Most folks who want to sell their homes know that cleaning and sprucing up prior to listing is advised.  However, several common mistakes that many sellers make can potentially have a greater impact on success than a dirty floor or soap scum on the shower door.

Here are six mistakes sellers can make with potentially negative impact on the final sale price of your home. It’s prudent to do your best to avoid them:

Failing to Get a Home Inspection

This applies to older homes and newer homes as well. If you think your home could have problems that might require repair, get a home inspection prior to listing. This will allow you to identify and correct any problem areas in your home, on your own timeline and budget, before negotiating with a buyer.

Not Properly Preparing Your Home for Sale

In a competitive market, the first impression is essential. Take full advantage of that initial rush of agents with potential buyers that occurs in those first few weeks after listing. To help your home show well, consider repainting, fixing any minor problems and thoroughly cleaning it inside and out. Some sellers will hire professionals to do this for them.

Trying to Hide Issues with the Home

Hanging a painting over a hole in the wall or a throwing a rug over that huge water spot in the middle of the floor might seem like a good idea at the time, but it isn’t. Today’s buyers and their agents are remarkably adept at finding these hidden problems. If you cannot afford to fix them, be honest about the problems to avoid a potentially contentious negotiating process, a deal falling through at the last minute or even a lawsuit.

Allowing Your Pets the Run of the House

Animals can be wonderful companions, and many people love them. But not all people love animals and some visitors may be allergic.  So in order to sell your home, make sure to appeal to the non-animal lovers as well. Many experts suggest boarding animals with friends and family while your home is on the market.  If this isn’t an option, make sure any evidence of your furry friends (fur, litter boxes, etc.) is removed daily to avoid discouraging potential buyers.

Not Choosing the Right Realtor

When you decide to sell your home you will likely have several friends who know a real estate agent, and while the experiences of your friends and family are often a good place to start, make sure to choose a Realtor who knows your area and is an experienced listing agent with the skills and connections to sell your home quickly.

Overpricing Your Home

Sellers frequently overinflate the value of their home. That’s understandable, but pricing your home above market value could cost you money in the long run. If your home lingers on the market becoming a “stale listing” and you are forced to reduce the price, you could end up selling it for less than you would have if you had priced it correctly in the first place. Be willing to listen to your agent when it comes time to set the asking price for your home.

Selling a home does not have to be a difficult process. In fact, with an experienced listing agent acting as your advocate and guide, the process can progress smoothly through closing and beyond. Contact me today if you are ready to sell your home. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and help get the process started.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES

RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Images of Money at Flickr.com.