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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Home Selling Mistakes

You listed your home for sale and it seems as if one problem after another reared its ugly head. Avoiding common home selling mistakes can determine the outcome of your home sale and whether or not you sell your home fast and for top dollar, all while reducing excess stress; now that’s good news, don’t you think?! We all like to avoid mistakes!

We can almost hear your anxiety as you’re imagining experiencing these mistakes, but don’t worry, because today we are going to tell you all about these common mistakes and just how to avoid them when selling your home. Keep reading to discover the mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid:

You told your Real Estate Agent what price that you want to sell your home for, and they quickly agreed

Why would you hire a Real Estate Agent and pay a commission for their expertise, if you told them how to do their job, including how to price your home for sale?

This is called “buying a listing”; when an Agent eagerly agrees to any price you suggest. They accept your inflated price knowing that at a later point when your home hasn’t sold, they’ll simply recommend a price reduction due to your home not selling.

You should be able to trust the real estate agent you hire, knowing that they’re advising you honestly and not keeping any dirty secrets in hopes that it benefits themselves. Chasing the market routinely results in a lower ultimate selling price. Price your home correctly the first time with the help of a local real estate who keeps their finger on the pulse of the current market.

You weren’t educated about the home selling process

Who likes surprises? Unless it’s a surprise birthday party and even then, plenty of us don’t like birthday surprises, so you certainly aren’t going to like surprises when selling a home.

Knowing what to expect during the entire home selling process is priceless when it comes to maintaining your sanity. You should be well aware of the home selling process so you can anticipate as you go along. Surprises are often unsettling and are best to be avoided. Your Real Estate Agent needs to advise you of this process AND be available and willing to answer your questions as they come up.

You didn’t prepare to sell your home properly

Making the necessary preparations that include such things as cleaning, de-cluttering, repairs and staging.

You took shortcuts in making home repairs

Just because you’ve decided to sell your home doesn’t mean that now is the time to cut corners. Shoddy home repairs will be visible to buyers and their home inspectors. Don’t give buyers the opportunity to request a price reduction.

You didn’t stick to deadlines/time frames

You didn’t think deadlines mattered. When you’re advised of a task that must be completed by certain dates for which you’re responsible, you’d better accomplish it by said date.

Deadlines do indeed matter and if you don’t follow deadlines, you can experience the costly results that can include you losing control over a buyer not performing according to the contract or a home sale can even fall through due to your default of deadlines.

Your Real Estate Agent didn’t inform you of why deadlines/time frames are important

The examples just described above can be avoided when your Real Estate Agent knows the urgency of time sensitive contractual deadlines and keeps you informed of what you need to accomplish by said deadlines according to the Real Estate purchase contract.

Deadlines are also important even when they’re not on the Real Estate contract; if you said you’ll do something by a certain day and time, it’s important that you do as you promise.

You don’t want to be inconvenienced

Selling a home is tough. You have buyers or agents coming through your home at different times of day, you have to keep your home always “show ready” and you have to be available for questions and contract signing and initialing, just to name a few things.

It’s a pain, we know. But the quicker you comply and be inconvenienced, the quicker you can get your home sold for top dollar and then, you don’t have to worry about leaving your bed unmade one day when you’re off to work.

Your home wasn’t presented well

A home’s presentation will always be key. This begins from how well you prepare your home, how well your Real Estate Agent photographs and videos your home and how well your home was promoted across the internet.

When this isn’t covered well you can expect a longer than expected time frame to sell your home along with a lower selling price. It’s that simple.

Your home wasn’t seen by Buyers

Buyers search for their perfect home to buy on the internet, in fact, over 90% do! If your home isn’t picked up by a Buyer’s radar, your chances for a quick sale are slim pickings. You must get your home seen and your Real Estate Agent should be well equipped to do just that.

