Whether you inherited property from a loved one, are overwhelmed with needed repairs for a fixer-upper, are facing foreclosure, or are preparing to move into a new home, you may be interested in selling the house. 

The housing market seems to change day by day, month by month, and year by year, but no matter the situation, there are steps you should take to sell your home. And this process is not one to take lightly; a home is a significant investment, and selling it is a major financial milestone. The good news is that it will all be worth it when you finally sell your house, make a profit, and move onto new horizons.

However, the last thing you want to do is fall into common traps homeowners face when trying to sell their house. 

14 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

The home-selling process can be stressful and complex—and one wrong move can be costly. Keep an eye out for these mistakes and avoid them to protect yourself, your finances, and your future.

Biggest Home Selling Mistakes: The Planning Stage

Before you sell your home, you have to do some planning: set a price, predict selling costs, make repairs, and avoid spending money you won’t recover.

Mistake #1:
Setting a Price That Is Too High or Too Low

Pricing a home is difficult, but setting an accurate price from the start will impact how quickly it sells and how much you receive as a return on your investment. Setting the price too high means you’ll chase away potential buyers, and a price that’s too low means you’ll miss out on thousands. Getting the pricing right from the start is ideal.

The solution:

During a standard sales process, talk to an experienced real estate agent or get a comparative market analysis to determine how much houses like yours are selling for in your area. 

If you are experiencing a foreclosure, need to sell your home quickly, or have inherited a house in poor condition, there is another option. You can calculate a fair cash offer and work with an honest, local home buyer to sell your home. 

Mistake #2:
Underestimating Selling Costs

There’s more to selling a home than signing on the dotted line. Home-selling costs like real estate agent commissions, closing costs, repairs, staging costs, and moving expenses can quickly add up, and if you don’t prepare for these expenses in advance, you can quickly get overwhelmed.

The solution:

Find a good real estate agent who can help you manage these costs or budget appropriately. Alternatively, if you sell your house to a cash buyer, you don’t have to pay any commissions or fees—cash buyers will even pay closing costs. 

Mistake #3:
Skipping Major Repairs

If your house needs major repairs, it may be tempting to ignore or hide them so you don’t have to pay to get them fixed. However, skipping these repairs is a mistake that will likely come to light during the home inspection. If you don’t share known problems during the seller’s disclosure and they’re revealed later, it could delay the closing date, lower the price, or stop the deal altogether. 

The solution:

Honesty is the best policy. Reveal any major problems and either make repairs or adjust the price to reflect future repair costs. Or, if you want to sell your house as-is—in any condition—consider finding a local cash buyer so you don’t have to worry about making repairs.

Mistake #4:
Making Expensive Renovations

Home renovations—like opening up the living space, restructuring the kitchen, or adding a half-bath—may increase the value of your home, and that’s why many homeowners invest in construction before putting their house on the market. However, in many cases, making expensive renovations isn’t worth the financial cost. There’s no guarantee you’ll make the money back through the sale, and it may be a waste of money.

The solution:

Avoid making costly, unnecessary renovations before selling your home. If you go through the traditional sale process, the renovations might not be worth the cost. If you sell your home to a cash buyer, there’s no need to make any renovations or repairs at all—they’ll take it as-is.

Biggest Home Selling Mistakes: The Listing Stage

When you list your home, your goal should be to put your best foot forward. You want potential buyers to see themselves living in your house, which means it needs to be clean, depersonalized, and attractive—inside and out.

Mistake #5:
Skipping the Staging

Staging your home can make a dramatic impact on how much it sells for. An empty, unstaged home makes it more difficult for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there—which is key to encouraging them to make an offer. While you may be tempted to let the house speak for itself, your best bet is to stage the important rooms at minimum.

The solution:

Rent furniture and decorations that make your house look like a home, either from a staging company or a home furnishing store that caters to sellers. Or, if you want to sell a house fast or are looking to sell quickly or are selling a house that needs a lot of repairs, talk to a cash buyer. You won’t need to spend your time or money on staging.

Mistake #6:
Forgetting to Clean and Declutter

A dirty, messy house that’s full of clutter turns off buyers. A yard full of bikes, a breezeway cluttered with pet gear, piles of paperwork on every surface, and a full garbage can make your home look cheap. (Not exactly the vibe you want to send potential buyers.)

The solution:

Pack up clutter, clean up stains, add a fresh coat of paint where needed, and open up the windows to freshen up your space. If you have a home that is in distress—it needs significant repairs or is on the brink of foreclosure—sell it to a cash buyer. You can skip the cleaning, mess, and repairs.

Mistake #7:
Using Bad Listing Photos

Most home buyers start the process online, looking up homes in their desired location and price range and then scrolling through photos on the listing. If your online photos are shot in bad lighting, come out blurry, or are shot at bad angles, buyers won’t bother to attend a showing.

The solution:

Work with a professional photographer or experienced real estate agent to get high-quality photos of your house. Good lighting and a wide-angle lens will make all the difference. However, if you sell to a cash buyer, there are no listings, which means you don’t have to worry about photos—or how the house looks—at all. This option may be ideal when selling a home that’s in disrepair. 

Mistake #8:
Neglecting Curb Appeal

What’s the first thing an interested buyer sees, both online and in person? The outside of your house.

If you neglect the curb appeal of your home, you’ll ruin that oh-so-valuable first look. Focusing on the interior so much that you forget the exterior is a significant mistake.

The solution:

Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, plant flowers, paint the exterior, pull up weeds, and power wash the siding. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. (Or skip this step and sell to a cash buyer. No need to spruce up the yard. This is often critical to sellers of inherited property or distressed homes who don’t have the finances or time to spend on making these updates.)

