5 Common mistakes sellers make and how to avoid them

Buying a home is one of the most important financial investments you will ever make, so when the time comes to sell your home, it could be financially devasting to make a mistake. To avoid this we take a look at a few common mistakes that sellers make and how you can steer clear to maximise your return on investment.


We often hear how vital a knowledgeable real estate professional is when buying a home, the same is true for when you are selling your home. Experts in your local market can ensure that you avoid big mistakes in the first place and will have the know-how on marketing your property properly to the right audience.


Apart from enlisting the help of a real estate agent, there are 5 common mistakes often made by sellers that can easily be avoided by preparing for this new chapter.


1. Neglecting necessary repairs


Prepping your property by getting a home inspection to identify any large repairs or maintenance issues just makes sense even if it is not required to do so.


By doing this before listing your property you are ensuring that the process isn't halted when the potential buyer requests a home inspection that uncovers an issue that could have been fixed. Not only are you streamlining the process you are also showing that you have nothing to hide from buyers, but it is much more likely that you will get asking price for your property because a buyer can't use maintenance issues to negotiate a lower price.


A beautifully maintained property in an ideal neighbourhood could possibly also attract multiple offers.


2. Failing to prepare the home for showings


Most people underestimate how important a decluttered, clean space is to the sale process. From being able to envision themselves living in your home to the perceived value of the home - a clean home plays an important role.


Tidy up all surfaces, including bookshelves, end tables, and kitchen countertops. It is important to remember that buyers will likely form an opinion of the home before they enter the front door, so remember to tidy up the exterior too. Depending on the season, this could include anything from weeding flowerbeds to putting out planters or touching up chipped paint on the house’s exterior.


Read more 5 Ways to stage your home yourself


3. Not taking professional listing photos


These days, the home-buying process begins online. Listing photos can make all the difference when attracting homebuyers. Even the most luxurious of homes will receive far fewer clicks if they aren’t presented with high-quality photos. Having a professional photographer take the listing photos is always best. Photos should have ample lighting to help a room appear more spacious. The home should also be prepared just as you would before a showing to make sure the home looks its best in the photos.


Read more on how to attract potential buyers with your online listing


4. Leaving ‘room to negotiate'


Many sellers set the asking price higher to ‘leave room to negotiate.' This often leads to buyers overlooking the home as it falls outside their price point. A real estate professional can help guide sellers to a realistic listing price. Sometimes, setting a price that is disproportionate to the value of the property means that the home will sit on the market for longer. The longer the home is on the market, the more bold buyers get with their offers because they assume that the seller will be desperate to sell. The closer a home is listed to fair market value, the quicker it will sell – and often for a higher price than if it were originally listed at an over-inflated price.


Read more about how to bounce back from overpricing your property


5. Underestimating the closing costs


There are various costs associated with the selling process that many sellers often fail to budget for. There might be costs involved in getting the home ready for sale, including some routine repairs, staging costs, and possibly professional listing photos. As the sale progresses, there will also be various closing costs associated with the transfer and registration process, moving expenses, and real estate agent commissions that will need to be paid.

More Market & Opinion articles
Important red flags in property deals to look out for
Market & Opinion
Important red flags in property deals to look out for
17 Jul 2024
Learn how to spot important red flags in property deals to avoid scams. Verify agents, confirm property ownership, and be cautious of fake listings. Stay vigilant and protect your investment.
read more
Is estate living right for you?
Market & Opinion
Is estate living right for you?
15 Jul 2024
Estate living is rapidly becoming one of the most popular real estate trends in South Africa. With increasing crime rates and a growing emphasis on lifestyle, the demand for secure and quality living environments is on the rise.
read more
Estate agent commissions are negotiable. Calculate the service fee on a property sale