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9 Common Home Selling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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9 Common Home Selling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


2020 was a record-breaking year in the real estate market. While anything is possible, all signs point to the beginning of the 2021 market to still be a strong seller's market.

If you are selling your house, it can be incredibly stressful. Certain decisions that you make can result in a widely different financial outcome.

Luckily, you can learn what some of the most common home selling mistakes are before you put your house on the market. This way, you can avoid the top home selling mistakes and make the home selling process as profitable and smooth as possible.

1. Not Anticipating the Costs of Home Selling

One of the most common mistakes home sellers make is not anticipating the fact that there are costs associated with selling a house. Many people assume that since they are the ones selling the house, they will not have to shell out any money. In reality, selling a house can actually be fairly pricey, so you will want to anticipate this ahead of time.

Real Estate Agent Commissions

The commission for both the seller's agent and the buyer's agent typically comes out of the proceeds the seller makes on the home. In general, it is common for about 6% of the sales price to go towards real estate agents.

Home Repairs

When the buyer has a home inspection done, there might be issues that come up that need to be fixed. Whether you pay to fix these issues before the closing or the buyer assumes this responsibility in exchange for a lower sales price, these repairs will end up costing you.

Staging Costs

Depending on how large your home is, where you live, how many rooms you are going to stage, and whether or not you will also be using decor from a staging company, this is also a significant cost.

An alternative to this is virtual staging, which companies like Hommati offer. The cost is lower than traditional staging, and it is a much easier route to take for everyone involved. 

Seller Concessions

It is not uncommon for buyers to negotiate in the hopes of obtaining a lower asking price. Or, on the other hand, they might ask for concessions such as paying the closing costs or throwing in appliances. Whether or not a buyer negotiates in this way can have to do with the housing market in your area.

Your Next Home

It is great to dream about how much money you will make from selling your house, however, you are going to have to invest in finding a new place to live. Whether you are finding a place to rent or seeking a new mortgage, you need to budget for finding your next residence.

Moving Expenses

You will also want to think about the moving costs that you will incur moving to your new home. It is also important to realize that you might have to find temporary housing if you sell your home before you buy or rent a new one.

In order to avoid this mistake when selling your home, you simply need to plan ahead and understand that there will be costs associated with selling your home. Many of these expenses can come out of the proceeds of the sale, but you will still need to budget and plan for expenses otherwise.

2. Selling When You're Underwater

One of the home selling mistakes you will definitely want to avoid is selling your house when you are upside down on your mortgage. Being upside down on your mortgage, also known as having negative equity or being underwater, means that you owe more money on your mortgage then your house is currently worth.

What this means is that if you sell your house, you will end up owing more money to the mortgage lender then you make from the sale.

If you are wondering how to avoid this home selling mistake, the best thing to do is to not sell quite yet and build more equity. The only time that it might make sense to sell your house when you are underwater on the mortgage is when you need to do so in order to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy.

3. Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Many people try to avoid real estate agent commissions by selling their house "for sale by owner." While this might seem like a good idea, you can end up losing more money on the sale than you save.

Without a real estate agent, you are taking on a lot of important responsibilities. Hiring a real estate agent can help to ensure that your house sells for as much as possible and as quickly as possible.

With a company like Hommati, their agents are equipped with the tools to help sell your house faster and for top dollar. 

4. Pricing Incorrectly

Are you wondering how to avoid the top home selling mistakes? One of the most common mistakes is to price your property incorrectly. You neither want to price your home too high nor too low.

You do not want to come up with your asking price by using prices you find on the Internet. Instead, you will want a qualified real estate agent to provide you with a comparative market analysis. This can help you to set a price that will help you make as much as possible while also selling your home as quickly as possible.

5. Hiding Major Repairs

In different states, there are different laws about home disclosures. Either way, it is not recommended to assume that buyers will not notice major problems that need to be repaired. Almost all buyers will get a home inspection, and in this process, any issues with the house will be uncovered.

When major issues or damage is discovered, it can end up delaying the deal or even being a dealbreaker altogether.

6. Not Decluttering, Cleaning, and Staging

When a prospective homebuyer is looking at your house, they are trying to imagine themselves living there. They are picturing their own possessions, family, and pets filling up the space.

If you leave your home cluttered and filled with personal objects, however, it is nearly impossible for a house hunter to picture themselves living there. A cluttered house can also make it look smaller and simply less appealing.

Similarly, you should not expect prospective buyers to "see through" your home being dirty. People are emotional when they are shopping for houses, and something as small as a dirty floor or a slightly unpleasant smell can turn them off from your home entirely.

Lastly, it is also common for people to not understand just how important home staging is. This can have a huge impact on a home selling quickly.

7. Skimping on Listing Photos

Humans are fundamentally visual creatures. This means that the listing photos online are one of the most important marketing aspects of your house. You want to invest in professional real estate photographs rather than taking a few quick shots with your smartphone.

The quality of your listing photos could mean the difference between someone scheduling a showing for your house or moving on to a different option.

A 3D tour can be a great addition to your listing, particularly in the time of the coronavirus. Check out these 3D tour mistakes to avoid when you're selling your home.

Companies like Hommati offer 3D tour services to better capture your home and showcase it in the best way possible. It also allowed potential buyers to look through the house as if they were there in person. 

8. Getting Emotional

Selling a home is a stressful process, and it is easy for emotions to take over. Unfortunately, it is common for homeowners to take low offers personally. They see it as a reflection of their own ability to maintain a home.

It is only natural that the house you have been living in is a space you feel emotionally connected to. You see the value in the home, and you believe that it is worth a certain amount of money. In reality, though, your home is only worth as much in the current market as someone is willing to pay for it.

It is best to try and avoid taking a low offer personally. This is a business transaction and the buyer is just as motivated to spend as little as possible as you are motivated to make as much as possible. This is one of the reasons that having a real estate agent is so important, as they can be objective and professional during negotiations.

9. Not Being Flexible

When you are selling your house, it can pretty much take over your life. You will be constantly cleaning your home in order to ensure that it looks perfect for a last-minute showing. You will also find that the buyer comes back in negotiations asking you to be flexible in your price and terms, too.

While you never want to be a pushover, sometimes it is necessary to be flexible. A real estate agent can help you to understand what a reasonable price is to expect for your home or when an offer is unreasonably low.

Is It Time For You to Sell Your Home?

Are you thinking about selling your house? You can use our search function to find out your home's true market value!