Top Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates 9506757

So, you have decided “I want to sell my house”.

Selling a home is complex on many levels. You need an understanding of what buyers are looking for so you can properly prepare your home for sale. Setting a house price that attracts the right buyers can sometime be more of an art than a science. Then, it is time to market your home effectively and reach the true buyers for your home. And there will be offers to negotiate and home inspection repairs to consider. Finally, you have an accepted offer, and you have to bring to a smooth closing.

What Mistakes I Should Avoid When I Sell My Home?

Every step of the home selling process can lead to making a mistake. Mistakes can lead to leaving serious money on the table or your house going unsold. Let’s take a look at a few top mistakes you can make when you sell your home.

Getting Emotional

Selling a home can get highly emotional. Whether it was your first home, or you raised a family in that home, there can be some fond memories.

Emotions lead to bad decisions.

Check your emotions at the door or those emotions can cost you.

Not Understanding Home Buyers Needs and Wants

Not understanding a home buyer’s needs and wants can lead to trouble.

Homebuyers spend an increasing percentage of their income on buying a home. There are certain expectations from home buyers that you should meet to have a successful home sale.

Give the buyers what they want, and you will have a great home sale.

Thinking You Don’t Need To Prepare Your Home

Every home requires some preparation. Whether it is one weekend or several months of working towards listing your home for sale.

Good home preparation starts with a deep cleaning, de-cluttering and de-personalization of the home. At a bare minimum…. From there you home may needs some repairs and other sprucing up.

Remember first impressions about your home will form in the first few minutes. Start with a good impression and the negatives will seem minor. But start with a bad impression and every little negative about your house snowballs.

Not Using An Experienced Listing Agent

Not using an agent or even more important an experienced agent can be a huge problem. Your real estate agent will be the one guiding you through the entire process.

An experienced full-time listing agent is immersed in the business of real estate daily. From knowing what buyers want, preparing your home, pricing it properly and bring you to the closing table their guidance is invaluable.

They provide you data and counsel for you to make the proper decision you need to make selling your home.

Not Pricing Your Home Properly

Pricing your home properly based on your level of preparation, condition and size and features is one of the most critical steps to selling your home. Overpricing by even $10,000 can lead to a home languishing on the market.

Pricing a home is based on historical data and the specs of your home, and it should not be driven by emotion, pride or any other factors that have no bearing fair market value of your home.

Getting Stuck On One Price

When I deliver a Comparative Market Analysis to a home seller. There is a range that a home is worth based on comparable home sales.

Often the seller wants to push the highest price they can possibly get for their home. Then that number sticks and they won’t budge.

Every house is unique and different and there is a little bit of wiggle room. Remember you may think your house is worth one price but for a successful sale you need a home buyer that is willing to pay it.

Do you want to be right or do you want to sell your home?

Listing and Praying

Sticking a sign in the ground and burying a Saint Anthony statue is not enough to get your home sold.

A home sale requires a carefully crafted marketing plan.

Next to pricing your home properly, quality real estate photos are essential and are the second most important aspect of selling your home. No longer should an agent be taking photos on a cell phone.

As a matter of fact, many are hiring a real estate photographer for your homes listing photos. But it does not end there. You need buyer to see your home online. An experience listing agent can leverage your home visibility on the internet. Choose an agent that has a clearly defined marketing plan. Not the one that offers you the best price.

Not Heeding Feedback From Your Buyers

Feedback can be one of the biggest tools you have once your home is on the market. It lets you know what the buying population and the real estate agents that are out in the trenches are thinking about your home.

One negative comment does not mean anything. But if the same response or issue keeps coming up it is time to talk to your agent. Maybe the issue is something you can repair or maybe it requires a price adjustment.

Not Heeding Your Agents Advice

You hired a real estate professional for a reason. Hopefully, you chose the right real estate professional based on your interviews. You need to trust your agent’s advice.

We are out there everyday we know what works and what deters homebuyers. Selling a home isn’t always convenient but you only have one shot when a buyer comes through.

Carefully consider your agents advice on preparing your home, pricing, showing your home, negotiating and etc…

Failure To Consider Every Offer

An offer is an opportunity. It may or may not pan out but nevertheless it is an opportunity to sell your home.

Do not automatically shut down home negotiations without carefully considering the offer and at least making a counteroffer.

Low ball offers can turn into a good offer if handled properly and thoughtfully. This goes back to getting stuck on one number or not paying attention to feedback.

