5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

When selling your home, there are many mistakes you may make that could result in low offers, the property sitting on the market for an excessively long time, selling the home for much less than the asking price, a lawsuit against you, etc.

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We wouldn’t want you to experience any major problems while selling your home, so let’s get into some common blunders you should steer clear of to ensure your home sells quickly and for the best price possible!

1. Overpricing Your Home

I understand that you want to sell your house for as much money as you can, but according to 70% of real estate agents, the biggest mistake you can make when selling a home is setting the price too high.

Overpriced homes typically take longer to sell or don’t sell outside of a hot real estate market, which is defined by a considerable increase in property prices due to the high demand for housing.

This is because a high asking price will almost always deter prospective buyers, who overlook your home in favor of comparable properties priced more reasonably.

It becomes more likely that you’ll need to lower the asking price to sell your home the longer it is on the market. For example, if your house has over 90 days on the market, it is referred to as a “stale property”.

A potential home buyer will often ignore a stale property because they believe it must have some serious flaw that has turned away other buyers. Pricing your home competitively may, therefore, be your only choice if you want to attract buyers.

Asking a local real estate agent to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you will help you price your home appropriately. The agent will research sale prices for properties identical to yours that have been sold in your neighborhood recently, typically within the last 90 to 120 days, to produce this document, and provide you with a pricing opinion.

The majority of agents offer free CMAs in the hopes that you’ll hire them to sell your home.

To establish the best price to list your property, you may also use home value estimation tools if you don’t want to work with a real estate agent. These tools allow you to quickly see how much homes similar to yours are selling for in your neighborhood by entering details about your home’s location, size, type, upgrades, etc.

2. Neglecting Necessary Repairs

When a prospective buyer is viewing your home and notices a leaky faucet, worn-out carpet, loose doorknobs, walls with peeling paint, etc., they’ll likely be put off and question if the residence has other big, more expensive problems that you have been ignoring.

Therefore, it is wise to do repairs in the house before listing it for sale. 71% of home sellers make at least one alteration to their property to get it ready for the market, according to a 2022 Zillow survey.

The most frequent renovations include repainting the interior and exterior, landscaping the yard, fixing leaky or broken plumbing, changing carpet or flooring, replacing faulty mechanicals, such as the HVAC system, and freshening up the kitchen and bathroom.

Aside from improving buyer appeal, repairs and maintenance could add thousands of dollars to the sale price of your home.

If you don’t have the money to perform the necessary repairs, you can drop your asking price from the start and state in the listing description that the price reflects the house’s known flaws.

3. Not Having Professional Photos Taken

Nowadays, practically everyone looking to purchase a house starts their search for the perfect home online.

Many potential buyers will scroll past your online house listing if it contains poor-quality photos taken from your old mobile phone. Even if they view the listing, they might see no reason to book a viewing because of how unappealing the images make your home look. This may result in your house remaining on the market longer.

On the other hand, excellent images showcase your home’s best features, assisting you in making a favorable first impression on potential buyers, generating more interest, and standing out from the competition because there are so many houses for sale with bad photos.

For example, well-lit and composed images can help your house appear larger, brighter, and more inviting. Potential buyers may find it easier to see themselves residing there as a result, increasing the likelihood that they’ll arrange a viewing.

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they’ll probably have money set aside to hire a skilled photographer to capture beautiful pictures of your house. For between $110 and $300, you can hire a professional photographer to shoot 20 to 50 images of your home that you can use for your online listing if you’re not working with an agent.

4. Avoiding Using a Real Estate Agent

While it’s certainly possible to sell your home without a real estate agent, it can be a mistake to go it alone.

Real estate agents have a lot of knowledge and experience that can help you set the right price for your house, market it effectively, and better negotiate with prospective buyers to get more money for your home. That said: if you work with a professional home buyer you can trust, then you may be able to save on 5–6% commission agents charge – while also skipping home repairs, staging, and other time-consuming aspects of the home selling process.

According to National Association of Realtors data from 2022, For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) homes sold for a median price of $225,000 last year, over $100,000 less than the median price of agent-assisted homes, which was $345,000.

Only 10% of home sales last year were FSBOs, which shows most homeowners are well aware that going it alone when selling their house can be a mistake.

5. Hiding Major Repairs

Many states have laws requiring sellers to disclose known flaws in a property when they list it for sale — but not all sellers are honest, and some conceal issues with their properties to avoid lowering the asking price.

You want to avoid making this mistake because failing to disclose issues including roof leaks, foundation cracks, lead paint, broken down plumbing, and other defects that could affect the home’s value can cause the sale of your home to be delayed or even canceled if a buyer conducts a home inspection and finds out they’ll need to spend a lot of money making major repairs on the property you had hidden from them.

If you manage to sell your home without revealing any known problems, this could cause legal problems later on, since the buyer can sue you for deceiving them about the property’s condition throughout the sale process.

So, do the ethical thing when selling your home and inform potential buyers of all known flaws in the property!

Other mistakes to avoid when selling your home include:

  • Denying requests to view the house. Buyers often have busy schedules and may not be able to view your home during traditional showing hours. By being flexible with showings, you increase the chances of finding a buyer who is interested in your home.
  • Being unprepared for negotiations. Negotiations are a common feature of the property selling process so being ready for them is vital. This entails having a solid grasp of the real estate market’s present conditions, being willing to make concessions, and having a good understanding of your home’s value.
  • Not being flexible with closing dates. Potential buyers may want to close on the home at a different date than what you’re proposing, perhaps because they want to move in right away or anticipate delays in their mortgage processing. If you’re not being flexible, you may miss out on a sale.

HomeBuyers of Pittsburgh: The #1 Professional Home Buyer

If you’re selling your home, get in touch with HomeBuyers of Pittsburgh, and you don’t have to worry about making costly mistakes that will slow down the sale of your house or result in you not getting the best price for it.

We use a straightforward three-step process to provide you with a fair cash offer for your home as-is within hours of first getting in touch with us, and if you accept our offer, we can close within days.

The best part is that if you choose to work with HomeBuyers of Pittsburgh, you won’t need to do any repairs, have your property staged, engage a real estate agent, take professional photos, or go through any other home-selling process.

We’ve helped many homeowners sell their properties quickly and stress-free, and we’d be happy to assist you as well. Contact us at [email protected] or 412-444-8914 today!