if sellers are concerned they might encounter delays purchasing their next home, they might want to request extra time before the sale of their current home closes, or even negotiate an option to rent the house back from the buyers if they need extra time before moving out, Manikas said.

Karen Modlin, 44, a nurse, and her husband, Joe, recently sold their three-bedroom home in Commack and purchased a four-bedroom home in the same community.

"The selling part was pretty easy because there are so many interested buyers," Modlin said. Their real estate agent, Manikas, "was very honest with us," she said. "He said, ‘this is what your house will go for.’… And he was right, because the first person that came in gave us a full price offer and we sold our house to that woman."

The home sold for the asking price of $479,000, she said. Buying their next home was "a little more frustrating," though they did eventually find a house they’re happy with, she said.

Homeowners also should be wary of real estate agents who offer a guarantee of a sale, or who promise to purchase any home, regardless of the condition, said Nick Sakalis, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty in Syosset.

Sakalis said some homeowners don’t understand that the real estate agents making those promises might not be willing to pay full price for the house.

Such agents "send out these teaser letters to a lot of prospective sellers…saying ‘we will buy your house for cash,’ or ‘we’ll buy anything,’" Sakalis said. "A lot of times, they'll buy the house that way at significant discounts."

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