Common Mistakes When Preparing a House for Sale

Business and Finance

When it comes to selling your home, it will only sell when a buyer *falls in love with it*. To get the best price for your home everything has to come together well to make that happen. Sadly, a lot of homeowners make mistakes in the rush to sell – below is a list of common mistakes you should try to avoid.

  • Not preparing your home *properly* – No matter where you live it’s important that your house looks at it’s very, VERY best, before it is even looked at by potential buyers. If your home is presented badly that will only result in your home selling for less than it’s worth as buyers just can’t see any reason, any potential to buy. A buyer has to see there is value in the home. To get your home ready for sale some things you can do – which don’t cost a lot, include, cleaning the windows, doing any small maintenance jobs, creating as much light as possible and de-cluttering.


  • Choosing the agent with the highest quote – unfortunately homeowners can be *blinded* and will employ a real estate agent who claims their house is worth far more than it really is. Homes will often end up selling for less than they are worth just because they listed their home too high, no one was interested and the property *went stale*. If you can make sure your agent can justify the listing price, have them show you what comparable homes have sold for in the area and make sure that in the end the price you put on your home then makes it the best house in that price range.


  • Choosing the agent with the cheapest comission – be careful not to choose the agent with the lowest commission, this can indicate that they really don’t have anything different to offer you and can only compete with other real estate agents on price. It could also mean the agent isn’t very busy, and if an agent isn’t busy – there is probably a good reason for that. Busy agents do more, they make more appointments, meet more people and sell more houses. You are better off paying a higher fee and in return receiving excellent marketing, great support, expert advice and exposure to more potential buyers.


  • Don’t work against your agent – when you have chosen an agent you trust don’t interfere, they know what they are doing, you are paying for their skills, work WITH them. The only way to get the best price possible for your home is to follow up on any advice or suggestions they have given you

  • No record of buyers – ask your agent how many buyers they can expose your home to. All agents say they have buyers waiting but that could be just 2 or over 200 – ask them to explain how they have accumulated these buyers and how they communicate with them.


  • Limiting the advertising of your property to get the best results you need to give yourself an advantage – you need to reach any and all prospective buyers – you need to let people know your house is for sale. This doesn’t have to end up costing you an arm and a leg. Where you advertise is important, have your agents put your advertising budget into local advertising – this is where most of your potential buyers will come from.


  • No – FOR SALE signs – when you want to sell your home, have the agent put up a *For Sale* sign. Don’t fall into the trap of not wanting to *let the neighbours know*, after all you are leaving, so they won’t be your neighbours for long anyway. By not having a sign up, you are limiting your exposure to prospective buyers.


  • Auction – yes or no? – Don’t be talked into an auction unless your home is hard to price, irresistible or really unique. Auctions reduce your buyers to *cash only* which may reduce a small number of potential buyers to an even smaller number.


  • Selling with a tenant – Of course if you are selling an investment property it can be hard to sell without tenants. When selling an investment property, it is tempting to keep the tenant on – it’s making you money, but it can end up costing you money. Tenanted properties don’t always present well – tenants aren’t going to worry about keeping YOUR HOUSE neat and tidy, plus it can be restrictive for potential buyers to take a look. If your lease is almost up, have the tenants move out and then you can have your property looking like a million dollars.