Real Estate Selling

11 Things Not to Do If You Ever Want to Sell Your House

If you’re planning on selling your property, don’t let your house sit on the market any longer than necessary. Take a page from our book and avoid these 11 common mistakes before listing.

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Don't Neglect Curb Appeal

Don’t underestimate the impact that first impressions have on a potential buyer’s likelihood of making an offer on your home. A well-maintained exterior signals to buyers that the interior has probably been similarly well maintained. Trim trees, lay fresh mulch, hose down the walkways, and pressure-wash dirty surfaces if necessary. Little improvements, such as upgrading an old light fixture, replacing a rusty mailbox, or painting the front door, can go a long way.

Related: 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50

Don't Overprice Your Home

It’s normal to want top dollar for your house—after all, you know better than anyone what a wonderful home it can be! But pricing your home too high can cause the listing to languish. And once a house has been on the market for several months, buyers will think there’s something wrong with it, forcing you to drop the asking price to spark interest.

Related: Where to Get the Most Bang for Your Real Estate Buck

Don't Skimp on Listing Photos

In an age when buyers shop for homes on the internet, listing photos need to work hard to sell your home for you. Hire a professional photographer, and make sure to get shots of all the important rooms in the house. Detail shots are good, but be sure to include full-room pictures so potential buyers can get a feel of the home.

Related: 11 Awful Real Estate Photos—And How to Make Yours Great

Don't Neglect Repairs

A fresh set of eyes will notice things around your home that you may have stopped noticing years ago. Before the buyers start filing in, it’s time to finally get around to fixing that rotted exterior siding or the water damage in the bathroom. If potential buyers see these types of flaws during a showing, they may expect the house to be a renovation nightmare. Fixing obvious problems will increase the chances of getting an offer—or multiple offers—on the home.

Related: 9 Unexpected Turnoffs for Home Buyers

Don't Hide Problems in the Home

If you aren’t willing to correct cosmetic problems prior to selling, be honest and transparent to potential buyers about what needs repairing. Not doing this would waste both your time and the buyer’s if the deal should fall apart after a failed home inspection. Disclose any important information, and price the home accordingly.

Related: 11 Common Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide

Don't Over-Personalize the Space

Set the stage in your home to allow potential buyers to imagine themselves in your space. Even if you’re not hiring stagers, there’s plenty you can do yourself—such as hiding family photos, knickknacks, and personal memorabilia. Tone down distracting decor, bright colors, and anything else that would divert attention from the most important thing a buyer should be focusing on—the space itself.

Related: 12 Secrets Every Savvy Home Seller Needs to Know

Don't Refuse to Entertain Low Offers

It’s easy to get offended by lowball offers. Take your emotions out of the deal, however, and approach the offer as a business decision—which, in fact, it is. Instead of walking away from these offers completely, take the opportunity to negotiate.

Related: Selling Your Home? 7 Things to Know Right Off the Bat

Don't Show Up During Showings

This is one thing you should let the real estate agents handle on their own. Buyers will benefit from a little freedom to imagine themselves in the space. Plus, they’ll feel more comfortable discussing the house, scrutinizing the cabinets, and poking through closets without the homeowner two steps behind them.

Related: 12 Reasons a Realtor Might Not Want to Work with You

Don't Forget About Closing Costs

Before you start planning how to spend the profits on your home sale, remember to take into account the costs associated with selling your home. Figure out your real estate agent’s commission, attorney fees, and other administrative costs before putting your sale in motion.

Related: 8 Home Costs That Take New Buyers by Surprise

Don't Show a Cluttered House

If potential buyers view your house when the closets are packed to the brim and countertops are covered with spices, appliances, and dishes, they may not be able to visualize the property’s full potential. Similarly, excess furniture and busy decor will make rooms seem much smaller than they are. Remove as much of your home’s contents as possible to woo storage-conscious prospective buyers.

Related: 13 Mistakes Not to Make If You Ever Want to Sell Your Home

Don't Ignore Your Agent’s Advice

Your real estate agents can be a valuable resource in your quest to get the best possible price for your home—after all, that’s what you’re paying them for. Aside from helping you set a fair listing price, they can also offer suggestions about staging, repairs, cleaning, and curb appeal that will definitely pay off if you take them seriously.

Related: 9 Things Not to Say in Your Real Estate Listing