What Not To Do When Selling Your Home




#1 Don’t ask for too much money


It doesn’t matter what your mortgage is and it doesn’t matter what’s in your home.  Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay.  Pricing your home too high will discourage qualified buyers from making an offer.  If you overprice your property, the listing will become stale and it could sit for months..not what you want.

Be sure to get a “CMA” or Comparative Market Analysis from your Realtor.  And pay attention to the prices of recently sold houses and don’t discount the facts.  Remember, even if you’ve made all sorts of upgrades like stainless steel appliances and the latest engineered wood flooring.  This items will be appealing but if you’re the only home on the block with all these bells and whistles, it will still bring the final value down.



#2 Don’t forget about all that clutter you love  –  Make it disappear


Some agents will tell you it doesn’t matter and buyers will look right past it all.

Don’t believe what they say!  Most people are not blessed with the magical imagination of envisioning what could be.  Clutter makes your home appear to be messy and smaller than it actually is..decreasing the value in the buyer’s eyes.




#3 Not staging your home.


You may be in love with your ginormous pleather couch, death black curtains and foosball machine, but if your realtor suggests you change it up, then yes, do so.

While a unique furniture configuration may work great for your family, its best to have something that will appeal to most buyers.  In some cases, it is possible to arrange what you have in such a way as to create a better ambiance.  Staging is not decorating – it is the act of strategically placing neutral yet elegant furnishings to draw attention to the features of your home.




#4 Don’t neglect to fix things that are broken.


If potential buyers walk through your house and spot a handful of items that need immediate repair, they’re going to wonder how well you’ve maintained the things they can’t see.

The entryway is a big tip-off.  Got a loose hand rail on the steps, sagging screen door or jiggly door knob?  Fix them.  Clear your gutters, patch holes in your walls and address dripping faucets.




#5 Not painting in neutral colors that can appeal to everyone.


It’s okay to paint your house neon green while you live there, but it’s an awful idea when you’re ready to sell.  Why?  Decorating is a very personal thing and it can cost thousands of dollars to paint a house.  The thought of stripping lots of wallpaper or repainting an entire home can be a real deal-breaker for buyers.  Buyers walk in and begin figureing out what they’ll have to spend to fix up the house, and if it’s going to take a lot of work, money or bother to get the color scheme right, they might move on to another house or ask you for a considerable price reductions to make up for the added work.




#6 Don’t go it alone, unless you know what you’re doing.


If you’ve bought and sold half a dozen homes of your own or you live in a sought-after neighborhood where they sell in two days, you might be able to pull off a For Sale By Owner.  If you aren’t’ a seasoned pro, however, let a professional take the reins.  Some people don’t buy and sell houses more than once or twice in a lifetime, and there’s a lot of money at stake.

There are so many disclosure laws now, especially in California.  Only if you’re ready to accept the liability should you try to sell it yourself.  And studies have proven that For Sale By Owner homes almost always sell for considerably less.




#7 Being a nuisance during showings.


Whether you’re apprehensive or just nosy, you don’t want to leave during showings – we get it.

Unfortunately, potential buyers don’t want to see you lingering in their future home.

Staying inside the home makes it uncomfortable for the buyers to speak their mind and share what they really think about the home.  Plus, they may not stay as long because they don’t want to bug the seller.  The buyer needs to feel as comfortable as possible.




#8 Don’t get emotionally involved.


Yes, it’s your house.  Yes, you sweated blood and tears to get it just the way you wanted it.

But, no, that does not make it someone else’s ‘perfect’.  Particularly when you’ve made some

Unique decorating choices.  You want the space to look as neutral as possible, so buyers can envision themselves in the space.  So even if those teal walls in the bedroom look knock-out

Great with your duvet, they probably won’t match anyone else’s things.  Let go of the features you love, and make it a house most people could love – and that might mean painting all of the walls a soft, neutral color.




#9 Leaving lots of family pictures around.


Having your family photos strewn all over your home is fine if you’re staying put.  But if you want to move, they can cause confusion for your buyers.

If family photographs are crowding your home, potential home buyers can get easily distracted and it will be more difficult for them to remember the home.  You want to be sure that buyers can see themselves living there – and the more personal items you have, the more difficult that becomes.  




#10 Don’t forget to document the details of your sale.


No matter what, don’t delete emails from any professional who deals with your home’s sale.  This includes emails from your realtor, your buyer’s realtor, home inspectors, contractors, the lender, and escrow and title.  It may end up saving you if things go south.  



Source Credits:

Holly Johnson & Kate Ashford