9 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home
Eric Stewart ● September 22, 2022
Most Common & Costly Home Selling Mistakes
When it comes to selling your home, there are plenty of mistakes you could potentially make. Selling a home is a complex process, so you should be aware of some of the more common mistakes people make so you can avoid them. Here are 9 common home selling mistakes you can avoid:
#1. Don’t Ask for Too Much Money
What you paid for your house should not influence your sales price. Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay. Your Realtor should have their eye on the market and know what homes like yours are selling for now. Pricing your home too high will discourage buyer interest, and your property could linger on the market for months, which is not your end goal.
#2. Don’t Skip the Marketing
To get the highest price for your house, your Realtor should leverage all marketing options that are available. One of the areas you should focus on is high quality listing photos.
According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 43% of buyers looked at properties online as their first step in the home search process, and a whopping 97% used the internet to search for a home. Listing photos are often the first impression potential buyers get of your home; make it count!
Other important areas include a comprehensive MLS listing detailing all the features and amenities of your house, directional “For Sale” signage alerting drivers to your property, and, if appropriate, direct mail postcards and open houses.
#3. Don’t Go it Alone, Unless You Know What You’re Doing
If you aren’t experienced at selling homes, let a professional steer the ship. There’s a lot of money at stake. If you try to sell your home on your own, you may not save as much as you think in the end because people who buy For Sale By Owner houses tend to discount the price they’re willing to pay since there is no Realtor involved. Additionally, in recent years, many states have enacted new state disclosure laws that Realtors understand and can help you navigate.
When choosing to not hire a professional when selling your home, you get out of paying commission, but you also miss out on a lot of advantages that come with hiring a professional. For example, data from the National Association of Realtors shows you will likely make more money when you hire an agent.
Many additional services come with hiring a professional agent, including professional guidance, a network of agents, and professional marketing strategies. A Realtor® will have much more experience in selling homes than you, along with a deeper understanding of local trends on the housing market, regulations on closing a sale, and many more aspects of the process. Their expertise will help you make the best decisions for selling your home in your particular area.
Your Realtor® will also be connected to a network of agents, meaning your home can be put in front of many potential buyers that would not have found it otherwise. When selling your home yourself, you often rely on word-of-mouth and other less effective methods for advertising your home.
Finally, agents can provide much more advanced marketing strategies that you might not have access to–or the resources for–on your own. This can include digital ads, print ads, and much more.
If you’re unsure how to find the right Realtor®, check out our blog post from last week, Questions to Ask Your Potential Realtor®!
#4. Don’t Neglect to Fix Broken Things
If potential buyers walk through your home and see a few items that need repair, they may wonder how well you’ve maintained the things they can’t see. Before putting your home on the market, you should spend the time to get your home in show-worthy shape, meaning you should clear your gutters, patch holes in walls, address dripping faucets and loose door knobs etc. You should also pay for a home inspection before listing your home. Buyers often opt for a home inspection anyway, so you can avoid delaying the closing process or risking losing the buyers by getting an inspection ahead of time.
#5. Don’t Get Emotionally Involved
While you may be delighted with your unique decorating decisions, you want your house to look as neutral as possible, so buyers can envision themselves living in the space. This may entail, for instance, removing busy wallpaper and painting the walls a soft, neutral color. It buyer’s don’t fall in love with your home, don’t take it as an insult, it’s simply a deal that didn’t pan out.
#6. Don’t Leave Your Stuff Everywhere
You want potential buyers to feel like they could move into your house with their personal items. Your photos and knick-knacks can make the space feel a little too personal. Also, de-cluttering and removing items will make your rooms appear larger.
#7. Don’t Get Offend by a Lowball Offer
Most buyers are going to try and buy your house for the lowest price possible. If you get a really low offer, don’t get angry. Instead, give the buyer a counter-offer. Typically, most buyers will come back with a second offer, which is a better indication of what they’re really willing to pay.
#8. Don’t Lose the Sale Over Something Stupid
It’s possible to get almost all the way through a home sale and then to have things fall apart over a minor detail. Don’t let things like light fixtures or draperies stall your sale. Unless it’s a family heirloom, you can probably find another one, but you may not find another buyer at your current sales price. If you feel there are things you cannot leave behind, remove them and replace with something else before your house goes on the market.
#9. Don’t Underestimate the Cost of Selling
Be sure to prepare for the additional expenses that come with selling a home. This can include agent commissions, staging costs, closing costs, necessary home repairs, other moving expenses, and more.
Here is a breakdown of some common costs sellers pay:
- Agent Commissions: Typically 6% of the home sales price (Ex. if your home sells for $350,000, you can expect to pay about $21,000 in agent commissions)
- Staging: Can be anywhere from $500 to over $2,000
- Moving Expenses: The average cost for a local move is $1,250 and the average cost for a long-distance move is $4,890
Ready to Sell Your Home?
For additional guidance on home selling mistakes and how to sell your home fast and for top dollar, contact the real estate professionals at the Eric Stewart Group by clicking here. We have over +75 years of combined experience helping sellers and buyers across the metro area.
For more tips on preparing your home for the market, download our FREE Market Ready Guide.