6 Mistakes to Avoid When You Sell Your House

With hundreds of thousands of homes sold every year, it’s sometimes hard to stand out from the crowd. If you don’t do everything you can to make your house look great, you will not attract good buyers. The problem is that there are many mistakes you can make that will hurt your chances of selling.

It isn’t as easy as you think to sell a house. Keep reading to learn six common mistakes people make when they list their homes for sale.

1. Underestimating Selling Costs

A lot of prep work goes into selling a home, and not all of it is free. If you go into things expecting to make a certain amount on your home, you need to consider how much you’re going to pay in fees.

Knowing this is especially important if you list with a real estate agent. While an agent won’t take fees from buyers, they will from a seller. You’re going to pay them a commission when they move your home off the market.

After that, you’ll need to consider potential repairs. Most home buyers don’t want to move into a home with a lot of problems. You’ll be expected to repair any issues after the home inspection process.

2. Selling During Winter

Are you asking yourself, “when should I sell my house?” You aren’t alone. The housing market fluctuates a lot, so timing it can be tricky.

However, one big thing to know is to avoid selling during winter.

The winter months are a busy time for many people. They’re spending their time with holiday activities, helping their children with school, and the many other social engagements that winter brings. What many of those people aren’t doing is house hunting.

Winter is often a slow period for home sales. You might have a few buyers show interest during that time, but you probably won’t get an influx of interest. That’s why selling during the summer is often the best option.

If you can afford to wait, try listing your home during the summer. People will be out and about more, and you’ll get more buyer interest as a result.

3. Not Staging

The appearance your home gives to buyers is critical to getting a reasonable price for your home. When you don’t have great staging, you aren’t going to get as many good offers.

The first thing to focus on is your yard. Your yard plays a vital role in first impressions. You want it to appear inviting, and that won’t happen if your yard looks like a mess.

Start by doing some simple landscaping. Mow your lawn and add a few flowers and bushes in front of your home. It isn’t necessary to go overboard, so don’t worry about spending too much money.

The next place to look is your interior. Try to depersonalize as much as you can with neutral colors and pictures. Your goal is to appeal to the broadest number of people possible, and unique personalization won’t do that.

4. Selling With an Upside Down Mortgage

If you’ve owned your home for a while, the chances are good it’s appreciated in value. While it seems like you’ll make out with some money if you sell, that isn’t always the case.

If you still owe more on your mortgage than you have in equity, you’ll sell when you’re upside down on your mortgage. You’ll end up with two mortgages after the sale and not walk away with any money. That’s why the best house sale advice you can take is to wait until you have more equity.

Of course, if you’re selling out of necessity, then this might not be an option. Try to pay off as much of your mortgage as possible, so you have less to pay off once you make your move.

5. Bad Photos

If you want people to view your home for a tour, you have to convince them that your home is worth visiting. Without great photos, that’s not going to happen.

Don’t cheap out and rely on your phone camera to take photos. They might be worth it for regular images, but you’ll have a challenging time making your home shine.

If you can afford it, hire a professional home photographer to take pictures of your house. They know how to take photos that will attract buyers. A little money spent here can attract higher-quality buyers, which leads to higher bids.

6. Hiding Problems

If you’re ready to get out of your home, it’s tempting to try and cut corners when starting the process. One of the most common ways people do this is by hiding problems. They don’t want to spend the time or money fixing issues with their home.

The problem with doing this is people believe people will buy without doing due diligence. In most cases, this won’t happen.

A potential home buyer will want a home inspection before they commit to buying your home. They’ll hire someone whose job is to uncover any hidden problems. If you put off fixing your home’s issues, you’ll end up having to extend the selling time when your buyer wants them fixed.

The only time you can get away with this is if you sell your house for cash. People buying with cash are often on the hunt for a fixer-upper. However, you’ll also get a lower price for your home when you go down this route.

Do Your Research When You Sell a House

It takes a lot of work to sell a house, and one mistake can put off potential home buyers. Make sure you do your research, so you know what to avoid when selling a home. The more work you do to fix things upfront, the better chance you have of making a quick sale.

If you’re ready to start fixing up your home for sale, head to the blog to learn how to get it done.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings