7 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Ever wonder why some houses sell quickly and others sit on the market for months? It's likely because of one of these common mistakes.

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #200

Have you ever had a friend whose house sat on the market for months, or even years, without a single offer? This is a nightmare situation for homeowners. Not only is having a house on the market for sale stressful, but it also is a major inconvenience to have your home ready to show at a moment’s notice.

Sometimes the market is to blame for a house not selling quickly, but other times, it is because of a mistake that the homeowners have made during the process. Today I’m going to walk you through some of the most common mistakes that people make when they put their homes up for sale. If you can avoid these pitfalls, you can increase your chances of your home selling quicker than other houses in your neighborhood.

Mistake #1 – Picking the Wrong Real Estate Agent

The first mistake that people make when selling their home is to pick the wrong real estate agent. Deciding on the right person to help you sell your home is not something you should take lightly. This is not the time to bring in your cousin, or the guy you went to high school with, or the friend who is down on his luck—unless these people are also great real estate agents. Ideally you want to find someone who is familiar with your neighborhood because they can help ensure you have your home priced correctly. You also should be looking for someone who sells homes on a regular basis, not just a couple homes a year, so you can be assured they know what is actually going on in the market right now. Also, the agent you choose should also not be a “yes-man” who only tells you what you want to hear. You need someone who will give you honest feedback on your house and its value.

Unless you are selling your home in a market that is so hot a four-year-old could sell a house, picking the right agent is one of the most important things you can do. Make sure you spend time talking with a few agents to make sure you get the one that you can confidently give the task of listing and selling your home.

Mistake #2 – Not Staging for Pictures

When your house is being listed, the pictures are what get people to start connecting with your home. Good pictures can bring more potential buyers through your door, and more buyers viewing your home increase your chances of getting a good offer on your home. Bad pictures make people want to simply move on to the next listing because it simply looks better than bad pictures.

Common staging mistakes that make listing pictures unappealing include:

·         Not packing up clutter

·         Not making beds and straightening rooms

·         Leaving trash lying around the home

·         Having too much furniture in rooms

·         Having non-neutral paint colors on the walls

When potential buyers see things like these in pictures, they think that the house wasn’t well cared for, or that it is going to be a lot of work after the purchase. Help potential buyers start to see themselves in your house by getting tips from your real estate agent, or hiring a home stager or decorator to help you make the home look its very best.

Mistake #3 – Not Cleaning Before Showings

Imagine walking in to what you hope will be the home of your dreams, only to find that the bathtub is covered in a black sludgy residue, the baseboards are coated in a layer of fuzz, and the kitchen have a visible layer of grease. It would take some super imagination skills to be able to see past that mess and to never think about it again if you chose to live in that house.