Selling Your Home? Six Common Mistakes To Avoid

By Kuppan Gayathri

When selling your home, there are lots of factors to consider, here are some easily avoidable mistakes that should help make the process easier.


1. Price it Right


When determining the price of your home, don’t overprice or under price it. It seems like very logical advice, but you would be surprised how often people defy logic when it comes to selling their home.

There are real estate agents out there that will tell you that your home is worth a lot more than it is just to get you to sign with them. When you are working out a price, make sure that there are good comparables to support the price when selling your home. Also, some common misconceptions which lead people to believe their house is worth more money is the following:

The price should be determined based on what you PAID for it
The price should be based on what you NEED to get out of it
The price should be determined by what you WANT to get out of it
Your NEIGHBORS said it should be priced at X
When selling your home, none of the above reasons will determine the value of your home, NONE! Hard facts will determine the price and in the end the market will decide the the true value of your home.

selling a home and pricing it right
Price It RIGHT!

Under priced

Sometimes people are talked into pricing their home under the market value in order to create a bidding war. There are a couple of reasons this is not a good strategy. Buyers do not like bidding wars and many times it scares potential buyers away. Often times they feel a bidding war will result in overpaying for the house.


As a result, some potential buyers won’t write an offer on your house and sit on the sidelines and wait for the next good thing to come along. As a side note, one of my favorite things to read in the MLS is “Offers due by Tuesday x date” only the date has come and gone and the house is still on the market.

When selling your home, another reason that under pricing is a poor strategy is the list price sets a value in potential buyers minds. When you set a price at $700,000 for home, you have established the value of the home. When buyers get into a bidding war, and end up paying tens of thousands higher than the list price, many times they think they have over paid for the home. Think about it, if you went into the car dealership and the sticker price of the car you wanted was $30,000 but the salesperson then said it really costs $50,000, how do you feel about the purchase? So use this same logic when selling your home.

Now I’m not saying that a house with multiple offers is always a bad thing, I’m just saying that knowingly under pricing a house is NOT a good strategy. Pricing a house correctly involves a lot of factors and only the market will determine the true value.

The world’s best agent can’t sell and overpriced home, while a bad agent can always sell an under priced home.

The first 30-days your home is on the market is critical time:

  • A property generates the most interest when it first hits the market.

  • The number of showings is greatest during this time if it is priced at a realistic

  • market value.

  • Starting too high and dropping the price later misses the excitement and fails

  • to generate strong activity.

  • Many homes that start high end up selling below market value.

2. Access

Oh boy this one is a really important one. When selling your home it is important to understand people will need access to it, at a moments notice sometimes. The more exposure your home gets when it goes on the market, the more likely you are to sell it quickly. If you limit access and require appointments or 24 hours notice, you will eliminate potential buyers.

Typically potential buyers will make an appointment to go out and see houses with their real estate agent. The morning of the showings, the real estate agent will give a list from the buyers of the houses they want to see. If your home is on the list, and you have a 24 hour notice or by appointment only, more than likely, your home will not be shown. Additionally, if for some reason your home didn’t make the list of houses to see but when the potential buyers are out with their real estate agent and drive past your house and decide they want to see it. NOPE, no showing today, 24 hours notice required.

While on the topic of access, I am a firm believer in a open house or two the first few weeks your home is on the market and here is why. First of all, it gets lots of people through the door in a short period of time. Potential buyers can all come through at one specific time. READ: fewer times you need to tidy up in a moments notice and vacate.

Yes, open houses are good for me. Yes, I am able to generate potential lead. HOWEVER, there are two sticking point here, one is the neighbors come through to see the house because they are interested in what it looks like. BUT neighbors like to pick their next neighbor, therefor, they are an advocate to help when selling your home. The second point is the more people that see your house the better. Remember the more exposure you house has, the better chance it will sell quickly (if priced right for condition, of course).

3. For Sale By Owner

Well for those of you that know me, this is an interesting one. Why? Because I got my start in real estate when I thought selling my home For Sale By Owner was the best way to go. I thought, it’s so easy, I can do it without paying a professional, what could they possibly know that I did not? It was a lesson learned. While I was successful with a For Sale By Owner transaction, I found at many points in the game a little nervous, I had NOT IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING.

With the knowledge that I have now, I realize what a risk it was doing a For Sale By Owner transaction. For the same reasons that I don’t perform my own root canals, rotate my own tire, do my own oil change or roof my own house, you should hire a professional when selling your home. Real estate agents pay to carry insurance when performing real estate transactions, do you? Real estate agents have a network of people that they know as potential buyers or people who know people, who know people. It is a people industry. Additionally, a good agent has good negotiating skills and will put those to work for you.

4. Condition

The condition of your house will determine the price of your house. Just about every potential buyer have an internet connection. Therefore, people look online at the picture of your home when deciding if they are going to get into their car and go see it. So I cannot stress the importance of preparing your home for sale. To learn more on this topic, read my article Prepare To Sell Your Home, Make A Great First Impression. Bottom line:

If It Shows Well, It Goes Well

5. Emotion

Selling your home can be a very emotional time. But it is important to look at this process as a transaction that is going to get you to the next place in life. Focus on why you are selling your home and where you are headed after the sale. It is easy to get very angry and emotional when a buyer asks for a lot of things on a home inspection. IT IS NOT PERSONAL. Work with your real estate to get done what needs to be done and get to the closing table. The next chapter awaits!

6. Time Of Year

It always interests me when people say that they only want to put their house on the market during spring market. Well I agree there are lots of buyers out there during spring market . When selling your home, spring is a good time for things to be in bloom and gardens to look great. HOWEVER, think about this one for a minute, the simple law of supply and demand. When supply is high and demand is high, things are pretty balanced, right. What about when supply is low and demand is still high? Yes, I understand the logic of people looking in the spring to move in the summer. But not everybody has the luxury of choosing when they want to move, right. It could be November or December and there are still people that have to move. There are certain times of year that employee receive bonuses and what to buy a house.

In conclusion, there are a lot of misconceptions out there when selling your home. Avoid some of the bigger mistakes and work with your real estate agent to get your home sold. Remember, your real estate agent has experience and has seen many different real estate transactions, they are trying to guide you through the process to avoid common mistakes and get your home sold.

Contact me now to help guide you through the process of selling your home. Do not create your own list of things to do BEFORE having me in to preview your home. With my team of professionals to guide the process will be simplified and save you money along the way.


6820 Elm Street, McLean, VA 22101
Office  (703) 636-7300

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