Mistake #9:
Failing to Depersonalize Your Home

Potential buyers will try to picture themselves and their families living in your home. That’s difficult to do when they walk in the front door and are immediately surrounded by family photos on the wall, personal mail stacked on the table, or report cards hanging on the fridge. These items remind buyers that it isn’t their home—it’s yours. And if it’s difficult for them to make a personal connection, they will be less likely to put in an offer.

The solution:

Remove personal items and mementos where possible to encourage buyers to see your house as a blank slate for their own lives. Cash buyers, on the other hand, aren’t listing or showing your house, so you don’t have to worry about depersonalizing the space. 

Biggest Home Selling Mistakes: The Showing Stage

Showing your home is the one time when you want to encourage strangers off the street to walk through your house. The more people you can get to attend a showing, the higher chances you will have of getting a fair offer. Do what you can to invite buyers to take a look.

Mistake #10:
Lacking the Proper Insurance

While your real estate agent is showing your house, people will be walking around your home and property. Unfortunately, accidents can happen. If someone is injured because they slipped and fell on your floors or tripped over a moving box, they may try to sue you for damages. Without the proper insurance in place, you could be at risk of a lawsuit.

The solution:

Make sure you have property insurance that protects you if a potential buyer has an accident. Additionally, try to do your best to prevent accidents in the first place—from covering an open pool and smoothing out stepping stones to checking the stability of stair railings and securing rugs to the floor.

Mistake #11:
Limiting Showings

It’s no secret: Open houses and private showings are inconvenient for homeowners. When your home is on the market, you want to accommodate your real estate agent and buyers as much as possible, which means you and your family have to leave for long stretches of time. 

Since these interruptions to everyday life are inconvenient, many sellers limit showings to certain times on the weekends. Unfortunately, if you limit showings, you are also limiting the amount of potential buyers who can view your home (and who might be interested in making an offer).

The solution:

Realize that showing your home is a temporary inconvenience and do what you can to give your real estate agent the availability they need to get buyers in the door.

For homes in disrepair or for sellers who need to quickly sell a less-than-ideal property, finding a local cash home buyer may be the best option as there are no showings at all—just a one-time walk-through from the cash buyer to determine the cash offer. 

Mistake #12:
Trying to Play Tour Guide

Your instinct may be to stick around when buyers are walking through your home, pointing out your favorite features and commenting on what they notice. The problem with trying to play tour guide, though, is that having a seller hovering around makes buyers nervous. Additionally, as the seller, you aren’t an expert on what the buyer is looking for—your real estate agent is.

The solution:

Leave the house during open houses and private showings so your real estate agent can do their job

Biggest Home Selling Mistakes: The Negotiating Stage

It all comes down to the numbers. The last thing you want to do is make a bad deal, so negotiate carefully and consider all the factors before making a decision.

Mistake #13:
Taking Things Personally

If a buyer makes a low offer or a comment about a DIY paint job, it’s nothing personal. They’re not judging your home or your housekeeping skills, so don’t get distracted.

The solution:

Instead of taking an inadequate offer or blunt remark personally, remember that selling and buying a home is a business transaction. Don’t get offended by a low offer; make a counteroffer. Don’t respond to personal comments; ignore them. 

If you’re selling a home that is in disrepair or you’re under financial stress, working with a local cash home buyer can alleviate the stress of working with traditional buyers.

Mistake #14:
Letting Emotions Get in the Way

Your house is likely full of memories, from holiday gatherings to everyday joys. Selling it can evoke many different emotions, from nostalgia to grief. But now is not the time to let emotions get in the way. When your feelings interfere with the sale, things can quickly get messy.

The solution:

Be professional and do your best to separate your emotions from the negotiation process. If you’re selling a home in disrepair or need to sell quickly for cash, finding an honest, local cash home buyer who will provide you with a fair offer is key. 

Need to Urgently Sell Your Home? Avoid Common Home Selling Mistakes by Selling Your House for Cash

Sometimes, following the traditional path isn’t the best fit—even if you avoid all the common mistakes that other homeowners make when selling their house.

While working with an experienced real estate agent may be the right choice for some homeowners, there are other options. In fact, the fastest and easiest way to sell your house is often by selling it to a cash buyer.

Selling your house for cash means that you automatically avoid many common home selling mistakes because the process is so much smoother:

  • No need for landscaping, cleaning, staging, painting, repairing, or listing
  • Guaranteed timing
  • Fewer conditions for sale
  • Quicker closing times
  • Fewer closing costs
  • Less stress
  • No appraisals necessary

Before you hire a real estate agent, make repairs to your home, or deep clean every nook and cranny to prepare it for the market, consider selling your house for cash instead. If your home is in poor condition, you’ve inherited a house unexpectedly, you’re undergoing the foreclosure process, or you simply don’t have the time it takes to wait for the traditional real estate agent method to conclude, skip the realtor and look for a trustworthy cash buyer in your area instead.

Anyone who needs to urgently sell a house or has a distressed home they want to sell should consider a cash buyer.

Sell Your Home to the Cash Buyers at New Again Houses

At New Again Houses, we buy, remodel, and sell homes to new families to enjoy for years to come. Unlike other cash buyers, we will never sell your contract or your information—so you can trust us to restore your old home with love and care.

We’ve been in the business of helping local homeowners sell their homes since 2008. Based in Bristol, TN, and serving homeowners nationwide, the New Again Houses team would love the opportunity to invest in the local community by making your older home new again.

Together, we will transform not only houses but also lives.

Are you ready to sell your house, get a cash offer, and close in a matter of days? Call 423.389.8005 today to get started.

We buy houses and transform them into fully remodeled homes.

Get a fast & fair offer for your home and close at your convenience.