7 Things Not To Do When Selling Your Home

Posted 4 March 2019 by Nick Parkhouse

Want to sell your home quickly and for the best possible price? Here are seven mistakes to avoid when selling your home...

According to a 2018 report analysing property sales in 20 of the UK’s biggest cities, selling your home takes an average of 102 days.

If you want to sell your home within three months, it’s important that you avoid a few key pitfalls. Here, we look at seven common mistakes that homeowners make when selling their home – so keep reading for all the advice you need on what not to do when you sell your home.

Setting the price too high

One of the most common mistakes that sellers make is to overprice their home when listing it for sale. Homes that are priced correctly tend to sell, while those that are too expensive tend to stay on the market.

Ask several estate agents to value your home but be careful not to simply pick the highest valuation. Agents sometimes overprice property in order to win the business, but there’s no point listing your home at a price that won’t attract a buyer.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, says: "Serious sellers who want to secure a buyer within a reasonable amount of time may need to perhaps consider a less ambitious asking price.”

Hiring the wrong agent to sell your home

Did you choose the cheapest agent, or the one most likely to sell your home?

Selling your home isn’t about finding the very lowest rate of estate agent commission but finding the agent that will secure you a sale.

Find someone with strong local knowledge, a track record of selling properties in your area, and someone with a database of prospects looking to buy a property like yours.

Not tidying and cleaning your home

It may seem obvious but giving your home a good clean and tidying up clutter can help you to make a good impression on a potential buyer.

Cory Askew, area director at Chestertons, says a spring clean, inside and out, can help with the overall presentation of a home for visitors. He says: “A deep clean on the entire property can make a big difference for quite a small cost.”

Accepting bad photos

Photos will often be the first impression that buyers have of your home. So, it makes sense to ensure that photographs show your property in the best light.

A professional photographer or your estate agent will normally take the photos, but don’t settle for poor images. The photos should be well lit, show off most of the room, and be free of clutter and mess.

If you’re not happy with the photos, ask for them to be re-taken.

Not making easy repairs

Your aim is to give a potential buyer a good first impression. So, making sure that simple repairs are made can help to show off your home in the best light.

Neglected repairs raise questions for a buyer as they will be thinking about the cost and hassle of dealing with these. If they see minor problems, it may also cause them to wonder what bigger issues they might face when they move in.

Easy repairs to make include:

  • Replacing broken light bulbs
  • Fixing faulty door handles
  • Fixing taps
  • Making sure doors don’t squeak
  • Cleaning stains on carpets and surfaces
  • Making sure the boiler is working
  • Fixing small leaks
  • Repairing fences and gates.

Too much personalisation

Strong feature walls, bold artwork, and highly-patterned accessories may be your style, but they might not sit well with a buyer.

Everyone has different interior taste, so it’s important that you present your home as a ‘blank canvas’ on which buyers can stamp their own personality.

Property expert Monique Dower has a particular issue with feature walls. She says: “Bright red walls are too obtrusive and dictate the style of the room. It is best to paint it off-white, and tone down the decor to appeal to a broader range of buyers.”

Being a bad host

If you are showing potential buyers around your home, it will help if you can be friendly and welcoming. Be prepared to answer any questions and to ‘sell’ both your home and the local area.

Some tips for showing buyers around your home:

  • Pick the best room in your home and start the tour there as it will give a good first impression. Try and end the tour in the same room
  • Consider making your guests a drink while they look around
  • Draw attention to any interesting or valuable features
  • Be prepared to let your guests wander around your home without you.

You should also be ready answer any questions your guest may have. Here, it’s important to do your preparation and have answers to questions such as:

  • Who owns boundary fences?
  • How much are your utility bills? What Council Tax band are you in?
  • How old is the property?
  • What schools are you in the catchment area for?
  • Are there any guarantees remaining for damp-proof courses, double glazing or even the property itself?

Refusing a good early offer

A common mistake that sellers make is to refuse a good early offer on a property because they think they can hold out for better. Agents report buyers refusing a high offer in the first couple of weeks of marketing, only to sell for less a month or two down the line.

According to research, 70% of interest in a house for sale, comes in the first three weeks of marketing. So, if you get a good offer during this period, be prepared to take it rather than hoping for better.

When considering an offer, consider these factors:

  • The offer amount
  • Whether the buyers have a property to sell, whether there is a chain etc.
  • How quickly your buyers want to move
  • The motivation of your buyers. For example, if they have been waiting for a house on your street for months then they may be a better choice than someone who has made several offers on different properties.

 

 

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