The Seller’s Guide to Finding a Buyer: What Not to Do When Listing Your Home

When it comes to listing your home, you want everything to go smoothly. If you make a mistake during the listing process, you might end up getting less than your home is worth or find that it takes significantly longer to sell your home than it should. To stay ahead of the game and improve your chances of a quick sale with a nice profit, steer clear of these mistakes when listing your home.

Interior of the well staged modern condominium in Montreal with the common areas, gym, pool, backyard

Anatoli Igolkin/ Getty Images

Pricing it incorrectly

Perhaps the worst mistake you can make when listing your home is choosing the wrong price. Potential buyers often skip overpriced homes because it’s out of their budget. If you list your home too high, you are also likely to get frustrating lowball offers. Conversely, if you price your home too low, you can lose out on potential profits.

Instead of falling victim to this mistake, take the time to carefully evaluate your listing price. Start by looking at the market value and comparable sales in your area. Then, consult with your real estate agent about other factors, such as the condition, specific location, demand and movement of the market. The right real estate agent will be able to find a listing price that brings in potential buyers while leaving you some room for negotiation and a profit.

Flipped and staged house in Montreal, Canada

Anatoli Igolkin/ Getty Images

Neglecting to fix up the home

Unless you choose to sell your home “as-is” — and at a steep discount — you’ll need to put in some effort into fixing it up if you want to make a sale quickly. Some of the process of “fixing up” the home is typical cleaning and putting away extra items, while the other portion is actual repairs.

Start with the obvious steps before you take photos of your home for the listing and schedule an open house. This includes washing and putting away dishes, clearing away toys, making beds and giving the home a thorough clean.

In the case of repairs, take care of any issues and updates before listing the home. Just like with dirt, if potential buyers notice basic repairs that are lacking, they will assume you have not bothered with other things. Fix broken appliances, add a coat of paint and even replace the roof, if necessary.

Tray ceiling and vertical windows add to beautiful architecture

PC Photography/ Getty Images

Using bad photos

There is more to taking photos for your home listing than just pointing your phone’s camera and shooting. You want images that show your home in the best light possible and make the rooms appear spacious. If you know you will be selling your home in the winter, consider taking outdoor pictures in the spring or summer when your landscape is gorgeous instead of when the trees are bare.

When taking your pictures, put in some extra effort to get them right. Make sure there are plenty of images to show off each space and ensure that they are well-lit and straight. Use angles to your advantage to make the home seem open and spacious. If you’re not up to taking the photos yourself, hire someone to do so. Hiring a professional photographer will typically pay for itself in terms of a higher home sale price.

Wood desk and large wall clock make this home office functional

PC Photography/ Getty Images

Hiring the wrong agent – or none at all

It’s risky to try listing and selling your home alone. Without an agent, not only will you miss out on the best strategies for negotiating the sale, but you will also have to spend a great deal of time answering phone calls and showing the home. Keep in mind that most agents already know what mistakes to avoid when listing or selling a home, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Remember that just hiring an agent is not enough; you need to choose a good one. Less-than-stellar real estate agents might not have much more experience than you. Others might follow outdated advice or push you to list the home for an inappropriate price. Before listing your house, select a real estate agent with good reviews and a reputation for closing sales.

Are there any other listing mistakes we missed? Have you learned any of these the hard way when listing your home? We’d love to hear about your experiences below.