First-time home sellers in particular exhibit some self-sabotaging behaviors that can trip them up on the way to getting the deal done. The following are the most common mistakes made when selling your home and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1. Thinking they can go it alone

Selling a home is not for the faint of heart, nor is it an easy DIY project. First-time home sellers quickly realize that marketing and showing their property is a full-time job. Unless they’re experts in real estate contracts, appraisals, inspections, and other documentation, they can end up making costly errors.

The fix: Hire a licensed agent.

Mistake #2. Wanting to price it too high

Homeowners, and in particular first-time home sellers, may think they’re living in the perfect home, but pricing it too high will render it a white elephant. It’s great to be optimistic that you’ll make a nice profit, but it’s important to be realistic and price a home accurately. Remember, time is money. Seeking top dollar can cost you if your home remains on the market far longer than you’d planned.

The fix: Price your home accurately using the local comps in your neighborhood.

3. Being unwilling to negotiate

Just because an offer comes in lower than a seller might have hoped, that’s no reason to take it personally and refuse to negotiate. Think of an offer as a starting point that leads to a compromise that works for both parties.

The fix: Have a bottom-line number in your head and negotiate you’re best to get above that number.

4. Not doing a thorough cleaning

From the moment sellers decide to put their places on the market, they should begin cleaning and decluttering to make the home look as attractive and well-kept as possible. Staging is important, but experts agree, nothing makes a home shine quite like a thorough cleaning. Nothing ruins a potential buyer’s first impression like a dirty house.

The fix: Shell out a bit of dough for a professional cleaner who is trained to get all those little cracks & crevices. Trust us, it will pay off in the end!

5. Making it difficult for agents to show it

Sure, last-minute showings can be inconvenient, but if sellers really want to make a deal, they have to be willing to let an agent and prospective buyers inside. Thinking a two-hour open house once a week is going to be enough is some serious wishful thinking.

The fix: Always be “on the ready” and have a contingency plan in place on where you, your family, and yes your pets will go if a last-minute showing needs to happy. You never know which buyer will be “the one” so stick to the boy scout motto and, “Always Be Ready.”

6. Refusing to take the agent’s advice

Homeowners often think they know their properties better than anyone, so why should they take any advice — even from a professional? Because you’ll benefit from the wisdom and experience of a professional. If your agent suggests that you stash your garden gnome collection in the shed or fix that rickety staircase, just do it.

The fix: The fix here is simple: LISTEN TO YOUR AGENT 🙂

7. Being unwilling to make changes

Things like kitchen and bathroom updates can make a home look more attractive and move more quickly as it means less work a buyer will need to tackle after moving in. Still, some sellers dig in their heels and decide to adopt a “take it or leave it” attitude. Sadly, many buyers will choose to leave it.

The fix: While we are not suggesting you do a complete overhaul before you put your house on the market, small minor changes like paint, light fixtures, cabinet pulls, etc. can go a long way in helping you move your house quickly.

8. Not considering the next move

Homes can sell more quickly — or more slowly — than anyone, including even a Realtor®, can anticipate. So it’s important to have a back-up plan either way.

The fix: Plan out ahead of time what you will do if your house sells immediately or if it takes longer than expected to sell. Figure out if you will be moving in with relatives, renting a place, renting out your home or just staying put until your house sells.

Looking for some help as you navigate selling your home? Contact us and we would be happy to provide you with a free home valuation and walk you through the whole process.