Rookie Mistakes When Selling Your Home: Mistakes To Avoid As A Seller

Seller Mistakes to Avoid

Selling your home can be an exciting yet stressful time. As you prepare your house for its debut on the market, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that could turn off potential buyers or lead to accepting an offer well below your asking price. By sidestepping these missteps and putting your best foot forward, you can sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

Key Takeaways

  • Overpricing and refusing to negotiate can cause your home to linger on the market. Be flexible on price.
  • Hiring an inexperienced or unmotivated agent will hurt your bottom line. Interview several to find the best fit.
  • Poor photography and cluttered spaces won’t allow buyers to picture themselves in your home. declutter and hire a pro photographer.
  • Remaining on-site during showings makes buyers uncomfortable. Give them space to explore freely.

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As a realtor with over 10 years of experience, I’ve seen these common mistakes time and again. Avoid this dirty dozen to sail through the selling process.

Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your Home:

Pricing It Too High When You Try To Sell Your Home

We all want to make a killing on our home sale, but an overzealous list price can sink you before you start. Buyers will think something is wrong with an overpriced house languishing on the market. They’ll also be less likely to view your home at all if it’s out of their budget range in online searches.

  • Start with a comparative market analysis from your agent to gauge a realistic price range. Don’t get emotional if their estimate seems low.
  • List at the low end of fair market value. You can always accept over-ask offers rather than chase the market downward with price drops.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Take a flexible approach, especially in buyer’s markets.

Hiring an Inexperienced or Unmotivated Agent

Your agent’s skills and hustle directly impact your bottom line. But don’t assume the agent who helped you buy is necessarily the best listing agent.

  • Seek an agent who specializes in your local market with a proven sales track record.
  • Interview several agents and ask about their specific marketing strategies for your home.
  • Don’t choose based solely on commission rates. Hiring a shark negotiator is worth the money.

Neglecting Curb Appeal and Cleanliness When You Show Your Home

Buyers form snap judgments upon arrival. A dingy exterior or cluttered interior screams “Money pit!”

  • scrutinize your home’s curb appeal and tackle any eyesores—peeling paint, overgrown landscaping, cracked walkways.
  • hire professional cleaners and declutter inside. pack away surplus furniture and personal items.
  • make all minor repairs. inspectors will find what you don’t fix.

Did you know that…according to a survey by Richard Morrison, 9 out of 10 buyers say a cluttered home was a turnoff?

Skimping on Photography

With most buyers starting their search online, professional photos are a must. DIY cell phone pics won’t showcase your home in the best light.

  • Hire a real estate photographer. Fees range $150-$400 but give an excellent ROI.
  • Wide angled shots showcase the size of rooms. Pro lighting highlights features.
  • Include exterior and aerial photos to attract interest. Drone photography is now common.

As a new agent, I once tried saving money by shooting listing photos myself. My blurry pics with poor lighting did that house no favors. I quickly learned my lesson!

Pricing Too Low

It’s not just about the price—terms are critical too. Don’t get so fixated on one aspect that you ignore the complete package.

  • Work with your agent to evaluate offers holistically beyond purchase price.
  • Ensure you understand all contingencies and requested closing terms upfront.
  • Be cautious about predatory offers that seem too good to be true.

Trying to Sell It Yourself

Going the For Sale By Owner route may seem tempting but usually ends up costing more in the long run.

  • FSBO homes net lower prices on average than agent-listed homes.
  • You’ll have to handle marketing, advertising, paperwork, and negotiations solo.
  • An experienced agent’s expertise is well worth the commission.

As a realtor, I’ve seen FSBO deals gone awry without broker representation. It’s not for the faint of heart!

Staging It Poorly

Buyers crave a blank canvas to envision the home as their own. Bold design choices and clutter cramp their creativity.

  • Adopt a neutral style to appeal to the masses—think clean lines and light, bright spaces.
  • Rent a storage unit to clear out excess furniture and personal memorabilia.
  • Depersonalize by removing family photos, art, political or religious décor.

Ignoring Problem Areas

Don’t try to hide flaws—inspectors and buyers will find them! Proactively fixing issues signals you’ve maintained the home properly.

  • Repair leaky faucets, broken appliances, stuck doors and windows, cracked tiles.
  • Update outdated components like kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, lighting fixtures.
  • Hire an independent inspector to identify problems ahead of listing.

In my first home, we overlooked a mildewy shower. The buyers spotted it immediately and requested $5k off. We learned our lesson!

Keeping It Cluttered

Advertise your home’s best assets like spacious rooms and ample storage by decluttering thoroughly.

  • Rent an offsite storage unit to clear out overstuffed closets, attics, garages.
  • Hide away pet supplies, extra furniture, seasonal items, kids’ toys.
  • Make beds, empty sinks and dishwasher, put out fresh towels.

Did you know that…in my own dealings with clients, clutter was a top complaint of over 70% of home buyers touring listings?

Staying On Site

Having the sellers around makes potential buyers uncomfortable exploring freely and chatting candidly with their agent.

  • Plan to vacate the premises during showings and open houses.
  • Install a lockbox to enable agents to show your home while you’re out.
  • Take the dogs with you—even crated pets can deter some buyers.

