14 Mistakes to Avoid when Selling Your Home

September 21st, 2023  / Author: Cesar Gomez
Home Sales

Anticipating problems before they occur can help you better prepare for selling your home and make sure everything goes according to plan. Selling a house is a major life change, and it can be tricky when you think about everything a home sale involves, from preparing to making repairs to listing to finding a buyer, etc. And even a minor mistake can affect your finances and sale flow.

Whether you’re selling a home first time or have done it before, knowing what mistakes to avoid when selling your home can drastically improve your home-selling experience. That said, here are some of the common mistakes to watch out for when selling a house.

1. Setting the Wrong Price

Pricing a house can be complicated because if you price it too high, you could deter prospective buyers or risk wasting time before reducing the price to get an offer. On the other hand, pricing it too low could lead to a loss of profit, sometimes as much as thousands of dollars. Here’s how long it takes to sell a home in the US.

Your best bet to set the right price from the beginning is to ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, as, this way, you’ll know how much houses similar to yours are selling for in your location. Pricing the house right from the beginning can help you sell it quickly without losing money or time.

2. Bad Timing

Selling your house at the wrong time is one of the common mistakes to avoid when selling your home, as bad timing can drastically reduce the selling price. Typically, the second half of April is the best time of year to sell - the average US home listed during this period can sell for over $9,000 more than at other times of the year. You should also consider the weather in your area, as this can also impact the final selling price.

In addition, you may want to consider how long you have owned the home. To bypass capital gains taxes, you’ll need to have lived in the property for at least two of the last five years.

3. Not Considering

All Home-Selling Costs Here are costs related to a home sale you need to consider to avoid ending up surprised:

  • Closing costs: Note that a seller’s portion of closing costs is typically around 2% of the selling price, including a title transfer fee, sales tax, attorney fees, and a fee for an organizer of the final transaction. Agent commissions: Sellers often need to cover the commissions for both their listing agent and the buyer’s agent, and this is usually around 6% of the home price. Still, a good agent will probably help you get more money for your property to cover both their commission and put more money in your bank account.
  • Repairs: After a home inspection, you will likely have to do some repairs, and based on what repairs you’ll have to make, it could cost you anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars. Unless you make these repairs, buyers will likely expect a discount. Still, it’s up to you to decide whether you will sell your home as is or fix it.
  • Staging expenses: Staging costs can vary greatly depending on your location, the size of your house, and how much the staging company charges.
  • Seller concessions: Buyers may try to negotiate with you to set a lower price or offer to pay your full asking price if you offer seller concession, such as leaving items like a dryer or washer, or paying some of their closing costs.
  • Your next house: You need to ensure you can pay for your new home or find a mortgage that suits your budget. But first of all, you need to ensure you’re free of any debts except your mortgage and have an emergency fund.
  • Moving expenses: If you hire movers, the average cost to move locally ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500. But if you’re not moving right away to your new property, you need to consider rental and storage fees.

4. Selling When You Have Negative Equity on Your Home

If you owe more money on your house than it’s worth, you have negative equity on your home. This means that if you sell it, you won’t get enough money to cover your mortgage or agent commissions. If you’re in such a situation, it’s better not to sell unless you want to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy.

5. Taking into Account Only the Highest Offer

Accepting the highest offer may not always be the best option due to contingencies that need to be met for the sale to close. For example, you may have contingencies that protect the buyer’s interests like an inspection or financing contingency.

Contingencies can affect the certainty, timeline, and complexity of the sale. For instance, you may get a high offer that is contingent on the buyer selling their current home. In this case, you’ll need to think about how the uncertainty and added time compare to a lower offer without this contingency.

Or, you may have a buyer who is flexible about repairs but offers a lower price, and another who is asking for repair credits but is offering a higher price. That said, you need to consider what works best for your current situation.

6. Avoiding Negotiating

You will likely get offers that aren’t what you’d hoped they would be. In such cases, consider negotiating. Although you may feel your asking price is fair, you need to ensure the buyer also feels like he benefits to close a successful deal.

So, if you want to increase the price, you can agree to pay for minor repairs or cover some of the buyer’s closing costs.

7. Selling the Home Yourself

While skipping on hiring a lear estate agent may sound tempting, you will miss out on his contacts, help, and market knowledge. In most cases, for-sale-by-owner homes tend to sell for a lower price. So, if you’re looking to sell your property for its full value, a skilled real estate agent is more likely to help you achieve that.

8. Cutting Corners on Staging

Skimping on staging is one of the mistakes to avoid when selling your home as staging can help sell it much faster and for more money. Staging can increase the price buyers offer by 1% to 5%. So, if you stage a $290,000 house, you may get an offer higher for an additional $2,800 to $14,500. The average cost to hire a professional staging service is around $1,500. Even if you don’t hire a staging company, don’t show an empty home to prospective buyers. Instead, rent decorations and furniture to give your buyers an idea of what the house looks like when people live there.

9. Not Accommodating Showings

Even if inconvenient, an occasional open house and multiple showings are vital parts of the selling process because few buyers will buy the home unseen. Your listing agent, if you have one, should coordinate showings or provide a lockbox for buyer’s agents to do tours. When buyers are touring the home, ensure to vacate it as a seller there can make them uncomfortable. You need to allow them to visualize themselves living in the house, which is difficult if you’re watching them.

10. Ignoring Major Repairs

Many maintenance issues can deter prospective buyers and reduce the value of your property. Since buyers expect the condition of your house to match the description, you should prioritize the most critical issue. That’s especially true for those that may show up during an inspection. Moreover, if you’re considering making costly renovations to boost your home’s value, you may not recover the cost in the final sale price. Also, many buyers favor making their own renovations to personalize the home.

11. Not Decluttering

You don’t have to remove all your belongings if you’re still living in the home you’re selling. Still, you’ll need to present each room in its best light, so you’ll have to declutter in some ways. One of the easiest ways to do that is to get rid of items you no longer use or need. However, you may also need to remove oversized furniture that reduces the room’s size. Clearing out closets so they don’t look messy and putting away personal decor can also help neutralize the space and allow your buyer to visualize themselves living there.

12. Ignoring Lighting

Besides providing a good view, the right lighting can also make your rooms look bigger. So, make sure to let the natural light in and place lamps in the corners. You can also add a few candles for a warm and cozy feel.

13. Skipping on a Professional Photographer

Usually, real estate agents cover the cost of professional listing photographs. If you’re not using an agent, you should highly consider getting a professional photographer take photos of your home as most buyers search online, and listing photos are your property’s first impression.

Many professional photographers charge as little as a few hundred dollars, and the photos you get are clean and crisp, accentuating your property’s best features.

14. Forgetting About Curb Appeal

The outside is the first thing prospective buyers see when they arrive at your house for showings. For this reason, it’s important to spruce up your landscaping before listing. This can include painting the exterior, mowing the lawn, clearing pathways, painting flowers, and raking leaves.

Sell Your Home Smoothly

After reading this article, you know some of the common mistakes to avoid when selling your home. Besides selling your home at the right time for the right price, you also need to consider negotiating and all the costs that come with selling a house. Paying attention to how the house looks both live and online is also vital, as well as making major repairs before a home inspection.

As you can see, selling a home can get tricky, and there are many things you need to pay attention to if you want the sale to go smoothly. If you want to avoid any complications associated with selling a home, consider selling it to SleeveUp Homes. We’ll buy your house for top dollar without you having to make any repairs. So, feel free to request our no-obligation cash offer and see how much you can get for your property.



If you want to sell fast and are worried about how long the traditional process takes, and the commission and fees involved, consider working with SleeveUp Homes.