6 Common Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid

Real Estate Technology with New England Home Buyers

Selling your home is almost never as easy as you expect it to be. Half the battle of selling a home is anticipating problems before they come up. Selling a home is a major life milestone — it’s one of the biggest decisions most people make in their lives. This is why it’s so important to know and prepare for the common home selling mistakes so you can avoid them.

The consequences of making a single mistake can impact your finances greatly. It can also cost you more time on the market, and it can even result in your house selling for less than it’s worth. 

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Generational Trends Report, the median time houses sit on the market is generally between three weeks and five weeks. If you’ve ever sold a house before, you’ll know that those few weeks can seem longer than they really are.

To get the most money out of your home,  it’s worth the extra time and effort to do everything right. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when selling a home.

1. Underestimating the costs of selling

Most people expect to pay 5-6% of the sale price on agent commissions, but they often don’t expect that the total cost to sell a home can amount to much more than that. When you factor in closing costs, repairs, and other concessions to the buyer, the costs of selling can be closer to 10% of the sale price.

For instance, if you move into your new home before selling your old one, you may have to rent a temporary place or pay for both mortgages as well as other carrying costs, such as utilities, HOA dues, taxes, and storage.

To get an idea, you can use a home sale calculator to estimate how much of the sale price you’ll be able to keep after selling costs are accounted for. 

2. Setting an unrealistic price

Whether you’re working with an agent or going it alone, setting the right asking price is key. Learn about the fair market value, which refers to how a home is valued when both the buyer and seller are reasonably knowledgeable about the property and neither is under any pressure to buy or sell.

You should also read about how to calculate a home’s worth.

3. Expecting the asking price

Any smart buyer will negotiate, just like you probably did when you bought your home. You might want to consider listing your home at a price that will attract buyers while still leaving some breathing room for negotiations. This will allow the buyer to feel like they are getting good value for their money while also allowing you to get the amount of money you need from the sale.

4. Selling during winter

It has been said before, but there is a right time to sell during the year. Winter, especially around the holidays, is typically a slow time of year for home sales. Most people will be busy with social engagements and will choose to stay in the warm comfort of their homes, away from the cold outside.

Because fewer buyers are likely to be looking during the winter, it may take longer to sell your home, which means you might not get as much money as you would have with more buyers looking.

5. Skimping on listing photos

Your listing photos are often the first look at your home that buyers will have. Bad pictures, or too few pictures, are a major turn-off to prospective buyers. Serious buyers would prefer not to waste their time visiting a home they haven’t seen much of.

Good photos should be crisp and clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. They should showcase your home’s best assets. Consider hiring a professional real estate photographer to get the best photos of your home.

6. Not preparing for the sale

Even if you’ve done a great job decorating your home, there’s more to the art of staging than just good looking rooms. Even without hiring a professional, there are plenty of tips on how to stage your home online that can guide you as you prepare your home for the sale.

Also, focus on fixing the major issues — such as a broken doorknob or dripping faucet — instead of making costly renovations. A potential buyer may wonder whether the house has larger, costlier issues that haven’t been addressed if they see that you couldn’t be bothered to change a broken doorknob.


If you’re serious about selling your home, you want to avoid making any mistakes by failing to prepare your home for a quick and hassle-free sale. Failing to avoid the home selling mistakes outlined above will cost you big in time, money, and stress. Now that you’re aware of some common mistakes to avoid when selling your home, you can be more confident even when something doesn’t go as planned.


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Comments (1)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Colorado Broker / Referral Services

Yes ... these are certainly important elements when preparing to market a home,  ...  no doubt, folks will be excited to hire you for that job!!

Dec 29, 2020 09:15 AM