Seven Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Homes

The world can seem so full of possibilities, both stressful and delightful, when it comes to selling your home. There is the possibility of moving up and out of the current home and into something you love just as much, if not more. There’s also the possibility that some people don’t want to sell, or feel like they have to sell, and that can bring stress to the situation. It’s easy to be overwhelmed in either case! With that feeling of too much possibility, or a feeling of necessity, there are some common mistakes that people make when they decide to take that step and list their homes for sale.

Whether you’ve sold before, or if it’s your first time on the market, there are going to be a lot of choices you’ll need to make. Making a wrong decision, even a seemingly small one, can cost you a lot of time and/or money down the line. To get the best deal, start by avoiding these 7 common seller’s mistakes:

1. Not Preparing Properly

This covers not only the property itself – the physical things to prepare your property for sale- but also not doing enough research before listing about price, neighborhood comps, and other major selling factors. It may seem like the simplest step, but most people forget to do their research first. Take the time to check out the local housing market, and any homes that have sold in your area in the last few months. That can help you make better decisions about when to list, how to list, and with whom to list. Preparing your home also means things like decluttering and cleaning up, which you can read about here.

2. For Sale By Owner

The most common mistake made by first time sellers is to list their house on their own. This comes with a variety of perks and hazards, but it seldom ends as well for the owner as they want. For Sale By Owner homes spend longer on the market, and often sell for less than asking. The National Association of Realtors reports that in 2017, For Sale By Owner homes accounted for 7% of home sales. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales. NAR reports as well that the most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers are:

  • Getting the right price: 17%
  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
  • Preparing/fixing up the home for sale: 8%
  • Selling within the planned length of time: 5%
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%

3. Mispricing

Putting your home up for sale can be exciting, especially if you are looking for a new home at the same time. Another common mistake is coming out with a price which is either too high or too low, which can lead to problems down the road. A house with a too-high price point tends to sit on the market, whereas a house which has been valued properly usually sells quicker: the average house sold with an agent in 2017 sold within three weeks! While pricing too high is a worry, under-pricing your home can be just as disastrous for your sale. The best way to find the right price is to work with an agent or agency that knows the market, the local availability, and of course the ins-and-outs of home sales.

4. Deferred Maintenance

This is a touchy point for many homeowners – no one likes to have issues pointed out to them, but fixing items which you may have been putting off can end up netting you a better sales price in the end. Instead of calculating the price of repairs into the final sales price, repairing the issue straight out could give you an edge in the market. Most people are looking for a move-in-ready home, perhaps with minor issues to fix. Needing roof repairs, pest work, or plumbing fixes can end up being a costly reason for your house not selling, or not selling as quickly as you hoped.  

5. Not Staging

People who sell their own home often use their own furniture to stage the house. There’s no law against it, but you can increase the overall appeal of your home for potential buyers by simply having matching furniture, color coordinated furnishings, and items which highlight and enhance the space. Professional staging can make your house look inviting to potential buyers: instead of seeing how you use the space currently, it allows buyers to envision themselves in the space, fitting their lives into a new room.

6. Listing at Less Ideal Times of Year

Believe it or not, there are better times to list your house than others. Listing in the springtime and early summer will give your house a better chance of selling quickly. Families are looking for housing before children start school again, and more people have free time to devote to house hunting. Listing in the winter, especially around the Holidays, can often mean a long time on the market. Fewer people have free time to devote to home searching, and many young families won’t want to disrupt the school year halfway through. Though homes sell every day, there are better times of year than others to maximize your sales potential. Consult with your agent, or contact The Hall Team today to find out if this is the right time to put your house up for sale!

7. Not Talking To A Real Estate Agent

The number one mistake a seller can make is not seeking out reliable counsel from an industry professional. A real estate agent can help you throughout the selling process. From making the initial decision to sell all the way to the close of escrow, agents know the paperwork involved, the best practices, and of course they know the other agents around your area who have clients looking for homes. According to the NAR, last year 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001. Sell your home with confidence! Talk to an experienced real estate agent at The Hall Team today to find out how you can get the best price for your home!