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8 Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Home

Lex Lianos

Lex Lianos is an award winning, top producing Realtor...

Lex Lianos is an award winning, top producing Realtor...

Mar 29 5 minutes read

Selling a home can be an extremely stressful and emotionally challenging time in your life. Whether it’s your first time selling or your fifth time, the selling process always comes with new hurdles that many don’t expect. Making just a few small mistakes can drastically impact both your finances, and peace of mind. 

With a transaction as complex and emotional as selling your home, it’s easy for anyone to make mistakes. But to get the most money out of your home, it truly pays to do everything right. We put together the top 8 mistakes people make when selling a home, and how to avoid them. 

1) Mispricing 

Either over-pricing or under-pricing your home is a huge money-losing mistake. It’s all about finding the sweet spot to avoid losing money on the table, or having your home sit on the market for a longer period of time. To avoid this, it is important to get familiar with the market and research homes for sale that are similar to your own to understand your home’s worth. Consulting with a top producing real estate agent to get a point of reference on your home’s value will help you avoid making an irreversible mistake.

2) Bad Photography

First impressions are everything when it comes to marketing your home. More than 90% of buyers begin their home search online, so you want to be sure that the photos are of high quality. Instead of using a cell phone, it is worth the time and money to use a professional home photographer. You only have one chance to make a great first impression. 

3) Failing to Prepare Your Home

One of the least expensive improvements you can make when selling a home is to declutter and clean out your home. Clutter tends to make your home appear smaller and more difficult for buyers to envision living in your home. So before you schedule the photography and open the house to prospective buyers, be sure to re-organize those kitchen counters, messy closets, and trophy-lined shelves. It’s a small step that will ultimately make a huge difference in achieving a great result.

4) Not Staging

Staged homes spend half the time on the market and sell for than 6% above the asking price compared to non-staged homes. Buyers want to enter a space in which they can genuinely see themselves living, which is pretty hard when your home is either empty or poorly laid out with outdated furniture and decor. Unless you’re already an interior design pro, we highly recommend using a professional stager to decorate your home and do its beauty justice. It’s an investment that will drastically improve the value of your home and earn you more money in the long-run. 

5) Trying to Sell on Your Own

Selling a home is a complex and stressful process, especially if it is your first time. Home sellers that try to do it on their own often end up taking longer to sell, and for much less than those that worked with an agent. Save yourself the unnecessary stress and hire a trustworthy professional that will help guide you to a realistic listing price, help you avoid any legal concerns, and save you time by dealing with buyer interactions. 

6) Picking the Wrong Agent

Selling with an agent is definitely the way to go, but how do you find someone you can trust? Make sure you’re choosing an agent that has your best interest at heart. Read client reviews, check their licensing and credentials, and make sure they have plenty of experience selling in your area. When you actually meet with an agent, be sure to ask about their marketing strategies, negotiation style, and how often they plan to communicate with you. After all this person will be helping you sell your most valuable asset, so it is in your best interest that you’re on the same page.

7) Listing at the Wrong Time

Typically the best time to sell a home is in the spring (January-June) and fall (September- October). Winter, specifically in November and December, is usually not the best time to put your home on the market since people are preoccupied with the holidays. Since fewer buyers are likely to be looking, your home may take longer to sell and you may not get as much money.

8) Ignoring Repairs

Even the most minor issues such as a broken doorknob will leave buyers wondering what else hasn’t been fixed. We recommend having an agent do a sweep of your home to see if any smaller issues, that you have likely become accustomed to, stand out. It will always cost you less money to make these repairs ahead of time, rather than having buyers see your house in disrepair. Keep in mind any problems with the house will be revealed in the home inspection, so it is not worth trying to hide it beforehand.

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