Do you really want to give up the potential sale of your home over a couple of thousand dollars?

Be Prepared To Deliver Your Home On Time

Your home must be delivered free of all personal belonging, in broom clean condition and all negotiated repairs being done. Along with delivering the home, there may be fire safety inspections, title issues to resolve and other ministerial task to complete before you close.

Being unprepared to close can cost you the sale or be costly to you.

Remember you are in a legal and binding contract and you can be held responsible for any financial losses a buyer incurs because you were not ready to close.

Not Having Realistic Expectations

Much of what I have talked about leads to not having realistic expectations of selling your home. And, much of it leads to hiring the right agent to set the right expectations.

The worst thing you can do sometimes is listen to your neighbor or family that sold a house 10 years ago. They can fill your head with ideas that just aren’t true and can cost you money.

Hire the right agent based on their track record and your confidence of the information they can provide. Trust them!

Selling your home isn’t always as easy as every one makes it seem. You always have the loud mouths around the water cooler at work saying how they got over asking and they sold their house in one day. First is it even true or exaggerated? But, on the other hand who brags about their home sitting on the market for 180 days and having to reduce their price $50k to get it sold…. No one! Set out from the very beginning to get your house sold. Don’t take a chance of your home going unsold or having to sell for less than what it is worth because of mistakes you made.

Comments (12)

MadisonMortgageGuys .com
MadisonMortgageGuys - Oconomowoc, WI
Your local mortgage company serving 47 states!

All very important tips for avoiding common home selling mistakes Kevin Vitali. Well done!

Feb 04, 2021 08:57 AM
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Excellent advice Kevin Vitali.

Feb 04, 2021 10:05 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

SO good to see you back, Anita!

Feb 06, 2021 06:27 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Good, solid information Kevin. It still amazes me that many Seller's don't do enough homework prior to selling their most important asset.

Feb 04, 2021 01:13 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Kevin Vitali - that is a comprehensive list of don't.  It is a campaign and it requires the team and the owner accepting advice.

Feb 05, 2021 04:21 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kevin Vitali ,

Glad to see your excellent post featured. Your tips all sellers need to consider when they decide to sell!

Feb 05, 2021 05:15 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Great list of seller tips, Kevin! Preparation is everything for sellers. They are wise to hire a professional to properly prepare, for sure!

Feb 06, 2021 06:28 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

There's lots of wisdom in your post, Kevin, and good reading for any homeowner considering selling their home. Hiring the right professional to help avoid these mistakes is a great first step to success.


Feb 08, 2021 08:55 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

If you must heed negative feedback from buyers, then IMO, you've chosen the wrong agent to market your property. When sellers don't heed the advice of their agent, it's akin to not heeding the advice of your doctor, isn't it?

Feb 08, 2021 10:16 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Good advice, not sure why you would link to a competitor in your post though.

Feb 09, 2021 07:39 AM
Kevin Vitali

Lyn Sims it may seem counterintuitive to include backlinks to other agents. They really are not my competitors as they are from areas I don't serve. 

But, first off backlinking to relevant resources is loved by the search engines.  It is good SEO

I also know that most of them will promote the article heavily as they are backlinked to in the article.  Isn't that right Bill Gassett :)

I also know that they will backlink to my past and future articles as well. Bill and Anita are pretty heavy social influencers in the real estate world.  And, traffic I have received from them by backlinking to them is far greater than I can do on my own.

It is all about getting more eyes on my article. 

I can also say, because of my networking, I have received 10's of thousands of dollars in referrals from some of these agents over the past 10-15 years.

It is actually a win-win for all of us!


Mar 04, 2021 05:13 AM
Lyn Sims

yeah, yeah, yeah. Heard it, been there, done that. Promote yourself.

Mar 04, 2021 06:10 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Not understanding buyer needs and wants--YES!  Too many sellers think "well this is good enough for us" when they have to understand, THEY are not the buyers!  All homes need to be polished up for the market. 

It's hard not to get emotional, esp when the sellers have lived in the house a long time, they love the neighbors, etc.  But best to try and focus on the next home.

Feb 09, 2021 08:42 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Kevin, thanks for this detailed list.  Any seller would be well served implementing the suggestions here for top market price.

Feb 09, 2021 06:02 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great list and post!  It's so important to manage these expectations up front with clients.  Good for you!

Feb 16, 2021 06:57 PM