9 mistakes to avoid when selling your house

10 mistakes to avoid when selling your home

Are you thinking of selling your home? Here are a few tips and mistakes to avoid when preparing the sale of your property.

Mistake No.1 – Being Emotionally Involved. Start thinking like a business person and a property seller rather than the homeowner. Look at the process from a financial perspective and imagine how potential buyers will view your home. Buyers will be looking with an emotional perspective, so imagine what attracted you to your property when you first bought it; pull on these features to create the dream and lifestyle through staging and decluttering.

Mistake No.2 – Not engaging an agent. The first point to remember is that a real estate professional has a lot of experience at negotiating property sales. They will identify where the competitive ‘market reaction price point’ sits having assessed the property against ‘comparative’ historical relative sales over the past 6 months. Setting out with a realistic price expectation will increase the odds of a sale in the shortest possible time. Appointing an agent also removes any emotional involvement, they are familiar with the process and paperwork and will handle any issues as they arise professionally and efficiently.

Mistake No.3 – Assuming you must engage an agent. It is possible to sell your own property; however, it is important to remember that there is a lot of work involved, a lot to understand and it can be stressful and sometimes highly emotional. You will need to do your research on property values, so as to set an attractive selling price. Be responsible for marketing, organise photography and staging/presentation. Deal with inquiries and viewings, subsequent negotiation with buyers and coordinate the sales and purchase agreements with legal teams, to the best of your ability.

Some purchasers prefer the involvement of a real estate agent, as they feel protection with The Real Estate Agents Authority and supporting Code of Conduct & Client Care Rules that prohibit agents from misleading or deceiving consumers or withholding information on the properties they deal with.

Mistake No.4 Setting an unrealistic price. Setting the right price is key to selling your home quickly. Ensure it is comparable to the local market as buyers will also be doing their research. Remember that overpriced homes will sit ‘on the market’ rather than getting ‘in the market.’ The likely result is that it will not sell.

Mistake No.5 Achieving your expected price. Buyers will negotiate on the price, you need to expect this, and more importantly create the opportunity for this to occur. So it’s vitally important to set a price that is both attractive to buyers (preferably more than one at the same time) and allows room for negotiating to an agreed amount. This will make them feel that they have been respected and included in a process that results in value for the money paid. You also want to ensure you get what you need from the sale of the property.

Mistake No.6 Only selling in Spring/Summer. Winter is typically a slow time of year for real estate sales due to owners believing that their property is best presented in the Spring/Summer. In fact, winter often provides a high sale price as buyer demand is still steady with fewer properties to choose from. The seller has less competition, selling in winter is a good idea.

Mistake No.7 Skimping on property photos. Online is the go-to place for finding properties ‘For Sale’ without a doubt. Your home needs to be showcased in its best light to gain the attention it deserves and stand out against the competition. Get a professional to photograph your property; it is not expensive. Excellent images of your property are the most important marketing item for your presentation, do not compromise on this.

Mistake No.8 Trying to hide significant problems. Property inspections will highlight problems with your home, so there is no point hiding them. Either fix the problem or price the property accordingly to account for them. It is important to remember that not fixing problems may turn away buyers who are looking for a turnkey home.

Mistake No.9 Not preparing your home for sale. It is important to declutter, depersonalise and fix minor issues like broken fixtures, freshen up tired paintwork and ensure it is cleaned throughout. It doesn’t have to cost much to stage your home (if unoccupied), furniture can be rearranged to maximise space and showcase features. Allow the buyer to imagine themselves living in your home, if you can achieve this, the possible sale is halfway there.

Mistake No.10 Paying too much for Agency selling fees  “In the absence of value, we question the price…” This is an important consideration for any property seller and deserves careful consideration. View any agent as a subcontractor, because that is all they are. Just as you would consider the engagement of an architect, a lawyer or a doctor, get a clear understanding of what they are going to do for you. You may surprise yourself in discovering that often the best practitioners are not those who charge the most or who charge the least – they are the ones who deliver value in their service.


There are many things to consider when selling your property and it doesn’t have to be stressful. Appoint a real estate professional who can handle the whole process for you; this will take away the anxiety, and ensure a smooth process for selling of your home. An experienced agent will accurately identify the ‘market reaction price’ for your property and negotiate an agreeable sale on your behalf, and reduce the amount of time your property remains unsold. That is what you would expect from a professional.

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