Selling your Home? Avoid these Common Mistakes

Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday, July 25th, 2015 at 11:22am.

Mistakes Sellers Make When Listing Their Home for Sale

Selling your home is a big decision. Chances are it's one of your largest assets and is one of the largest sales you will ever make. The home selling process can be an absolute roller coaster ride with turns and dips you weren't expecting. We've helped Raleigh home sellers make the process of selling their house easier, with less stress by avoiding common mistakes. Notice we didn't say easy and without stress, because that would not be a sale in real estate. Any Realtor® who tells you it's easy and stress free has never sold a home before because that is never the case. There are mistakes homeowners can avoid when selling their home that will help the sale go smoother. 

Selling your home in Raleigh, NC Avoid these Common Mistakes

There are a lot of things that can go wrong during the sales process. It's important to understand what could possibly go wrong before it happens that way you understand how to react as a seller. This goes for anyone selling real estate, whether you are selling your home with a Realtor® or if you are selling your home as a for sale by owner

When we are selling homes in Raleigh, NC we make sure our sellers avoid the following mistakes:

Selling Your Home in Raleigh, NC Area Avoid These Mistakes Sellers Make

Failing to Prepare your House for Sale

Before you list your home for sale, there are things sellers must do to prepare the house to sell. You want your home to look amazing before anyone steps inside and that includes the Realtor®. So before you are serious about selling your home you'll want to make sure it is in pristine condition. This should seem obvious right? Well it isn't! People need to be told what to do and your Realtor® should be holding you accountable to keeping your home in the absolute best shape before the professional photographers come in to take photos. If you're home doesn't show well it's not going to sell, and if it does it could have sold for more had it shown better.

If you were going to sell your car would you leave it a mess or would you detail it before the buyers came to see it? Obviously you would want it to look it's best. Your home is no different.

When we list homes for sale in Raleigh we don't want to put our name on anything that doesn't look incredible. We hold ourselves to a certain expectation that when we list a house the home looks amazing. There are many Realtors® who don't care what your home looks like before listing it on the MLS. If you're trying to sell a half million dollar home with a lousy looking kitchen, good luck. A small investment would do wonders for your homes value and it's chance at selling for what it should!

One of the quickest ways to devalue the price of your home is to overprice it. Homes for sale do two things. They sit, or they sell. Which one do you want for your estate?

Not pricing your home correctly can ruin your real estate sale in raleigh, NC

Overpricing your Home

If you overprice your home it's a big mistake. Is your objective to sell your home, or to have your home sit on the market? People develop emotional attachments with the house they live in. A real estate sale is an emotional process and a lot of sellers will say things like 'it's a great house' or 'we don't want to leave it.'  The fact is, overpricing it is a mistake. For sale is not a destination, SOLD IS!

If you want your home to sell it's going to need to be listed within a certain range. The neighborhood is going to determine the price your home will sell at, not the Realtor®. Understanding the local real estate market numbers and trends play a role in determining the list price as well. A lot of sellers in Raleigh want to know what their home is worth, we recommend consulting with a local Realtor®, not Zillow.

If it's your first time selling a home there is a good chance you're not going to have a clue what the process is like. The most experience you have is when you were a first time home buyer and saw it from the other end of the table. If you have lived in the home for awhile than you're not going to be able to let go easily. We recently worked with some sellers in the North Hills area of Raleigh who really loved their home and weren't ready to let go, because of a job transfer there was no choice. The house had to be sold.

Do not price your home higher just because you want to leave room for negotiation. People who aren't prepared to pay full price for your home shouldn't be looking in that price range. If they come to view a home priced at $300,000 they are under the expectation that the home costs $300,000. The buyers might hope they can negotiate a better deal, they shouldn't expect it though. If a buyer offers you 10-15% less however the and you are quick to accept your home becomes less desirable in their minds. You want it to be a bit of a challenge for them. This happens when you price the home with the expectation to negotiate down. The buyers assume there must be a reason they are unaware of because you seem desperate to sell the home! Keeping a strong list price, makes for a strong home in the mind of buyers.

Hiring the wrong Raleigh, NC Realtor is a mistake sellers make

Hiring the Wrong Realtor®

Did you choose the first Real Estate Agent you interviewed? OR worse, did you choose that Agent based on price? Hiring the wrong Real Estate Agent to sell one of your biggest assets can be one of the worst decisions you'll ever make. Exercise careful due diligence when choosing a Realtor®. Don't make these same mistakes other sellers make when hiring a Real Estate Agent. 

Here is a great resource on mistakes to avoid when choosing a Real Estate Agent. You'll want to avoid selling your home with a post and pray Realtor®, or you'll be coming back to read more about how to sell your house after it didn't sell the first time.

Choosing a Realtor® is the most important part of selling your home. Making the wrong decision when hiring an Agent could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The founder of chose a strong Realtor® who sold his home for $150,000 more than it was originally listed. Raleigh Realty sold a home in north Raleigh home for $36,000 more than the home across the street using top of the line selling strategies. Understanding the local Raleigh Real Estate Market trends and knowing the best months to sell homes has helped a lot of our clients earn more money for the sale of their house.

Chances are you know a Realtor®, or know someone who knows a Realtor®. This doesn't automatically make that person the best Realtor® to sell your home. You should be ready to invest time and effort into choosing the right Real Estate Agent for the job of selling your home. Don't just choose the first person someone recommends to you without interviewing several candidates, or an Agent based on their commission structure. A lot of people have their real estate license, not everyone sells homes the same way. Find the best Realtor® for you.

Hiring a top Realtor® will make the process go a lot smoother, and you will end up making a lot more money when you sell your home. A professional Real Estate Agent will help keep your emotions in check leading to a higher rate of successfully closing.

