The biggest mistake sellers make is overpricing their home.

Other common mistakes include not decluttering the home before listing and failing to realize that some furnishings are too taste-specific to appeal to most buyers.

Here are nine of the biggest mistakes people can make when trying to sell their home, according to real-estate agents.


1. Overpricing the home.

The biggest mistake people can make when trying to sell their home is overpricing it.

The best thing you can do is price at fair market value or just below fair market value, but when you overprice a property you miss out on all of the buyers who see it during the first month on the market and then over time you reduce the price until it sells. It wastes time, effort, and sometimes nets you less money than if you priced it correctly to begin with.

Sellers often make the mistake of overpricing their home in order to leave room for negotiating.

It’s better to price at the market level or even slightly under to yield the most profit in the end.


2. Failing to accept that not everyone has the same taste they do.

The inability to step back from one’s own personal asset is very normal, but it can be damaging when selling a home.  Sellers often think that their subjective taste will be appreciated by the wider market, and that’s not always the case.


3. Not paying attention to the market.

A good agent is selling homes every week and obsessivley following the market.  Also, good brokerages have weekly meetings about the changes in market and disscuss what their are experiencing.  Knowing where the market is heading can help you strategize for success.


4. Not choosing the right agent.

Not choosing the right real-estate agent to work with can be one of the biggest makes a home seller can make.

Don’t choose an agent just because you know them — make sure you do some research and interview multiple agents that specialize in your type of home and/or neighborhood.

Most sales happen with a participating buyer’s agent on the other side. If the agent that a seller hires is good, experienced, has a healthy ad budget, and has a solid track record and a robust marketing campaign, that’s wonderful. It’s also important to ensure that the agent is well-liked and respected — and easy to deal with — in the eyes of their industry.


5. Not using an agent at all.

Not using an agent to help sell their home is yet another common mistake people make when trying to sell their home.  Homes not listed on the MLS or sold by owners, generally sell below what you would have paid an agent to begin with and you save time, energy and liability.


6. Keeping décor that’s too taste-specific.

A seller can have a beautifully renovated home, but if the buyer doesn’t like the furniture or how its laid out, it can negatively impact their perception. It’s best to keep furniture neutral and laid out in a way that works for most people not just the seller’s living style.


7. Not decluttering the home before listing.

Another big mistake a seller can make is not decluttering their home prior to listing.  Too much furniture makes a room feel small, giving buyers a hard time envisioning the potential of the space.


8. Failing to make their home as beautiful as possible.

When sellers don’t put themselves in the minds of the buyers and fail to make sure their home is presented as beautifully as possible they are selling their home short.

Every room should be as organized as it can be and looking beautiful. Unless you are positioning your property with an aggressive price and selling it ‘as is,’ taking the time to make that strong first impression is well worth it.


9. Not staging the home.

Sellers think buyers can ‘see’ past clutter and an old paint job, and the truth is they can’t.  A fresh coat of paint, staging, and styling is essential to selling a home and getting a great price.

Santa Clara Real Estate Guy
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