What not to do when listing your house for sale

Written by: Christy Rakoczy

Selling your house during a down market is always a challenge, and you may have to go the extra distance to make sure you are actually able to find a buyer.  During these troubled times, it is especially important to make sure you do not do anything to handicap your efforts to sell your home.  You’ll want to avoid some common listing mistakes.

Setting the Price too High

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they list their home is that they set the price too high.  If your house for sale is priced above reasonable comparable homes in your neighborhood, then there will be no reason for buyers to buy your house above the others offered.  Buyers who limit their search to a specific price range may not see your home, even if it is just a few thousand dollars above other offerings.  A buyer who can afford to spend $200,000 is going to limit his search to $200,000 and if your house is priced at $202,000, then it may not even come up when he conducts a search of the MLS online.

While you may believe that it is a good idea to price the house higher so you have room to negotiate, this strategy can result in your home sitting on the market for a longer period of time.  Houses that do sit on the market can appear undesirable to buyers, handicapping them even further. And, when you do finally lower the price, it won’t generate the buzz that a brand new listing- priced right- would have.

Bad MLS Pictures

More and more people shop on the Internet today for real estate before they actually go and look at homes. A buyer may initially judge your house for sale solely based on online pictures. If those pictures are fuzzy and the buyer cannot see details, then the buyer may skip right past your house and look for another that looks more pristine online.

Clutter and Personal Objects

While you may love the stuff in your home, buyers are there to see the house and not to see your family pictures and collections.  You want people to be able to picture themselves in your house and the more personal items you have around, the less likely it is that people will be able to do so.  Worse, the more personal items you have around, the more likely it is that the details in your home will get lost when buyers come to take a look.

While you want your house to be warm and inviting, you do not want a bunch of clutter around.  If you aren’t certain if your home is cluttered or not, a good way to tell is to take a picture and then take a look.  Do your eyes go right to stuff that you have piled up? If so, put it away.

Overstuffed Closets

One thing buyers always look for in a home is closet space. If you are short in this area in your house for sale, clean out your closets and remove as much stuff as you need in order to make it appear that your clothes and other items fit comfortably and buyers will think that you have plenty of room, even if that isn’t quite true.

Trust in The Advice of Professionals

These tips are a good way to get started, but the best thing you can do in most cases is to trust your realtor.  When your real estate agent suggests a change, this is based on the benefit of his or her experience in the field.  You are paying for that experience, and it is a good idea to listen.


What not to do when listing your house for sale

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