These 4 Mistakes Could Hurt Your Chances of Selling Your Home

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Steer clear of them at all costs.


Key points

  • Although sellers still have an edge in today’s real estate market, that advantage is waning.
  • It’s important to take a strategic approach to selling a home.
  • Ensure you carefully calculate your home’s price, and be sure to clean and make minor repairs before putting your home on the market.

There was a point not so long ago when sellers could effectively list a home without putting any effort into it and wind up with multiple offers. That’s because housing inventory was sorely lacking and mortgage rates were low enough that buyers were desperate to jump on them.

But today’s housing market looks a bit different. While it’s true that there’s still not enough housing supply to completely meet buyer demand, that gap has been closing. And given that mortgage rates have risen sharply over the past number of months, buyers aren’t clamoring for homes the way they once were.

As such, home sellers now have to be more mindful in the course of listing their homes. And if you’re looking to command the highest price possible for yours, then you’ll want to make sure to avoid these big mistakes.

1. Overpricing

Last year, sellers got away with charging exorbitant, almost unreasonable prices for their homes. Those days are gone. You might still get away with a higher sale price than you would’ve a few years ago, but it’s important not to go overboard. If you do, you might turn buyers off, and your home might sit out on the market for weeks without an offer.

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2. Not addressing cosmetic repairs

When the housing market really lacked inventory, many buyers were willing to overlook minor issues, such as worn carpeting, chipped paint, and dented hardwood. In fact, buyers were so desperate to purchase homes that some were going as far as to make offers without seeing those homes in person.

But once again, we’re no longer in that situation. And so at this stage of the game, failing to make cosmetic improvements to your home is a big mistake. For a few thousand dollars and a little bit of your time, you might manage to present your home nicely and land a series of offers. But if you fail to address cosmetic issues, you might struggle to find even a single buyer.

3. Not staging your home

Prospective buyers like to imagine what it would be like to live in a home they’re looking at. That’s why staging is so important. When you stage a home, you erase personal elements that are specific to you and present your home in its most favorable light.

If you’re not sure how to tackle the process, there are services that can do it for you. Or, the real estate agent you use to sell your home might be able to help you stage it at no extra cost.

4. Not decluttering

A cluttered home can be a huge turnoff. Don’t assume buyers will recognize that the piles of books, toys, and papers you’ve left lying around will go away once you move out. The presence of those items might make your home look so cramped and unappealing that it stops buyers from making you an offer.

Things have shifted in the housing market, and sellers no longer have the absolute, obvious upper hand they once did. It’s important to recognize that if you’re getting ready to list your home — and avoid these mistakes that could leave you struggling to find a buyer.

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