10 Home Selling Mistakes That Can Sink Your Sale

If you’re planning on selling your home this year, you’ll be joining more than 6 million other Americans who are also putting homes on the market. The home selling process can be daunting, and there are lots of ways for things to go wrong. Luckily, there are some common mistakes that you can avoid to make your home selling process easier.

Common home selling mistakes include leaving personal items out, listing at the wrong price, and neglecting to work with a real estate agent. Read on to learn more about these and discover some great house selling tips.

1. Not Making Small Repairs

One of the first mistakes you can make when selling your house is neglecting to make small repairs. No matter how well you’ve cared for your house, there is going to be routine wear and tear. Not only can these things lower your buyer appeal, but you may wind up having to fix them in the end anyhow.

Take time before you list to make any quick and affordable repairs your house needs. This may include fixing outlets that don’t work, patching holes in the wall, cleaning carpet stains, and so on. You may also need to replace any broken trim, and it’s a good idea to repaint your walls to a neutral color, such as white or gray.

2. Forgetting Curb Appeal

While the inside of your house is important, the outside of the home is your first impression. It takes most people less than thirty seconds to form a first impression, so the outside of your home has to wow. You want your curb appeal to be stellar if you plan to sell your house quickly and for a good price.

Start by trimming up the bushes around your house, mowing and edging the yard, and spreading mulch in your front beds and around trees. Replace any torn screens, and fix or replace any gutters that are broken or sagging. It’s also a good idea to repair any broken siding and repaint your doors and shutters, especially if they’re scratched.

3. Leaving Personal Items Out

Our homes are the emotional centers of our lives, and we spend a lot of time making them our own. We hang pictures of loved ones, decorate with gifts and souvenirs from trips, and show off awards and accomplishments. There’s just one problem with this when it comes time to sell your house: buyers don’t care about any of this.

When you’re trying to sell your house, you want to make it someplace buyers can see themselves living. The more personal items you have out, the more they’re going to feel like they’re visiting someone else’s home, not their own. As adorable as your kids and pets may be, take down the pictures of them, as well as any other personal items.

4. Neglecting Clutter

While you’re packing up your family photos, it’s also a good idea to put away some of the clutter around your home. You want to make your space feel as open and airy as possible so buyers feel like they’ll have plenty of space. Removing any excess items from view can help to create a cleaner visual effect that will appeal to potential buyers.

Pack away any extra items on your kitchen counters, including small appliances, utensil canisters, cookbooks, and so on. Remove everything from your bathroom counters and reduce décor items on shelves and tables to two or three items at most. Space out items on your bookshelves, and remove elaborate decorations from mantels.

5. Not Staging Your House

Although you want to make your house feel open and airy, you also don’t want to make it feel sterile and unlivable. You want to create an emotional experience for your potential buyers – they should look at your house and see the home of their dreams. Staging your home can be a great way to create that effect and can help your home sell about 84 percent faster.

Depending on your budget and the range you’re listing your house in, it may be worthwhile to pay for professional staging. If you’re staging the home yourself, focus on creating beautiful setups that use relatively neutral décor and show the purpose of each space. Add fruits and veggies in the kitchen and plants elsewhere throughout the house, and use plenty of blankets and pillows to make the space feel cozy.

6. Taking Photos Yourself

When buyers start shopping for a house, the pictures on your listing will be their very first impression. We discussed how important curb appeal is, and your pictures are effectively the curb appeal for your listing. It’s incredibly important to hire a photographer who can get you the sort of pictures that will show your home at its best.

A professional home photographer knows how to set up shots that will make your home look spacious and filled with natural light. They can hide any slight imperfections in your room and highlight feature areas. They also have the photo and editing equipment to give your pictures that professional touch that will have buyers lining up at your front door.

7. Listing at the Wrong Time

Before you put your house on the market, you want to make sure you get the timing right. As with many other industries, real estate has seasons when the market is hotter and times when it’s not as busy. Listing at a low point could mean your house takes longer to sell and doesn’t sell for as much.

If your moving schedule permits, you want to list your house at a peak market time, when demand and prices are high. The real estate market tends to be hottest during the summer months when kids are out of school and moving isn’t as disruptive. It’s a good idea to put your house on the market no later than early spring and before the end of July.

8. Listing at the Wrong Price

Listing at the right time is all well and good, but choosing the right price is just as critical to a successful home sale. If you list too high, buyers are going to see you as trying to rip them off or just being out of their price range and write you off. If you go too low, you likely won’t get the full value of your home.

You want to hit that sweet spot of listing for a little more than the market value of your home, but not too high. You can look at comparable homes in your area that have sold recently as a guide on how to price your home. Working with an experienced real estate agent can also help you to find the perfect price for your house.

9. Not Working with a Real Estate Agent

On the subject of real estate agents, trying to sell your home without help from a real estate agent is a major mistake. The listing process is complicated, and saying the stakes are high is an understatement. There are some forms that can cost you thousands of dollars if they’re not filled out in exactly the right way.

A real estate agent can help you manage all the paperwork and intricacies of listing your house. They can help you set an appropriate price for your house and offer suggestions for how to prep and stage it. They’ll also get your listing out to as many people as possible and advise you through the negotiation process with your buyers.

10. Not Planning for Showings

Once the house is prepped, staged, and listed, you may think it’s time to sit back and relax. And while your workload may go down somewhat, it’s important that you not forget about the house showings. Your home needs to be available for showings as much as possible, no matter how inconvenient it may be for you.

When you have a showing scheduled, you’ll need to pack away any essentials you’ve been using, give the house a quick wipe-down, and clear out for a few hours. Try to think of somewhere you can spend time during these showings, whether that be a loved one’s house, a local library or park, or a coffee shop. The more often you let people in to tour the house, the faster it will sell.

Discover More Home Selling Mistakes

If you’re selling a home for the first time, there are a number of mistakes you might make. Make sure you make any needed repairs inside and out and don’t leave out your personal items. Staging your home is a good idea, and working with a real estate agent is an absolute must if you want to have a successful sale.

If you’d like to discover more home selling mistakes to avoid, check out the rest of The PorchLight Team website. We are your trusted friends in real estate and life, providing knowledge, attention to detail, and a service-oriented mindset. Explore Utah Valley real estate today and discover how our can-do attitudes can improve your home selling process.