9 Common Home Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid
Updated: Jan 23
Congratulations! You’re selling your home! It won’t be long ’til you’re trading your old house keys for a new one or a sweet pile of money to fund your next endeavor! Either way, choosing to sell your home is the first step in starting a new journey, and it’s not an easy decision to make!
So, how DO you go about the whole home selling situation? While the process doesn’t have to be as difficult as trying to solve a puzzle, many homeowners make it seem more complicated than it is by making some very common home selling mistakes. And by avoiding these mistakes, a home seller increases the chances of a stress-free and successful home selling experience.
Check out these nine common home selling mistakes and know what you can do to avoid them altogether!
Hey, we hear you! Pricing a home can, indeed, be tricky. If you price it too low, you’ll miss out on thousands of dollars in profit, and when you do the opposite, you could turn away serious buyers or run the risk of wasting months before you have to reduce the price to get another offer.
Stop trusting the internet and start asking a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis to know how much homes like yours are selling for within your area. Set the right price for your home early on and see how quickly you’ll sell your home and how much money ends up in your pocket at the closing table.
Going the “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) route is a massive home-selling mistake. Do you save yourself from paying commission to a realtor? Yes, you do. But you also risk missing the chance to make a whole lot more money.
Trust a professional to handle the situation. That 6% Realtor fee is more than worth it, and it’ll save you the time spent reading through real estate books, vet buyers you’re unsure of, or spend needless time and energy on buttoning up contracts.
Selling a home means zero expenses on your end…right?
Don’t let home selling expenses catch you by surprise! Aside from agent commissions and closing costs, a proper home selling process would also require you to pay staging costs, home inspection repairs, seller concessions, and moving expenses, as well. Keep these additional costs in mind before you formally put your home up for sale.
Do you still owe a mortgage on your home? You may be thinking of using a portion of your sale proceeds to pay off the remaining balance of your loan, but what if your property went down in value? That would mean owing more than what it’s worth! Breaking even on your home sale is at least better, but it’s still not all great if you ask us.
If you’re in either situation, avoid selling until you’ve properly handled your underwater mortgage (unless you need to avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure!). Staying in your home and working hard to build more equity before you sell is the best option for now.
Do you think your would-be buyers won’t notice that leak on the roof? The bug problem you’ve been moaning about for months? Yep, guess again. Smart buyers will likely get a home inspection after you accept their offer. If a critical house issue arises during the inspection, it could delay your closing date or even terminate the deal altogether!
Be sure to consider paying for a home inspection before you list your home to check if everything’s in shape for your buyer.
We think it goes without saying that clutter is a huge turn-off for homebuyers. Piles of paper, misplaced toys, and torn-up furniture make your home look like a slop-fest to buyers. And don’t forget pets. If you want to attract buyers, you’ve got to pretend Lady doesn’t live there anymore.
Clear every surface, pack the toys up, eliminate the nasty odors, clean up all those stains, and get rid of anything that will make your house look “owned.” You’re marketing a house. It’s time to treat your home like it’s the buyer’s home. Get everyone in your household on board. Tell them your house is now a fancy bed and breakfast.
Do you think staging a home isn’t a big deal? Yeah, think again. Skimping on home staging is a common mistake, as it has a dramatic impact on selling a house faster. It’s also proven to kick up the selling price up by 6–10%! So, in other words, if you want to bump up your home offers, be sure to avoid skipping this step!
Unless your buyer is a closeted Dracula looking for a new lair, a dark home is not saleable. Bright rooms make a house look bigger, so throwback those curtains and let the light shine on every nook and cranny! Fill your lamps and overhead fixtures with 100-watt bulbs and add a cozy touch with a few candles while you’re at it!
These days, most buyers choose to cruise for home from their couch. In fact, more than half of these serious buyers find their homes online! So, if you’re thinking about using bad, hurried-up photos for your listing, you’ve got another thing coming! You’ll lose buyer interest before they ever pull up to the curb.
Work with an experienced pro who knows how to make your home shine on camera! You’d be amazed at the difference the correct lighting and a wide-angle lens can make!