Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home

The Most Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in Sydney

In an article for Bloomberg about the recent surge in the price of property in Australia, Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic, said that the local “housing market is in the midst of a broad-based boom”, adding that the sudden rise in prices, which started in earnest in October last year was “spurred on by a combination of record-low mortgage rates, improving economic conditions and low advertised supply levels.”

Although the entire country has seen house prices rise, with an average home value surge of 2.1% in February of this year – this is the biggest overall increase since August 2003 – growth has been especially noteworthy in Australia’s capital cities.

In Sydney, most suburbs have shown growth in median house prices over the past year, according to real estate researcher and commentator, Terry Ryder. The Urban Developer’s Sydney Housing Market insights for March 2021 reveal that the city experienced a 2.5% month-on-month and a 2.8% year-on-year rise in dwelling prices, with the median value of prices in New South Wales’s capital standing at $895,933. House prices in Sydney increased by 3%, with the median house value now at $1,061,229. Unit prices rose by 1.2%, for a median unit price of $738,254.

However, at the same time as the city and the country are experiencing unprecedented housing booms, the average amount of listings for February this year was down 26% from the same time last year. While prospective home buyers are frantically searching for property to take advantage of the low interest rates, the amount of properties are not nearly enough to cater for the demand.

It’s worth adding that Westpac Banking Corp predicted a rise of 20% in property prices over 2021 and 2022, and this makes perfect sense in a seller’s market, like the one that is currently at play.

If you have been thinking of selling your home in Sydney, it would seem that there really is no time like the present. Prices are up, there is less competition about, and there’s a ready-made market for your property that is waiting with baited breath for your listing.

Sydney Australia Home-Selling Mistakes

Is there any way to bungle a sale in circumstances as ideal as these? Real estate experts will readily tell you that even when it might seem like every variable necessary to guarantee a profitable sale is present, home sellers still make mistakes during the selling process that can be costly and eat away at whatever profit a person makes on the sale of their home.

Here are the most common pitfalls to keep an eye out for when you put your Sydney home on the market.

  1. Not presenting the property in the best light

Compromising on the presentation of your home, whether this is in the online listing or when potential buyers eventually come to inspect the property in person, is a quick way of shooing away buyers, no matter how desperately they are looking to purchase. It definitely shows when homeowners do not go the extra mile in making the home seem appealing to interested buyers.

The real estate agent that is helping to sell your home will probably make a few recommendations upon inspecting the property to try and estimate a good asking price. These recommendations often come in the form of advice about repairs and renovations that can add value to the property and set the hearts of buyers at ease.

Certain repairs are absolutely necessary, as not doing them can severely and entirely put buyers off buying the property altogether. Things like problems with plumbing or appliances and damage to the roof will be huge red flags to potential buyers, who will almost always gravitate away from investing in a home that is only going to end up costing them money. While these repairs can sometimes be costly, they are indispensable if a homeowner wants to capitalise on higher property prices.

Should more extensive repairs not be necessary, homeowners should still take care to stage the home (if the services of a professional home stager aren’t enlisted) in a way that would make it seem appealing to the broadest possible group of buyers. This means de-cluttering the space and putting away sentimental items and political or religious regalia, as well as family photos and knick-knacks that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

It goes without saying that the home should be cleaner than it’s ever been when presenting the property to the market. Meticulous buyers will inspect every crack and look behind every door, which is why you should take care to deep clean the entire home before allowing potential buyers to come and see the home. This also counts for the yard and garden, which will be the first things buyers see when they pull up to the driveway. A little cosmetic work – like applying a fresh coat of paint, replacing worn-out fixtures and light bulbs, and having the home’s carpets professionally cleaned – isn’t always necessary, but will definitely contribute towards creating a positive overall perception of the property.

  1. Overpaying for renovations and repairs

While we’re talking about renovations and repairs, it is also important to note that spending money on work that is not really necessary and probably won’t add value to the home when it is sold is the epitome of throwing money in the water.

For example, if your home is in need of very extensive work because it is in a general state of disrepair, and you don’t really have the cash for a complete remodel of the home, you might be better off selling the property as a fixer-upper. Sure, you’ll sacrifice profits – fixer-uppers typically don’t sell for close to what a home in a good condition will sell for – but you will be saving on renovation costs that won’t make any significant difference. With that being said, most of the people looking to buy property in Sydney today have neither the time nor the inclination to spend money renovating a property, and are looking for a home that they can move into as soon as the sale has gone through.

When assessing the state of your property, your real estate will do a comparative market analysis, also taking into account the overall state of properties that are similar to yours and are located in the same city or suburb. If other homes in your area feature upgraded bathrooms or kitchens, it’s worth considering updating your own, especially seeing as your home will be competing with neighbouring properties.

  1. Choosing the wrong real estate agent

The wrong real estate agent can be a serious impediment to the successful sale of a home, while the perfect agent will help you to sell quickly with a profit in tow. Because you are trusting this person to handle the sale of one of the biggest assets you are ever likely to own, it makes sense that you have to get along with them. For the same reason, it is extremely important that your real estate agent is qualified to do business in their city or suburb, while also having significant experience of working in this area.

Take time to interview a number of agents before deciding who to enlist, and make sure to ask the questions that matter. With the right agent by your side, you’re just about guaranteed a successful and profitable sale, while a bad agent will hamper any chances of replacing the “for sale” sign with one that says, “sold”. This is an important choice, and not one you should take lightly.

  1. Overpricing your home

The price of the home will be a determining factor when it comes to the interest a property is likely to generate. Price a home too low, and you will lose out on potential profit, but price it too high and you will put off buyers who will find their dream home among the many comparable properties competing with yours.

Let your real estate agent advise you on what a fair and realistic asking price would be that will still guarantee a profit for you. Remember, comparable properties will definitely influence what price you are likely to fetch when the home is sold, but in favourable selling circumstances, a home that makes an impression may even be ground zero for a bidding war. If this is the case for you, consider yourself lucky – you stand to make much more than you thought might be possible!


The Australian property market is booming, as is the price of real estate in Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales. Market conditions currently favour sellers, and there is a lot of profit to be made in the world of property. Even so, inexperienced sellers often make costly mistakes that can chew away at their profits.

A qualified and experienced real estate agent is your best bet when you’re looking to take advantage of the uptick in property prices. Still looking for someone to help you sell? Contact Perfect Agent for a list of trustworthy agents in your city.