Avoid these Home Selling Mistakes

Putting a home up for sale on the market isn’t usually a quick decision. It typically comes after much consideration, perhaps due to several factors which include a new career opportunity, a change in housing needs, wanting more or less space, to move into a home that’s more energy efficient, or, taking advantage of living in a great beach condo.

Regardless of the reason, when you arrive at the decision to sell your home, you need to go into the process knowing what to expect. Many homeowners believe that their properties have all the enticement necessary to pique buyers’ interest, but unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. Living in a residence means becoming use to those little annoyances, which is to say, broken items and deficiencies.

What most seasoned real estate professionals will tell you in a whisper is one of the biggest challenges (read: obstacles), is the seller.  Homeowners can be quite unrealistic about their properties and in some instances, unwilling to accept reality. Sure, home improvements and other fixes can be valuable, but these alone won’t sell a home alone. Buyers will expect and demand much more, and, will show it with their actions.


Timing has a lot to do with selling a home. It’s not so much the time of year, though that is a factor, but timing the market. Right now, for instance, buyers are quite active for a variety of reasons. Among them are loosened lending requirements, more loan products, lower down payment entries, new credit score modeling, and of course, very low interest rates. It’s not just about buyers, though, you as a seller also need a reason to sell.

So many factors can feed in to your initial list price: market inventory, perceived vs. actual value, and others. Sellers often fall victim to the lure of a gigantic payday, thinking the higher the price, the higher their take-home. —Realtor.com

Selling your home is something that is the result of a change that’s occurring or will soon happen. It could be relocating for a job, transitioning from work to retirement, wanting a vacation home, upsizing, downsizing, or, taking advantage of new construction. Regardless of the reason, it’s best to sell when the market is active, like it is currently, and, when home values are on the rise yet still remain affordable, which is likewise now occurring.


You’d like to sell your home as soon as possible, and, for as much as possible. That’s completely understandable and expected, but, if you’re doing or have done, one of the following, you’re making a very costly and time consuming mistake:

  • Pricing over local market value. It’s quite easy to rationalize a higher value than the competition, after all, it’s your home and you’ve put a lot into it. The reality is that the market is in control and no matter what you’re reasoning, it will not pique interest if it’s priced too high.
  • Ignoring signs of neglect. Okay, so you’ve become use to that sagging weatherstripping at the bottom of the entryway door or don’t even notice those little holes in the walls left from that shelf you took down. Whatever it might be, however small, it’s going to be a big deal to potential buyers. Fix anything and everything that’s broken and include a few inexpensive updates to make a big impact, like new throw pillows, new kitchen and bath towels, and a fresh coat of light color, neutral, interior paint.
  • Poor or ineffective marketing. Approximately 90 percent of all home searches begin on the internet, which means you need really good photos, an enticing description, and, an overall marketing plan. Speak with your selling agent and coordinate your efforts for maximum exposure.
  • Too much emotional attachment. If you are emotionally attached, you’ll have to keep that sentiment to yourself. What’s more, you have to be ready to let go because not doing so will hinder your chances of making a sale.
  • Bad return-on-investment renovations. Home office remodels, sunrooms, and bathroom additions all have a poor return-on-investment. There are others, learn about poor ROI home improvements and make the necessary changes.
  • Incomplete or too little disclosure. It’s tempting to keep the past in the past, but it’s illegal and could very well cause a lot of problems. Provide total disclosure and avoid costly legal repercussions.

Perhaps the biggest mistake home sellers make is to go it alone. That’s clearly demonstrated by the numbers, which tell a very stark story. Homes sold by-owner stay on the market for much longer periods, and, typically sell for a significantly reduced price. The reason is because FSBO (For Sale By Owner) home sellers don’t have a working knowledge of the market and are limited in connections. While an experienced agent will cost about 6 percent of the sale price, you’ll have a stake of 94 percent. On average, homes sold with an agent fetch upwards of 35 percent more than those sold by-owner.