Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

From The Blog

2 October 2023

Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make (and How To Avoid Them)

Selling your home can feel overwhelming. It’s the biggest investment most of us have and the odds are you’re not an experienced real estate mogul who is completely familiar with the process and knows all the tricks of the trade. Sometimes sellers are sure they’re guaranteed to set sales records and sometimes they seem to feel as if they’re destined to have a bad experience. The reality is somewhere in the middle: you CAN have a positive selling experience as long as you approach things realistically and avoid some common mistakes.

Here are some of the most common mistakes Sellers make and how to avoid them.

Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make (and How To Avoid Them)

1. Thinking just having your home on the MLS will sell it.

These days there’s a lot more to real estate marketing than just putting a sign on the lawn and posting to MLS. You owe it to yourself to hire an agent who knows how to expose your home to the most potential buyers possible. This can be done in a number of ways but each of them requires effort, time and investment so it’s important that you choose someone who is willing to put in the work to get your home sold. That usually includes a good amount of leg-work, carefully crafting a presentation and importantly, professional photography . A good agent won’t take marketing photos of your home on their cell phone. Today’s buyers first see the home they eventually buy online, so outstanding photography plays a critical role in capturing their attention. If a buyer or agent bypasses your listing because of bad photos, they aren’t likely to reconsider it later.

2. Skimping on cleaning your house before putting it on the market.

First impressions matter. People know you live in your home but buyers may assume that homes that are dirty haven’t been properly maintained either. That could result in less interest from buyers and then lower offers. Don’t have time to really clean? Bring in a professional. Your home will show in it’s best light right from the start. Then tidy up regularly (and BEFORE EVERY SINGLE SHOWING!) so that it stays clean, neat and tidy. Make the beds. Wash the dishes. Put away the laundry. Vacuum up the pet hair. It makes a difference to buyers.

3. Expecting a 100% return on renovations.

Sadly, this is only true on TV. If a specific renovation will allow you to better enjoy your home, go for it. If not, it’s worth speaking to your REALTOR® before you make any renovations specifically to help you sell your home. What you have in mind may not appeal to everyone and there’s no guarantee that you’ll recoup all of your expenses. 

4. Declining showings at inconvenient times.

Opening your home to potential Buyers can be inconvenient but it’s to your advantage to make it as convenient for them as possible. Most buyers work during the week (so that they can afford the mortgage they’re going to need in order to buy your home) so showings often get booked during the dinner hour or on weekends. If it’s really necessary most people will do their best to work around your schedule but you’ll have more luck finding a buyer if s/he can view your property when it’s convenient for them. 

5. Staying home during showings.

If a buyer schedules a showing of your home, it’s best that you leave the house whenever possible. Buyers will feel restricted in how they look at the home if they know you’re nearby – wouldn’t you? If they can’t take a thorough look at the property, they’re more likely to have unanswered questions and are therefore less likely to make an offer. If you have a valid reason for being present during a showing, try to stay out of the buyer’s way. Take a cup of coffee out to your patio. Head out to tidy the garden. Or maybe read your book in a quiet corner. Buyers have to be able to get a feel for your home before they can fall in love with it.


Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make (and How To Avoid Them)

6. Over-pricing your home and expecting buyers will negotiate.

When you scroll through for your next home, do you focus your search on places you can’t afford? No, that wouldn’t make much sense. Most buyers avoid looking at overpriced homes completely so you won’t even get the chance to negotiate. If your pricing strategy (or your agent’s) is to inflate your asking price and negotiate down to market value, you’re actually taking a big risk. Overpricing could lead to your property being completely overlooked most often, leads to seeing your listing languish on the market. You might even end up eventually having to sell for less than market value.

7. Walking away from an offer because you’re insulted.

When you bought your last home, did you expect to pay full price? Not likely. While not everybody wants to negotiate, most buyers are expecting to. Just because an initial offer is $50,000 below your asking price doesn’t mean the buyer expects you to cave in right away. In all likelihood, buyers will be prepared to improve their offer through negotiations. If you stick to your guns and will only sell at full price, you just might lose your buyer completely. Do your best to not respond to offers emotionally and talk to your agent about negotiation strategies.


If you have questions about selling your home, a phone call is the the first step to getting answers. Contact us today to find out how Forest Hill Real Estate – GREY COUNTY can help you get your property sold!

Interested In This Post?
Get In Touch With Us


Learn More

Browse More Posts Below