Common Pitfalls of Selling Your House and How to Avoid Them


Our homes are a reflections of ourselves and when it comes time to sell, it is hard to put our emotions aside and be objective. But it is necessary to get the best price possible in a reasonable amount of time. Don’t scare off potential buyers by making these costly mistakes:

Not having a Real Estate Agent

A competent real estate agent is worth more than their commission and an important member of your team. They will remain objective about your home and provide advice on what to do to maximize the sale price and minimize the time on the market.

Your Real Estate agent should know the area and what buyers and sellers are looking for. They can also help navigate the process, set a realistic price, stage the home to appeal to the most buyers, and complete all documents and disclosures.

Setting the price too high

An overpriced house will not sell. While you love the house and all the improvements you have done over the years, only a comparable market analysis will help you set a fair market price. Setting too high a price will increase the time on the market and sometimes net a lower price than you could have obtained if you priced it right from the beginning.

The home will be stigmatized by the unrealistic price and waste the most valuable first few weeks on the market when you get the most exposure. Your Real Estate agent should present comparable homes in the area and be able to explain how they arrived at the suggested sale price.

Staying at the house when it is shown to potential buyers

Buyers should be comfortable discussing your home features and what they like and dislike without fearing criticizing you or your taste. Leave the house during showings and make sure any pets are also out of the way.

Poor photos

Buyers are using the internet to screen homes for further consideration. Good quality photos that show the best features of your home will get potential buyers attention. Staging your home and hiring a photographer is a smart investment to maximize interest in your home. A professional photographer will ensure proper lighting and the best angles to put your homes best side forward. The goal should always be to get as many buyers as you can to come see the property in person.

Finding out you have a major problem

Get a Home Inspection before listing your home for sale so you can fix any issues that may arise and potentially sabotage a sale. Of course, you could price the property below market value to compensate for the problem, or list the property at a normal price but offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem. It is always best to provide full disclosure on problems or defects you are aware of. Get the inspection first so you are not surprised by any problems.

Prepare for the sale

A real estate agent can help you prepare for the sale by pointing out small things that need to be fixed. Many time sellers don’t notice these items because they have become accustomed to seeing them. For example, the broken knob on a cabinet or the front door with chipped paint. Showing the home also means keeping it spotless and removing any pet or cooking odors. Often times, a fresh coat of paint in a neutral tone will give that “move-in ready” feeling that potential buyers are looking for.

Signing a Contract with an unqualified buyer

A buyer should provide a pre-approval letter before you enter into a contract. The last thing you want is to get caught in a contract where the buyer can’t close. Doing so will cost you valuable time to market to other buyers. Your agent should be able to advise you if an offer looks solid before signing documents.

Avoiding these traps will help get your home sold fast and at the highest amount possible. If you have questions about selling your Outer Banks home or would like our assistance, contact Eillu at For more information on Outer Banks Real Estate and Featured Properties, check out our blog.

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PO Box 3009, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
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Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
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