Okay, listen up folks! Selling your home is no walk in the park. It’s a big freaking deal, and if you’re not careful, you could end up making some costly mistakes that’ll leave you scratching your head and kicking yourself later.


Mistake 1: Forgetting About All The Extra Costs


You’d think since you’re the one selling, you wouldn’t have to shell out any cash, right? Wrong! There are a bunch of costs that can really add up if you’re not prepared.


The Unavoidable Expenses


Agent Fees:  Yeah, those friendly real estate agents don’t work for free. You’ll typically need to cough up around 6% of your home’s sale price to cover the commissions for your agent and the buyer’s agent. So, if your home sells for $200K, that’s about $12,000 gone just like that.


Closing Costs: Get ready for a fun surprise – closing costs can be 1-3% of the sale price. Taxes, title fees, attorney costs – it’s a whole party you have to pay for.


Staging: You want buyers to be wowed, right? That means paying for staging, fresh paint, maybe even some landscaping to boost your curb appeal. It’s like getting your home ready for prom.


Inspection: Unless you want buyers to run for the hills, you’ll need an inspection to avoid any nasty skeletons in your closet. And if there are problems, be ready to fix ’em or disclose them.


Concessions: Sometimes you gotta butter buyers up. That could mean throwing in appliances or footing some closing costs for them. Just another line item on the bill.  


Moving: Don’t forget about the cost of actually moving your junk! Hiring pros can really set you back. Maybe it’s time to call in favors from friends and bribe them with beer.


The costs just keep on coming, am I right? But don’t freak out. A legit agent can help you plan for this financial rodeo.


Forgetting About All The Extra Costs


Mistake 2: Going Solo 


Selling without an agent might seem appealing at first for you independent types out there. But trust me, attempting this “For Sale By Owner” thing is a recipe for one massive headache.


Unless you basically have a real estate license yourself, trying to handle everything solo is going to be an uphill battle. From marketing to paperwork to negotiations, you’re bound to slip up somewhere.


The numbers don’t lie, folks. In 2023, the typical For Sale by Owner (FSBO) home sold for around $310,000, while homes sold by agents fetched over $405,000 on average. That’s almost a $100,000 difference! And even after paying your agent’s commission (usually around 3%), you’d still come out way ahead.


So, unless you enjoy spinning your wheels and making life harder than it needs to be, do yourself a favor and hire a pro. But not just any agent – you want someone who really knows their stuff.


Mistake 3: Hiring an Amateur Agent


Look, I get that you might want to help out your buddy or cousin who just got their real estate license. But when it comes to selling your biggest asset, you can’t afford to take chances with an inexperienced agent.


Why Experience Matters? You need someone who has been in the game for years, someone who knows your local market inside and out. A seasoned pro who has closed countless deals and can navigate any curveball that comes their way.


Trust me, you don’t want your third cousin twice removed who just got their license last week handling your home sale as a side hustle. That’s a recipe for disaster, my friend.


Instead, work with an agent who has a proven track record of success in your area. Someone who can guide you through the process with confidence and expertise. That’s the kind of agent who can help you avoid all the other mistakes on this list and get top dollar for your home.



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Mistake 4: Picking The Wrong Price


Pricing your home is a tightrope act. Go too low and you’re leaving cash on the table. Price it too high and you’ll scare off buyers like a haunted house on Halloween night.


Don’t just go off some hunch or shady website. Let the professionals handle this one. Your agent will do a full market analysis to see what comparable homes have been selling for in your neck of the woods. That way you can accurately price it right out the gate instead of wasting time with a bunch of re-pricing headaches.


Mistake 5: Trying To Hide Damage


Listen up, keeping secrets is a big no-no in real estate. You can’t just sweep major repairs under the rug and hope the buyers are none the wiser. That’s just shady behavior that’ll come back to bite you.


Think buyers won’t notice that leaking roof or termite issue once they get an inspection? Wake up, buttercup! Any skeletons in your home’s closet are gonna come tumbling out eventually. 


