8 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

Woman pondering her home selling mistakes.

If you are planning to sell your home in the near future or are in a situation where you need to sell soon, there are certain mistakes you will want to avoid. These are common home selling mistakes that could cost you time or eat into your selling price.

Here are the home selling mistakes you should avoid when selling your house in today’s real estate market:

Not Being Prepared

This is a more general mistake, but it happens often. A homeowner makes a quick decision to sell because of market conditions or some other reasons. They don’t put in the thought or take any time to prepare for the home sale, and it ends up leading to poor decisions along the way. Do some research, prepare your home (and yourself) and set your expectations properly. If you are in a situation where you have to sell quickly (financial distress, divorce, unwanted inheritance, job relocation, etc.) then you may not have quite as much time to prepare. Still, it helps to understand your options and know what your best selling solutions are for your specific situation.

Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

If you are in a position to take your time and sell for the highest possible price, it’s worth it to hire a real estate agent. They bring valuable experience and resources that will help you better prepare and market your property to attract more buyers and better offers. Yes, their commissions will eat into your profits. However, a good real estate agent will pay for themselves by making the process smoother and, in most cases, getting a better price for your house.

Getting Emotional

One very common mistake home sellers make is getting too emotional throughout the process. It’s hard not to be emotionally connected to your home, no matter how long you’ve lived there. You just can’t let your emotions get in the way and drive bad decisions. Ultimately, a home sale is a financial process and your decisions should be made based on what makes the most financial sense for you and your family.

Not Preparing the House

If you truly want to get top dollar for your home, it has to be ready for the market. This may involve cleaning it from top to bottom (hire a cleaning crew), making necessary repairs, upgrading outdated fixtures and appliances, and staging the property. You want to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Houses in poor condition will almost always sit on the market longer than those which have been cleaned up and staged well. If you don’t have the time and money to fix up a home in poor condition, you may want to explore the option of selling to a cash real estate investor who is willing to buy the house as it is. You won’t get top dollar for the property, but you will be able to sell quicker and avoid out-of-pocket expenses for home prep, repairs and real estate agent commissions.

Hiding Problems with the House

On the heels of #4, you never want to try and hide any known issues with the property. If you have a damaged roof or cracked foundation, it will be revealed in the final home inspection process and it will come back to bite you. It is best to be honest and disclose any known problems upfront to avoid issues with closing.

Unrealistic Pricing

One of the biggest mistakes any home seller can make is setting a price that is too high. Ultimately, the market dictates what the price should be and more bidding wars actually happen on houses that are fairly priced or priced slightly below market value. You don’t want to price your house too high or too low. You want to find the sweet spot that will attract the right types of buyers and entice them to make offers. A house priced too high will not get enough attention. A house priced too low may get the wrong kind of attention and attract lowball offers.

Lack of Marketing Exposure

If you forego hiring a Realtor® and decide to go “for sale by owner,” there are plenty of mistakes you’ll need to avoid. Marketing is one of the best advantages offered by a real estate agent. They know how to promote your listing and get it in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Simply sticking a sign up in the yard or running a tiny classified ad won’t cut it.

Not Properly Reviewing Offers

Eventually, you will get offers for your house. Just remember not all offers are good offers. Don’t just look at the price. You have to read all the details. Is the buyer’s financing in order (mortgage, cash or other form of payment)? Are there any selling contingencies? Are there any other red flags that could cause complications or delays with the sale? Sometimes, a lower price with better terms is the best offer for a smooth and successful sale.

These are just a few of the most significant mistakes home sellers can make. Whether you need to sell fast for cash or you have the time to take it slow and sell for top dollar, you have to make smart decisions throughout the home selling process if you want to be successful. For a fair cash offer or to explore all your home selling options (both traditional and non-traditional), contact PropertyLark today. Get started by filling out the contact form on any page of our website.