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Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

By Tabitha Naylor

Many common pitfalls that can hamper your efforts to sell your property are easily avoided. Keep these tips in mind when prepping your home for sale, and you will likely avoid the speed bumps many sellers run in to on the road to closing.

Emotional Attachments

Selling a home is fraught with emotion. The more you can separate yourself from your property the better. It is most helpful to view your home sale strictly as a business transaction rather than as a homeowner. Examine your property with the eye of a business investor. Research what things really help move a home and what things hinder a home sale.

Not using a Real estate Agent or Broker

First time home sellers are strongly encourage to use an agent or broker to assist them through the selling process. A good agent will tell you exactly what to do and what NOT to do in order to show your home off to its best potential. They will also be able to help you price your home at a fair and competitive selling price to increase the chances of a faster sale. The agent will handle all open houses and that will diffuse some of the emotion that goes along with selling a property.

Setting An Unrealistic Price

Setting a fair and competitive home price is key to moving a home sale. The price must be based on comparables from other homes that have sold in your area based on size, features, age, and condition. Pricing the home according to what you need out of the sale is generally a recipe for disaster and results in having to drop the price.

Don't Stalk Buyers

It is best to have an agent handle your showings. If you are selling yourself be very careful not to lead buyers by the nose through your home. Let prospective buyers examine the home on their own and then ask you any questions they want. Most buyers like to casually go through a home and have privacy to discuss the things they like, how they might want to change things so it is important to give them room and privacy to do that.

Don't Hide Problems

Never try to hide any problems with your property. Be honest and upfront about everything. It is always best to have a home inspection done at the time you plan to list the property or just before and then make any required repairs before listing the property or adjust the sales price to reflect the repairs the buyer will need to make.

Failing to Prepare Your Property for Sale

Failing to clean up your property or stage your property for sale can cost you a lot of money. Do a good, thorough cleaning of the property. Fix any small things and if the house looks really dingy repaint part or all of the interior. Take time to spruce up the outside of the house including patios, terraces and yard. Remember curb appeal is critical in attracting people into your home in the first place. Make your home looks as spacious as possible. Remove some furniture if a room looks too cluttered or closed in. If you have pets, deodorize thoroughly. Bad smells are a real turn off to potential buyers.

Signing A Contract With Unqualified Buyers

Don't sign any contracts with buyers that cannot produce proof of cash funds to cover the purchase or a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. The letter guarantees the buyer can successfully apply and get a mortgage. Signing with unqualified buyers can result in an abandoned sale if they cannot qualify for a mortgage. Be careful about signing with buyers that want the sale contingent on the sale of their home if you have timelines that must be met. It could take a long time for them to sell their home.


Following these simple steps can save you time, money and a lot of frustration but even these steps cannot guarantee your home will sell as fast as you'd like so always prepare for worst case scenarios but plan and work for the best possible result.

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