Being negative can ruin your home sale in Raleigh, so be happy when selling

Negativity When Selling Your Home

The energy that surrounds the sale of your home is going to have an impact on whether or not your home sells. If you come in with a negative mindset you should expect a negative result. Selling your home is not an easy process, it requires a lot of large financial numbers, obstacles to overcome, negotiations, and many other aspects. You should EXPECT to have problems whether it's something small, like needing to change a lightbulb, or something a bit larger like an encumbered title, chaos will show up at some point in the sale. If you approach these problems with a mind that is shut down and negative the problem will only grow larger. If you absorb the problem, keep your emotions in check, and push positive energy to handling the problem the sale will be much easier.

Negativity has the opportunity to appear everywhere and anywhere. Stress, frustration, anxiety, these are the emotions you should expect when selling your home!! By setting yourself the proper expectation before you go in to the sale of your home you can harness and control the way you respond. 

A positive mindset will create the positive energy necessary to sell your home. If you're selling your home in Raleigh, NC we prepare our clients to expect the unexpected. Remaining positive will go a long way during the sale of your home. If you're not comfortable keeping a positive mindset when you list your home for sale, or when problems arise than Raleigh Realty probably isn't the right company for you. When you work with Raleigh Realty you'll sense our positivity right away, because it can be found everywhere... from our logo, to our results. Positive mindsets is what it takes to sell real estate from everyone involved in the sale.

A common mistake sellers make is not letting the buyers feel like they won

Not Letting the Buyers "Win"

This is tough for sellers sometimes, and it's even harder for the FSBOs I've worked with personally. One FSBO actually lost my client on a large deal over $300. A verbal agreement was made between my client and the for sale by owner for full price and $1,500 in seller paid closing costs. As we were putting the contract together the seller decided she wanted to reduce the seller paid closing costs to $1,200. My client freaked out because a verbal agreement had been made, and now she didn't trust the seller's word. 30 days later that home is still on the market.

It's important to make sure the buyers "win" whether that is them winning at your price or their price, they need to feel as though they won. If you hire a strong Realtor® they will help you with this process.

When sellers let the buyers "win" the process goes a lot smoother because the buyers are under the impression they received a great deal on the home. Even if the buyers bought the home at your price you need to make sure they know they're getting the home at their price, and they earned a great deal. Everyone loves to negotiate a great deal when buying something, and by allowing the buyers to feel good about the sale you're winning as the seller. 

With that being said, there are times when you will need to let the buyer go, because there was no common ground in negotiations.

At Raleigh Realty we believe in win-win real estate sales. A negotiation is not a fight between buyers and sellers, it's a meeting of intellectual minds to determine if there is an outcome both parties will be happy with, and if there is, let's put that together and complete the sale.

Final Thoughts on Mistakes Sellers Make:

When selling your home there are a number of mistakes you can make, and things that can go wrong. You can help yourself by hiring a great Realtor® vs. trying to sell your home alone. When negotiating with other Real Estate Professionals it's important to stay positive, because although you're working for other sides of the table it's not a battle. It's a collective meeting to determine if their are terms and conditions that will make both parties happy, and you have to be ok with the possibility that there may not be. That's not a reason to get upset, that's a reason to move forward and find another buyer to sell your home.

Believe it or not real estate deals can fall apart! Guess where that happens more often that not? During negotiations. If you bring your emotions to the negotiating table they better be positive, otherwise you're going to have a tough time closing the sale of your home. Sellers may only sell a handful of homes in their lifetime so mistakes are going to be made. By reading and educating yourself you will learn how to avoid some of the more crucial mistakes sellers have made before you!


Ryan Fitzgerald is a Real Estate Agent and Realtor® in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ryan practices real estate in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Durham, Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas.

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Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!


4 Responses to "Selling your Home? Avoid these Common Mistakes"

Tarek Demachkie wrote: A great article as usual. However, a big mistake that some sellers do when selling their home is hiring a real estate agent. Now don't take my wrong, hiring an agent to sell your house is a great option for many people. Many people are better of using an agent.

When is it a mistake to hire a real estate agent? when time is a problem for the seller. And here I mean when time is a big problem. lets say you got a job in a different state that you need to move to in less than a month! or your house is going to foreclosure in two month! an agent can't guarantee to sell your house. Moreover, you will have to do some work on the house and prepare it for viewers. It's a problem when you have an emergency and need to move out as soon as possible. The average selling of a house period is 4 to 6 month.

My point is that sometimes selling your house through an agent is a mistakes. it will make you lose time and money. you better option is find a cash buyer. how do you find them? search for cash buyers in your city by calling the signs that say "We buy houses". or visit website that offer cash for houses like ours.

A cash buyer has the power to buy your house in a short time As-Is. Be careful who you choose to deal with since many cash buyers don't give you a fair price for your house and try to take advantage of your situation.

Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 at 12:22am.

Zequek Estrada wrote: I agree that estate sales are probably an emotional process. When it comes to your home, I don't think anyone can completely separate their emotions from it. It's one of the reasons why I think that it may be a good idea to hire professional assistance. It might make things easier.

Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 1:59pm.

gloria durst wrote: I agree that hiring the right Realtor seems to be the most important thing when you are selling your home. I would imagine that you would need to pick someone who is very qualified in order to help you the best. My sister is selling her home so she'll have to find someone who is really experienced to help her sell it.

Posted on Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 4:01pm.

Annika Larson wrote: My husband and I are looking to sell our home. We want to make sure that we do everything possible to make this a smooth transaction. As you mentioned, hiring a good real estate agent will make the process go a lot smoother, and it will help you get more money our of it. We will be sure to find the right realtor.

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 10:44am.

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