Mistakes to avoid when selling your house

Mistakes to avoid when selling your house | Essential tips for a smooth sale

Thinking of selling? As seasoned estate agents we highlight the most common mistakes to avoid when selling your house

One of the key aspects of ensuring a smooth and successful transaction is being aware of the potential pitfalls that can arise during the process. From the advertised price to the marketing and who a seller chooses for conveyancing – there are many points during the process of selling a home when sellers can make costly errors.

Not only can these mistakes significantly impact the desirability of a property, but they can ultimately prolong the process of selling and potentially have a negative effect on the final sale price.

Overpricing the Property

The most common mistake when selling is overpricing. Not only does this often deter potential buyers, but it also prolongs the time a house spends on the market. To determine a fair market value, consult with 2 or 3 local estate agents who will provide a guide price figure. Estate agents will reach their conclusion based on comparable properties which have recently sold in the area and the current market climate, together with the condition and position of the property.

Overpriced homes often struggle to attract buyer interest, which eventually leads to price reductions. When a home is listed for sale for an extended period buyers form a perception of a property being less desirable, wrongly believing there might be issues or else why wouldn’t it have sold quickly? 

A good estate agent will guide you towards a competitive, yet reasonable, asking price.

Not Tidying Up

When it comes to selling appearance matters. A cluttered and untidy home can deter potential buyers, as it gives the impression of a poorly maintained property. 

Declutter and organise your belongings, where possible remove personal items as this will make it easier for buyers to visualise themselves in the space.

It’s also advisable to conduct a deep clean and to carry out minor repairs to showcase a well-maintained home.

Don’t forget the importance of curb appeal; a buyer’s first impression is critical as a well-presented exterior can make a lasting, positive impact.  

Mistakes to avoid when selling

Bad photography and marketing

A good selling agent will work with top property photographers and ensure a property is showcased in its best possible light in all advertising. 

Marketing can be the difference between achieving a top price and suffering a lack of interest and likely eventual price reduction. 

This mistake is closely tied to tidying and cleaning a property – as even the best photographer will struggle in an unkempt home.

Proper marketing of a property reaches beyond attractive photos. A thorough description and the addition of area information can be of particular use to a potential buyer, together with a clear and correct floorplan. 

Hiding issues the property might have

It’s crucial not to hide any issues your property may have when selling your house. If there are known issues, it’s better to address these upfront. 

Homebuyers typically instruct professionals to perform an inspection whether it is simply a survey with a mortgage valuation or an independent building survey, and discrepancies in the findings could lead to complications in the selling process.

Restricting viewings

Horton and Garton actively encourages sellers to provide times that would be best for viewings to take place but if this is only a 1 hour window on a Tuesday morning at 9am its unlikely many people will be able to view the property in person. 

Some level of flexibility is useful, though it is equally important that the property is in top condition when viewings take place. 

A good estate agent will avoid, where possible, any last-minute viewings on this basis, providing a minimum of 24 hours’ notice.

Not being ready to proceed – Make sure paperwork is in place

Before diving into the home selling process, it’s helpful to have all the necessary paperwork in place. This includes documents related to the property, such as any planning permissions for works or installation certificates for items including double glazed windows. 

By having this paperwork to hand, a seller will confidently be able to answer any questions raised by potential buyers and be ready as soon as they accept an offer as these are the documents solicitors often request. 

Tips when selling a house

Hiring the wrong estate agent

Hiring the wrong agent can potentially lead to costly mistakes and prolong the process of selling your home. It’s essential to find an agent with experience and expertise in the area. You can assess potential agents by looking at their recently sold results and reviews on google, together with meeting a handful in person. 

Whilst an estate agent’s fee is a factor to consider, it should not be your only focus. A low fee may seem appealing, but it could be an indicator of a less experienced or less motivated agent. Paying a low fee to an agent may not guarantee the best outcome; it’s crucial to prioritise finding a skilled, experienced agent.

Trying to sell the property on your own

With access to online platforms, some sellers might try to sell their home on their own, or with light touch support from a digital agent. While this approach may save on traditional agent commission, it comes with its own challenges.

Sellers often face difficulty in marketing their property effectively, taking their own photos and writing the description themselves. Moreover a seller might not understand the legalities of misdescription.

Sellers thinking of selling themselves might also want to think about navigating the complexities of paperwork, legal aspects, and negotiations which could all be overwhelming and might result in costly mistakes that could have been avoided with professional guidance from a selling agent.

Accepting the highest offer not the right offer

In many scenarios when selling a home, especially in a competitive market where the property being sold is particularly sought after, it might be that there are more than one offers put forward. 

In this instance it can be appealing for a vendor to simply accept the highest offer but a good estate agent will always advise that a seller considers all aspects of an offer. 

From the desired timeframe and whether this aligns with the sellers plans to whether or not a buyer is actually proceedable, or they have to wait for a sale or other factor before they can proceed – there are multiple elements to consider. 

When selling a house, it’s crucial to consider the various aspects of each offer instead of simply accepting the highest bid. In some cases, a lower offer might be the better option for a smooth and successful business transaction.

Engaging the wrong conveyancing solicitor

Selecting the wrong conveyancing solicitor to assist with your sale can lead to delays, additional costs, and potentially create issues. 

When comparing conveyancing solicitors, consider their qualifications, reputation, and communication skills. 

Those who are recommended and who you felt you could communicate well with when you have an initial conversation are often the best placed to work on your transaction. 

Avoid choosing a solicitor purely based on price. Those who are practically minded and offer solutions are among the best solicitors as they will offer balanced and rounded advice throughout the process.

What makes a house difficult to sell?

When it comes to what makes a house difficult to sell, overpricing is one of the most challenging hurdles to overcome. It is crucial to set a realistic price that reflects its market value and the competition on the market.

Another factor that can make selling your house difficult is it being in poor condition or cluttered and dirty. Buyers tend to prefer homes that are in good condition, so addressing any significant repairs and presenting a well-maintained property can increase the chances of a successful sale.

Mistakes to avoid when selling your house

These are just some of the most common mistakes to avoid when selling your house. As seasoned estate agents Horton and Garton have witnessed many more be made and are on hand to help homeowners avoid these by offering guidance and advice.

To discuss your plans to move, get in touch, without obligation.