Mistakes That Keep People From Selling Their Home

8 Mistakes That Keep People From Selling Their Home

Mistakes That Keep People From Selling Their Home

Depending on the market conditions that are at play at any given time, selling a property is sometimes harder than it is at other times. There are, however, a few sure-fire ways to put off potential buyers immediately, which is something you don’t want in any market conditions.

Sellers tend to make the same mistakes over and over again – but you don’t have to. Here are eight selling mistakes you should try to avoid.

Overpricing your home

Look, everyone wants to get the best price they can when selling their home, but especially if this is your first time round this particular metaphorical block, you might be highly overestimating what your property is actually worth. This is because the perimeters you use don’t just pertain to the house, its location, its features and other more practical aspects – there is also a strong dose of sentimentality at play here.

Settling on an asking price that is too high won’t do you any favours. In fact, an exorbitant price is one of the main reasons properties stay on the market for longer than intended. But don’t listen to us: if you’re price is too high and causes your listing to go stale, you’ll have to sacrifice a lot of the cash you envisioned anyway.

When estimating a price for your property, heed the advice of your real estate agent and of the home inspector doing the pre-inspection. These experts base their estimations on the type of brick-and-mortar stuff that matters.

Not budging on price

Even if you have set an asking price that is fair to you and to the buyer, they might want to negotiate to test their luck at saving a buck or two. One of the biggest mistakes rookie sellers make is to be unwilling to budge on what they are asking. When a buyer feels like they’re talking to a brick wall, they can easily decide to take their business elsewhere – perhaps somewhere where the seller is more likely to make concessions.

That is not to say that you should give in to offers that are ridiculously low, but this is your time to have a discussion and come to an agreement that suits you and the buyer and pushes the sale through.

As far as the negotiations go, trust your real estate agent to handle these on your behalf. Your agent isn’t going to become emotional or sentimental about the property, but will still want to get a high price, as their commission depends on it. This is not their first rodeo, and they know how to talk to buyers.

Doing a lousy job of cleaning

When potential buyers eventually come to check out the property during a home viewing or open house, you do not want your space to seem cluttered or untidy in any way. On the contrary, you want to create a neutral space where prospective buyers can easily see themselves living.

The very first and most basic part of staging the home is to ensure that it is spotless, from top to bottom. That means you’ll have to undertake a deep cleaning of the entire house and garden, as well as the garage, putting into storage any extra items that are making the area seem crowded. If you do not have enough storage space on the property, this might mean you’ll have to keep them elsewhere, like in a storage unit.

When cleaning the house, don’t forget to also make sure that the garden and yard is in check. The outdoor space surrounding a property is often a boon to it, but if it seems neglected or untidy, it can easily put off potential buyers.

Now is the time to dust where you haven’t dusted in years, but you’ll be grateful later, and buyers will certainly notice.

Using crummy photographs

Chances are that homebuyers will come across your online listing before they actually get to see the property in person at an open house. This is exactly why the photos you use in your online listing are so important. While you and your agent could take these pictures, a professional property photographer will be able to capture the essence of the property in a way you simply couldn’t.

Property photographers understand which angles work in the online realm and also know how to put the property and its features in the best light. Ask your real estate agent which property photographer they would recommend. This could be an extra cost associated with the marketing that you might not have anticipated (although many agencies include the photography of the home in their initial quotes – remember to ask your real estate agent exactly what will be charged for) but it is certainly worth it.

Your online listing is the very first chance you have to make an impression on potential buyers and to pique their interest – don’t spoil your listing with bad photos.

Leaving religious or political belongings in plain sight

Staging the home requires that you put away all the sentimental items in your house, but many people forget to also stow away religious or political regalia. You don’t know who will be coming to an open house and what their religious or political persuasion will be, which is why it is always better to put away anything that might draw the attention away from the home itself.

It is difficult for buyers to imagine themselves in a space that is filled with cultural artefacts that don’t resonate with them and this might seriously hurt your chances of securing a sale.

Let your real estate agent point out décor and items around the house that could put off potential buyers. This isn’t personal, but is rather a way to create a neutral space where everyone can feel at home, no matter what their beliefs or background are.

Lurking around at your own open house

For goodness’ sake, first-time sellers, please let your real estate agent handle the open house. Buyers want to ask questions about the property that they might not feel comfortable asking the current owner. They might want to open your closets and cupboards to see how much space there is. They might want to test appliances and check every tap. If you are lurking around, they might never get to find out things that are crucial to their decision-making process.

What’s more, your real estate agent won’t present your house in a way that is sentimental, but understands how to make prospective buyers focus on those parts of the home that truly shine.

Rest assured that they’ll present an open house that will impress, because their own income is also affected by the sale (or lack thereof) of your home.

Making it difficult for agents to show your home

Open house events are the biggest showcase your home will have for the duration of its time on the market, but they definitely aren’t the only showcase. Very often during this time, potential buyers might unexpectedly want to drop in at unexpected times, perhaps also when you’re not at home yourself.

Giving your real estate agent a spare key makes their job a lot easier, because it grants them easy access to bring around the maximum amount of potential buyers.

On your part, this does mean keeping your home clean and tidy at all times. There’s no need for this to be a hassle. Simply get into the habit of cleaning as you go, rather than going on a cleaning spree once or twice a week.

Leaving pets at home during showings

As far as it is possible to do so, having your pets elsewhere during a home showing will be of great benefit to you. Not everyone likes animals, and some people are highly allergic. Even if the buyers coming to see your property do like dogs, you don’t want Fido to draw the attention away from your recent kitchen renovations.

When de-cluttering, also don’t forget to put your pets’ toys and food bowls out of sight. Vacuum the home to get rid of pet hair on the couches, beds and carpets. Keeping your pets somewhere else while the home is being shown also helps your agent – it’s pretty hard singing the backyard’s praises when your dog wants to play catch with the would-be buyers.


If this is your first time putting a property on the market, you’ll still be getting acquainted to the way it all works. The first step to securing a sale is to find a good real estate agent to guide and advise you, as you won’t make rookie mistakes if you have an experienced captain guiding this ship.

Is this the first time you are selling a property? Don’t get overwhelmed by it all. Let a qualified and experienced agent, recommended by Perfect Agent, do all the heavy lifting for you.