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Common Property Selling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


property selling mistakes

Time to sell that property. Are you already overwhelmed? Whether you’re selling your residence or an investment property, there’s a lot to consider. Do you need to make repairs? When should you list? How much should you ask? What types of property are selling best in your area? Most importantly, how can you avoid making common property selling mistakes?

Keep reading to find out what you need to know before selling a house.

Too Much Emotion

Given all the time and money you spend on a property, it’s easy to get too attached to the process. Emotions can often cloud judgment when selling your childhood home or favorite flip.

If you think you’re too emotionally invested in a home selling process, it’s ok to step back. Give yourself some time and space away from the project for a day or two. Read reputable sources and ask trusted colleagues how much they would invest before listing.

If you are selling a home that holds too much sentimental value, consult with trusted sources. Sure, that shag carpet was Grandma’s favorite, but updating it would do wonders for your home sale.


Bringing emotions into purchase agreement negotiations can sink a good offer fast. If sellers take offense to lower offers, they may not be willing to counter-offer. It’s important to look at facts and keep your emotions in check to avoid property selling mistakes like this one.

Setting Expectations Too High

How much are you hoping to make on this investment? What research have you done to set this expectation? Make sure you are realistic with your property.

Do some research about surrounding home sales. What have similar properties sold for in the last six months? Talk to real estate agents and other investors to find a fair home price for the current market.


Real estate can be riddled with the unexpected. If you’re completely inflexible with your dealings, it can cost you a buyer. Make a shortlist of non-negotiables and be flexible with the rest.

Of course, you want to turn a profit. But you also want to make the sale. Be willing to think outside the box and listen to offers with an objective ear. Creative problem solving and flexibility often go hand-in-hand.

Oversimplifying Finances

Unless you’re selling to a cash home buyer, there will be a lot of fees. Many people selling a house forget to account for these extra fees or don’t know they exist. Here are some common expenses involved in selling different types of property.

  • Homeowner’s Association Fees
  • Legal Fees
  • Realtor Commissions
  • Title Insurance
  • Transfer Taxes
  • Escrow Fees
  • Capital Gains (depending on how long you’ve owned the property)

As a real estate agent for a seller’s worksheet. You should review all fees before you sign a purchase agreement.

Skipping Staging

Twenty-three percent of realtors representing sellers reported staged homes increased offers by 1% to 5%. Additionally, 18% of sellers’ real estate agents said staged homes saw 6% to 10% more offers than unstaged homes.

These numbers aren’t surprising. TV shows and magazines featuring picture-perfect homes in 30 minutes or less have created unrealistic expectations. Buyers have come to expect the homes they tour to look show-ready.

Taking the time to stage a property is worth the extra effort. Just make sure your staging stays within budget.

A Clean House is a Happy House

Fewer things turn people away faster than a dirty home. People don’t want to spend time in a home that hasn’t been well cleaned. If they’re not willing to spend time to see it, they likely won’t spend time to make an offer on it.

If you’re not up for a good scrub-down, hire a professional service. It’s very important to show a clean house. Dirty homes leave viewers with the impression that they’re sloppy and don’t take care of their property.

Be sure to clear your home of clutter as well. Too much kitsch can be offputting to potential buyers.

Outside Impressions

Some experts claim good landscaping can increase your home’s value by 20%. Here are a few easy-to-do outdoor improvements to improve your property’s outside appearance.

  • Green, well-cut grass
  • Well painted siding and trim
  • Crack-free sidewalks and driveways
  • Clean and clear windows
  • Well-manicured shrubs/bushes
  • Friendly looking annual flower beds or flower boxes

Small but noticeable details can make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal.

Repair Regret

When selling a property, it’s important to stay on budget. Spending too much on repairs and updates can cut your profits if you’re not careful. It’s also important to address major repairs before listing your home.

Leaving major projects undone gives potential buyers reasons to offer an amount much lower than the asking price. Additionally, most people searching for a home don’t want to buy projects.

Hire Some Help

If you’re not sure which repairs to prioritize, hire an inspector. You’ll have to pay for their time, but it could help you in the end. A professional home inspection report tells sellers you’ve gone the extra mile to make sure your home is up to par.

An inspection will help you prioritize repairs and updates as well. If the inspector finds a major issue, you can have time to mitigate it. By hiring a pro to inspect your property, you’re putting yourself on the offense.

Give a Credit or Lower the Price

If making major repairs isn’t realistic, it’s time to explore other options. If you know your home has some greater updates and expenses (like a furnace or siding issue), tell your potential buyers.

Many people offer a credit. If your place needs all new carpet, offer buyers a $4,000 credit if they buy your home. The selling point here is the sellers can pick out exactly what they like.

If a credit seems too complicated, you can always reduce the price of your house. This might be worth it if you think the property will sell faster. Holding on to it could cost you more than if you’d done the repairs in the first place.

The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

You’ve probably heard the old saying; The three most important aspects of a home sale are location, location, location.

While it’s true that location plays a big role in property desirability, timing is also important. Most homes sell best in May, June, and July. The best time to sell depends on your local market.

Again, do your research and ask professionals to help you find the best time to buy. You can’t control where your property is located, but you can control when and how you list it.

Too Much DIY

Property owners can handle many aspects of their home sales. However, there are things worth outsourcing to the professionals.

Real estate agents take care of:

  • Accurate selling prices
  • Buyer/seller negotiations
  • Property paperwork/legal documents
  • Coordinate with financial institutions and closing agencies
  • Find potential buyers
  • Provide experienced advice on sale strategy

Unless you’re a real estate agent or attorney, it’s very easy to miss important pieces of a property sale transaction.

Professional Photography

Forty-one percent of home buyers viewed listings online before asking to see them in person. How can you easily include this 41% in your potential purchase? By providing great photos.

A professional photographer will charge you a fee. However, making your property appealing in an online listing or virtual tour could result in a faster sale.

Investors and Cash Buyers

If potential improvements and professional photos aren’t your reality, you have other options. Selling your home to a cash buyer allows you to skip those improvements and repairs. It also means you’re going to have a much lower sale price on your home.

For many people, selling to a cash buyer is worth skipping the hassles of a traditional sale. However, you should always be sure the investor or cash home buyer you’re partnering with is legitimate.

Avoid Common Property Selling Mistakes

Being well informed about selling a house will help you avoid many property selling mistakes. It’s important to make major improvements and hire professionals to avoid common errors. Home sellers should also stick to a budget and account for home sale fees.

Not sure if you’re up for selling your home or property? If you’re considering a cash home buyer, Stewardship properties would love to talk to you. Since 1989, we’ve taken our people over-profits approach to real estate sales and investments.

Contact us today to see how we can partner with you in your real estate journey.

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