Your Real Estate Agent didn’t communicate well with you

Your Real Estate Agent loved you during the “list your home with me courting period” and then once you latched on to them and hired them to sell your home, you were lucky if they returned your call by the next day. Check your Real Estate Listing Agreement and fire them if they’re not communicating with you.

You didn’t communicate well with your Real Estate Agent

How did you want to be communicated with; by phone, text or email? You must promptly get back to your Real Estate Agent when they reach out to you.

You didn’t want to leave your home for showings

Sticking around for home showings sets you up to be interrogated by Buyers and their Real Estate Agents. Don’t risk being tripped up by them. Get out of the house come show time.

Your Real Estate Agent didn’t know how to negotiate

Real estate involves the ability to negotiate as you have Buyers wanting to get a deal of a lifetime and you, want a good profit from the sale of your home. The only way for you to hear music to your ears is to have an Agent that is skilled in the fine art of real estate negotiations.

You keep secrets from your Real Estate Agent

Thinking that you’ll keep your home’s “issues” and problems all to yourself in hopes that they’ll go undiscovered, will guarantee greater losses than revealing them at the beginning. Spill the beans up front. A good real estate agent will be able to offer yo actionable suggestions on how to overcome issues and problems that may be a bar to the sale you are hoping for.

Your Real Estate Agent doesn’t understand Real Estate Contracts

Understanding terms, conditions and timelines of a Real Estate purchase contract are critical in order to guide you. Being inept at this, can land you in a heap of trouble. Do not confuse this with providing legal advice as only a Real Estate Attorney can do this.

You hired a “yes ma'am/sir” Real Estate Agent

You should expect direction and expertise from your Real Estate Agent. An Agent agreeing with everything you say isn’t showing you any value. Now is not the time to have a “yes maam/sir” agent on your side. Sure you need someone fighting for you but it must come with the expertise to guide you, otherwise, why do you need them?!

You didn’t declutter your home

Decluttering a home means to remove the excess, the overflowing and the things that take away from the beautiful bones of your home. This means bare kitchen and bathroom counter tops.

For example, in the kitchen buyers should see a coffee or tea pot on the counter and little else. If you’re a morning toast person, you can keep the toaster out, otherwise hide it away.

In your bathrooms, remove all toiletries and keep out only a few decorative items. Overstuffed closets is a no-no too. Pack and put stuff in storage if you have to, in order to free up space in your home. No Buyer wants to see a home that’s stuffed to the brim, as it clearly screams that it wouldn’t accommodate their belongings.

You didn’t stage your home

Staging a home isn’t always about having to hire a professional home stager as you can accomplish this if your Real Estate Agent knows how to make your home feel. The rooms in your home need to portray a clear visible use and focal point. Make sure that the furniture layout flows nicely and that you appeal to the Buyer’s senses.

Your home wasn’t priced right

This is usually the #1 mistake made in selling a home. The price was wrong. Price your home right and you’ll find Buyers lining up at the front door to get in to see your home.

You listened to your neighbours, friends and family about how you should price your home for sale

Would you visit an orthopedic doctor when you had heart palpitations? You may even have to visit a cardiologist for stress after listening to your neighbours, friends and family about how to price your home for sale. Instead seek the advice of a trusted Real Estate professional, always.

You didn’t keep your home clean and neat

It’s time to bring out the neat and clean freak in you when selling a home. Keeping your home neat, orderly and smelling clean speaks volumes to Buyers as they wander through your home. It tells them that you care for your home and a cared for home brings in top dollars from Buyers.

You didn’t keep your home light and bright

Light and bright makes everything look so much better. Blinds drawn, lights not turned on and light bulbs burnt out do not elicit welcoming thoughts.

You didn’t remove the “You” from your home

Seeing “You” when Buyers walk into your home make it difficult for them to see themselves living in your home. It’s a gift to be able to see beyond the “You” and most Buyers do not possess that gift. Make it easy for them and remove your extremely personal touches such as rows of family photos and your collections.

