Mistakes to be Avoided When Selling Your Home

Anbarasan Appavu

Selling a home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally trying. It may occasionally feel like an invasion of privacy when strangers enter your home, open your closets and cabinets, and rummage through your belongings. They will criticize your home, which has likely become more to you than four walls and a roof, and they will offer you less money than you believe your home is worth.

Due to a lack of experience and a complex, emotional transaction, it is easy for first-time home sellers to make numerous errors. Nevertheless, with some knowledge, you can avoid many of these pitfalls. Learn how to sell your home for the highest possible price within such a reasonable time frame and without losing your mind by reading on.

• Keep your emotions in check and keep your attention on the business side of selling your home.

• Hiring an agent may incur a higher commission fee, but it can eliminate much of the uncertainty associated with selling.

• If you decide to sell your home on your own, set a reasonable price and consider the season.

• Prepare for the sale, do not skimp on visuals for the listing, and disclose any problems with the property.

Mistakes to be  Avoided When Selling Your Home

Getting Emotional

Generally, people have difficulty keeping their emotions in check while saying goodbye.

Consider it impossible? It isn't. When you decide to sell your home, you should begin to view yourself more as a businessperson and salesperson than a homeowner. In fact, disregard the fact that you are the homeowner. By approaching the transaction purely from a financial standpoint, you will remove yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property.

Additionally, recall how you felt when you were house hunting. Most purchasers will also be emotionally charged. If you can keep in mind that you are selling a piece of property as well as an image and a lifestyle, you will be more motivated to put in the extra effort of staging and minor remodeling to sell your home for the highest possible price. These alterations will not only increase your home's resale value, but they will also help you create emotional distance because your home will appear less familiar.

Not Hiring the Real Estate Agent

Although real estate agents charge a hefty commission—typically 5% to 6% of the sale price of your home—probably it's not a good idea to sell your home on your own, especially if you've never done so before. It can be tempting, particularly if you've seen "for sale by owner" or “Home for Sale” signs on people's lawns or online. Whether, is it worthwhile to hire an agent?

A competent real estate agent has your best interests in mind. They will assist you in establishing a reasonable as well as competitive selling price for your home, increasing the likelihood of a swift sale. A real estate agent can also help to de-emotionalize the process by interacting with prospective buyers and weeding out those who are only interested in viewing the property without making an offer.

Additionally, your agent will have more experience negotiating home sales, allowing you to obtain a higher price than you could on your own. If any issues arise during the process, a seasoned professional will be on hand to handle them. Finally, agents are familiar with the paperwork and potential pitfalls associated with real estate transactions and can help ensure a smooth transaction. This implies that there will be either no delays or unanticipated legal consequences in the transaction.

Should you hire a representative after reading this? Only you can decide.

What to Do Without a Real Estate Agent

You've decided against hiring an agent. That is acceptable because it is not impossible to accomplish. There are individuals who successfully sell their own homes. To determine an attractive selling price, first you must conduct the real estate market research on recently sold properties in your area as well as other properties currently on the market. Keep in mind that most home prices already include an agent's commission, so you may need to reduce your asking price.

You will be responsible for your own marketing, so ensure that your home is listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) in your area to reach the greatest number of potential buyers. Due to the absence of an agent, you will be responsible for showing the house and negotiating the sale with the buyer's agent, which can be time-consuming, emotionally taxing, and stressful for some sellers.

Consider hiring a real estate attorney to assist you with the transaction's finer points and the escrow process if you are not using an agent. Even with legal fees, selling your own home can save you thousands of dollars. However, if the buyer has an agent, they will expect compensation. This expense is typically covered by the seller; however, you will still be responsible for paying 1% to 3% of the home's sale price to the buyer's agent.

Setting a Price That Is Unrealistic

Whether you're working with an agent or selling on your own, it's crucial to set the right asking price. Remember the comparative market analysis you or your agent performed prior to making an offer on your home? As a seller, you should be one step ahead of potential purchasers in this regard.

Remember to set a realistic price based on comparable homes in the area, even if you believe your house is worth more.

In the absence of a housing bubble, overpriced homes rarely sell. 70% of real estate agents surveyed by the informational website HomeLight.com stated that overpricing is the most common mistake made by sellers. Don't worry too much about setting a price that is on the low end, as this will, in theory, generate multiple offers and bid the price up to the home's actual market value. In fact, underpricing your home can be a strategy for generating additional interest in your listing, and you can always reject a low offer.

Anticipating the Requested Price

If you wish to close the deal, you may need to negotiate with the buyer. The majority of homeowners want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers while still leaving room for negotiations, which is the opposite of the strategy described above. This may work, providing the buyer with the impression that they are receiving a good deal while allowing you to obtain the amount of money you need from the sale.

Whether you receive more or less than your asking price will depend not only on your pricing strategy, but also on whether you're in a buyer's market or a seller's market and how well you've staged and updated your home.

Selling the Home During Winter Months

There is, contrary to popular belief, a proper time to sell throughout the year. Winter, particularly during the winter holidays, is typically a slow season for home sales. People have numerous social obligations, and the cold weather in much of the country makes staying at home more appealing. Your home may take longer to sell, and you may receive less money, if there are fewer prospective buyers. However, you can take solace in the fact that while there may be fewer active buyers, there will also be fewer competing sellers, which can occasionally work to your advantage.