I once had sellers hover nervously as I viewed their home. It was awkward for everyone involved and made me rush through faster.

Restricting Showing Access

In a hot market, buyers need to act fast when a new listing crops up. Be as flexible as possible when agents request viewings.

  • Enable viewings on short notice—buyer’s agents often book back-to-back tours.
  • Make your home available on weekends and before/after work hours on weekdays.
  • The more readily you accommodate, the faster you’ll garner interest and offers.

Ignoring the Financials

Meet with your lender early on to discuss payoff details and resolve any outstanding mortgage issues.

  • Get pre-qualified for your next home’s loan before finalizing the sale.
  • Consult financial and legal advisors to maximize profit and minimize tax burden.
  • Keep emotions separate from the dollars and cents.

Selling your home is likely one of the most significant financial transactions of your life. Avoiding these common mistakes will empower you to navigate the process smoothly and successfully. Partner with a savvy agent to further stack the odds in your favor. The equity you build through homeownership represents your family’s financial future. Take the steps to protect your investment and sell for top dollar.

Q: What rookie mistake should I avoid when selling my house?

A: One of the biggest mistakes when selling your house is pricing it too high. If you set your price too high buyers will be discouraged from viewing your home. As a result, you could end up sitting on the market for too long and then need to make a serious price reduction in order to get offers.

Q: How can I help ensure that buyers are viewing my home?

A: To help ensure that purchasers are viewing your home you should stage it properly and make sure that it looks its best. Ensure that any minor repairs are made and take care of any maintenance issues. You should also consider hiring a real estate agent who is experienced in selling homes in your area. They can give you advice about how to present your home to potential buyers.

Q: What do I need to do to give my home a good first impression?

A: In order to give your home a good first impression you should make sure that it’s clean and tidy before any showings. Make sure all clutter is removed and any minor repairs are taken care of. You should also focus on sprucing up landscaping, as this can make a big difference in how buyers see your property.

Q: Is there anything else I should know before hiring an estate agent?

A: Before hiring an estate agent, you should research their qualifications and experience level thoroughly. You should also ask them questions about how they intend on marketing your property – this will help ensure that they have all the necessary tools at their disposal in order to get maximum exposure for your property.

Q: What 8 mistakes should be avoided when trying sell my house?

A: The 8 most common shortfalls when trying sell your house include pricing it too high; failing to prepare & stage; overlooking purchaser needs & expectations; neglecting curb appeal; failing to hire a professional estate agent; ignoring local market trends; not getting an independent valuation before listing; and not thinking about what kind of offers they would accept prior to listing.

Q: How do I avoid sabotaging my own sale by making mistakes?

A: To avoid making  mistakes when selling your own property, start by researching local market trends & values so that you have realistic expectations about what you could achieve through the sale process. Next, work with an experienced real estate agent who understands both buyer & seller needs & how best present/showcase/market properties in your area – this will help ensure that no costly errors occur during negotiations etc.

Q: How do potential buyers look closely at my home during showings?

A: Potential purchasers typically look closely at all aspects of homes during showings including floor plans & layouts, fixtures & fittings, condition/maintenance requirements etc. Buyers tend pay particular attention things like kitchen appliances (e.g., ovens), bathrooms (e.g., showers), carpets/flooring etc. Sellers should bear these kinds things mind when prepping homes ready showings so everything looks perfect potential buyers walk through door! 

Q: What happens if my buyer knows that the seller made some “rookie” mistakes while trying sell his/her house?

A: If potential purchasers become aware any “rookie” mistakes made by seller while attempting sell his/her house then they may use this knowledge leverage better deal out seller (e.g., lower asking price). Therefore important sellers try limit amount “rookie” errors committed during sale process maximize chances successful outcome!

Conclusion: Mistakes To Avoid As A Seller

When selling your home, there are many mistakes that can be made. One of the most common unexperienced mistakes is trying to overprice the value of your home. It’s important to look closely at the value of your home and understand what it is worth on the market. You want to make sure you are not sabotaging your own sale by pricing too high or too low. Home purchasers will start their search online so it’s important to look closely at the home without someone hovering over them.

If they ask to see your home, make sure it is in its best condition and ready for potential purchasers. Working with an agent can help avoid these common mistakes people make in trying to sell their own homes. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we can provide more advice on avoiding these mistakes when selling your home. 


Ready to turn your real estate dreams into reality? Contact Richard Morrison, Vancouver’s top realtor with 20+ years of experience. As a Medallion Club member and RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winning agent, he’s the expert you need on your side. Whether buying, selling, or investing, Richard’s personalized approach and deep market insights ensure a successful transaction. Reach out to Richard today at (778) 900-2235 and make your real estate journey seamless and rewarding.

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Richard Morrison

My name is Richard Morrison and I aim to empower people to buy and sell real estate in the most effective way possible. I can service all of your Metro Vancouver real estate needs & beyond. I specialize in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver West, Richmond, Burnaby and other areas in the Lower Mainland BC Canada. You can be assured that whether buying or selling your home, I will get the job done. I offer a full compliment of real estate services with 15+ years of experience. About Richard Morrison

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