Your Real Estate Agent didn’t take high quality Photos of your home

Badly lit photos, toilet lids up, pets running through the photo, you in the photo, few photos and just plain, awful photos won’t get Buyers into your home. They’ll skip over your home and keep hunting for the well photographed home.

You never knew your Real Estate Agent took poor quality photos? What you never knew?! Didn’t you ask to see your home’s presentation? Even without you asking, your Real Estate Agent should show you the finished product of your home’s online presentation.

You didn’t make sure prospective Buyers were well qualified financially to buy your home

When considering a Buyer’s offer to purchase your home, you’ll want to scrutinize their financing qualifications, if financing. Ensure that their credit, income and assets have been reviewed. Ask your Real Estate Agent, as they should be making sure this occurs with each Buyer’s offer.

You didn’t neutralize those bold, bright colors in your home

Some may adore bright and bold colors, however the masses are attracted to neutrals knowing they can add their own pizazz, if desired. Finding Buyers who have the exact same bold tastes as you will be limited. Why would you ever want to limit the number of Buyers drawn to your home? Don’t. Stick to neutral colours, repainting as needed.

You didn’t trust your Real Estate Agent

Never can you have a solid relationship without trust. You must have complete trust and faith in your Real Estate Agent, if you’re going to have any kind of success in getting your home sold.

You forgot to clean up the dishes in the kitchen before showing

Can’t do it. Selling a home involves a bit more work in keeping your home neat. If it involves having to get up 10 minutes early each day in order to allow extra time to care for your breakfast dishes , then you have to get up earlier.

The one day you leave the dishes in the sink will be the day that three Buyers will want to view your home. A messy home can signal to a Buyer that you don’t care about your home, which results in no offer or a reduced offering price as they anticipate possible underlying issues.

You don’t have a plan for moving

From the moment you decide it’s time to move and sell your home, you must have a well thought out plan so you know what to do after each step has been completed; from the home preparation to the last box packed. You must be moved out of your home by the day of closing, or be prepared to make some (financial) concessions to buy yourself extra time.

You didn’t have a family discussion with the children about your move

Don’t think your children - however young - aren’t affected by your move. Discuss the move with them and involve them in the planning and preparation to keep their emotional outbursts to a minimum.

You were too emotionally attached to the home you were selling

Deciding to sell a home can certainly be emotionally charged. Your home is packed full of memories; memories that last a lifetime, we understand.

However, once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you must set aside your emotions. If not, you’ll be making decisions based upon emotions instead of tried and tested home selling methods. Emotional decision making always steers you in the wrong direction resulting in you not selling your home or selling it for less money in the end.

You didn’t hire a Real Estate Agent who loves to sell homes

This is one of the best ways to avoid many of these home selling mistakes. When you hire a Real Estate Agent who loves what they’ll do, they’ll find great satisfaction in making the home selling process a great experience for you and they know how to avoid common - and not so common - home selling mistakes.

Your Real Estate Agent has no Social Media presence

Having a strong social media presence here in 2022 and the years ahead is no longer an option if you want to have any type of success in selling homes. It’s a must. Google your Real Estate Agent’s name to see if they get it!

Your Real Estate Agent doesn’t have a clue about SEO

Getting your home seen by the right people involves skilled internet marketing, along with SEO (search engine optimization) knowledge, which isn’t a skill learned in one afternoon.

SEO requires that the Real Estate Agent constantly educates themselves on the processes and techniques that enable them to be kept at the forefront of prospective Buyers searching for homes for sale over the internet. Over 90% of Buyers search over the internet for the home they want to buy; make it easy for them to find your home by working with an SEO savvy Real Estate Agent.

You didn’t properly vet your chosen Real Estate Agent

So many of the entries here detail mistakes made when you chose the wrong Real Estate Agent to represent you in your home sale. Get it right next time and use this list, interview Agents and ask the right questions to select a trusted proven Real Estate professional.



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