It may be prudent to wait. Unless there are mitigating circumstances that require you to sell during the winter or the holidays, you should consider listing your home when the weather begins to warm up. When the weather is warmer, people are typically ready and willing to purchase a home.

Skimping on Listing Photos

You'll be doing yourself a great disservice if you don't have high-quality visuals of your home, given that so many buyers search for homes online today and so many of those homes have images. However, there are so many poor photos of homes for sale that when you do a good job, it will set your listing apart from the competition and help generate additional interest.

Good photographs should be taken during the day when there is ample natural light and should be crisp and clear. They should highlight your home's finest qualities. Consider using a wide-angle lens if at all possible; this enables you to provide prospective buyers with a better sense of how entire rooms appear. Employing a professional real estate photographer is preferable to having your agent use a smartphone to take photographs.

Consider adding a video tour or a 360-degree view to your listing for added appeal. This is simple to accomplish with any smartphone. You can certainly entice more prospective buyers to walk through your showing doors. You may receive even more offers if you give potential buyers a tour of your home.

Not Having Adequate Insurance

Your lender may have mandated that you obtain homeowners insurance. If not, you should ensure that you are insured in the event that a visitor sustains an injury on your property and sues you for damages. You should also ensure that there are no obvious hazards on the property or that you have taken measures to eliminate them


It is better to keep the children of potential buyers away from your swimming pool and also it would be good to take your dog out dog during your house showings.

Hiding Major Problems

Think you can get away with concealing major property defects? During the buyer's inspection, any problem will be revealed. You have three options for addressing any problems. Either fix the issue beforehand, price the property below market value to account for it, or list the property at a standard price and offer the buyer a credit to address the issue.

Remember that if you do not resolve the issue in advance, you may lose a significant number of buyers who desire a turnkey home. If you want to avoid expensive surprises after the home is under contract, it is a good idea to have it inspected prior to listing. In addition, many states have disclosure regulations. 5 Some states require sellers to disclose known issues with a home if a buyer specifically requests it, while others mandate that sellers must disclose certain issues voluntarily.

Not Getting Ready for the Sale

Money is lost by sellers who do not clean and stage their homes. If you cannot afford to hire a professional, do not worry. You can achieve many things in getting your house for sale on your own. These omissions can reduce your sales price and even prevent you from making a sale altogether. If you haven't addressed minor issues, such as a broken doorknob or a dripping faucet, a potential buyer may wonder if the home has larger, more expensive issues that have also not been addressed.

Have a friend or real estate agent (someone with fresh eyes) point out the areas of your home that require improvement. Due to your familiarity with the residence, you may be immune to its problem areas. De-cluttering, cleaning thoroughly, repainting the walls, and eliminating any odors will also help you make a favorable impression on potential buyers.

Not Accommodating Buyers

If someone wishes to view your home, you must accommodate them despite the inconvenience it may cause you. Always clean and organize the home before guests arrive. A prospective buyer will not know or care if your home was cleaned last week. Keep your eyes on the prize despite the effort involved.

Marketing to Unqualified Customers

It is more than reasonable to require a buyer to present a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender or proof of funds (POF) for cash purchases in order to demonstrate that they have the funds necessary to purchase the home. If you need to close by a specific date, signing a contract with a buyer who is contingent on the sale of their own property could put you in a difficult position.

Can a House Be Sold With a Mortgage?


Yes, it is possible to sell a home with a mortgage. During the escrow process, the lender holding your mortgage will provide you with a mortgage payoff statement (sometimes called a payoff quote) that details the exact remaining balance. When your loan closes, the escrow agent will pay off your mortgage by sending the remaining balance to your lender.

Should My Home Be Staged?

Staging a home can increase its selling speed and value. However, not everyone requires the services of a professional staging company. A few simple steps, such as cleaning and decluttering, can have a significant impact on the sale of a home and must be completed prior to moving, regardless of the sale's outcome.

How Much will I Get from the Sale of My Home?

The amount you will receive depends on the sale price, agent commissions, closing costs, and the mortgage balance remaining. Before listing your property, if you are working with a real estate agent, you could perhaps receive a seller's net sheet that details your estimated profit. When you have accepted an offer and are in escrow, your lender will provide you with a closing disclosure that details the exact amount you will receive when your loan closes.

Can You Sell Your Home for Cash?

A quick way to avoid the hassle and stress of staging, showing, making repairs, and juggling competing offers is to sell a home for cash. However, most cash buyers will not pay more than 75% of the home's value, minus the estimated cost of repairs. It is easier to sell a home for cash, but there is a significant financial cost that must be considered.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how to sell a home is essential. Ensure you are mentally and financially prepared for less-than-ideal scenarios, even if you avoid these errors. Especially in a declining market, the house may be on the market for much longer than anticipated. If you are unable to find a buyer in time, you may be forced to pay two mortgages, rent out your home until you find a buyer, or, in extreme cases, face foreclosure. However, if you avoid the costly errors listed here, you will be well on your way to putting your best foot forward and achieving the smooth, profitable sale that every home seller hopes for.

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