The honest road is the only way to go. Lay it all out there from the jump. Sure, it might mean making some repairs or giving buyers a credit to handle it. But at least you can hold your head high and avoid any legal drama down the road.


Trying To Hide Damage when selling a home


Mistake 6: House Shopping Above Your Pay Grade


After selling, the dream is to move on up to that luxury condo or cute little suburban palace, right? Pump the brakes, big shooter. Before you start picking out new drapes, make sure you can actually afford your next place.


The smart play is putting at least 20% down while keeping your new monthly mortgage payment under 25% of your take-home pay. That’s for a 15-year fixed loan, by the way. None of those shady adjustable-rate deals.


If the numbers don’t crunch that way, it’s probably wise to stay put for now. Keep grinding and building more equity before making your big move. The last thing you want is to be house poor in your new digs.


Mistake 7: Skimping On Staging


Staging may sound like an unnecessary splurge, but hear me out. Having your home properly staged can help it sell faster and fetch a higher price. We’re talking potentially 5% more when all is said and done!


Don’t show off an empty, cluttered house to buyers. That’s the equivalent of going on a date in your raggediest sweats. You’ve gotta put in some effort!  


Keep your furniture arranged nicely, get rid of all the junk lying around, and make sure every room is well-lit and airy. No furniture? No problem, rent some staging stuff to give buyers a better vision.


Oh, and don’t forget some fresh paint if needed. Crazy colors might be your thing, but they can scare off buyers. Sometimes it’s better to play it safe with some nice neutral tones.


Skimping On Staging


Mistake 8: Crappy Listing Photos


In this digital age, lackluster listing pics are an absolute dealbreaker. Blurry, dim photos taken by your nephew Timmy just won’t cut it – buyers will swipe past your home faster than a bad Tinder match.


Do yourself a solid and splurge for a real pro photographer to make your place look like a million bucks online. Proper lighting, flattering angles, maybe even some virtual staging – these masters know all the tricks.


First impressions matter hugely nowadays when buyers are scoping listings from their couch. If your photos don’t instantly grab their attention, good luck getting them to actually schedule a showing.


Mistake 9: Taking Low Offers Personally


When buyers start hitting you with lowball offers, try not to take it as a personal insult. I know, it can feel downright disrespectful when someone undervalues your beloved home. But you’ve gotta have thick skin and keep your emotions out of it.


At the end of the day, this is just a business transaction. Buyers will often start with a low offer to get a deal. It’s not a reflection of your cleaning skills or design taste.


Instead of getting all bent out of shape, put on your poker face and counter with a more reasonable number. As long as the buyers are truly interested, you’ll be able to negotiate your way to a sale you both can live with.


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Mistake 10: Limiting Showings


Having to get your place picture-perfect for a showing every few hours can be a real pain in the butt, especially if you’ve got kids running around. But limiting showings to just weekends or certain times is a surefire way to miss out on potential buyers.


You’ve got to stay flexible and be willing to accommodate showing requests, even if the timing isn’t ideal. Sure, having to vacate with almost no notice when little Timmy is smack in the middle of his afternoon nap is nobody’s idea of a good time. But at the end of the day, a little inconvenience now could pay off huge when you get that offer you’ve been hoping for.


The key is to let your agent handle the showings while you make yourself scarce. Having the owner lurking in the shadows while buyers are touring is just awkward for everyone involved. Give them the space to picture themselves in your home without you cramping their vibe.




Look, selling your home is a massive undertaking with plenty of potential pitfalls. From nickel-and-diming yourself on costs to hiring the wrong representation, there’s a minefield of mistakes that can seriously mess up your home sale.


But now that you’re aware of these common traps, you can avoid them like a champ. With some careful planning, flexibility, and a skilled agent by your side, you’ll be able to maximize your profits while keeping your sanity intact.


At the end of the day, a little knowledge and preparation goes a long way. Steer clear of these missteps, and you’ll be clinking glasses with the buyers before you know it! The dream of a smooth, lucrative home sale can be your reality.

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* This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial or legal advice. Please consult with a professional advisor before making any investment decisions.

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