A Beginner’s Guide: Home Selling Mistakes You Must Avoid


There is always a first time for everything, and selling your house is not an exception. Home selling can be one of the most exciting events for your life, but you should be aware that it is rarely easy. This complex process is time-consuming and emotionally challenging, especially if you haven’t done this before.

A home seller can fall into dozens of mistakes, and without any prior experience, they can easily succumb to these pitfalls. However, the reality of the situation is that most of these mistakes are pretty common.

In addition, the consequences of making these mistakes can be harmful to your finances and peace of mind. Therefore, knowing and avoiding what these mistakes are beforehand can make home selling a smoother process. 

Getting Emotional

We couldn’t stress this enough, but selling your house can be emotional for anyone involved. You invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in making that house into a home, where you created many memories. Therefore, parting ways with it can be pretty difficult. However, you need to understand that once you decide on selling that house, you are a businessperson.

Forget that you are a homeowner, and look at the whole selling process purely from the financial perspective. In this way, you can distance yourself from the emotional aspect of selling your home.

To Hire or Not to Hire a Real Estate Agent

There are multiple ways to sell your house, and hiring a real estate agent is one of the most common methods. However, they command a hefty commission, usually 5% to 6% of the total home sales price. This might discourage you from hiring an agent, but selling your house on your own without any prior experience is not a great idea.  

An agent will help you in multiple ways throughout the selling process. They will help set a fair selling price, increase the chance of a quick sale, interact with potential buyers, and eliminate tire-kickers who only want to look at the property but don’t intend to make an offer.

In addition, an agent’s experience in negotiating home sales, paired with their market knowledge, will help you get more money than you could do on your own. On occasions where problems arise, it is beneficial to have an experienced professional handle them.

Finally, agents also assist with the paperwork, ensuring that the selling process will go smoothly and without delays.

Underestimating the Home Selling Cost

It may come as a surprise to you, but selling your home can and will cost you some money. Here are some expenses you will need to prepare for when selling your house.

  1. Agent Commission – Hiring a real estate agent alone will cost you 5% to 6% of the house’s sales price.
  2. Closing Cost – The seller’s share of the closing cost is typically 1% up to 3% of the house price. These costs include title transfer fee, sales tax, attorney fee, and whoever organizes the closing day’s final transaction.
  3. Staging Cost – This cost of staging your house will vary depending on many factors, including the size of your house, how many rooms you want to stage, where you live, whether you rent a décor or not, and many more. On average, it will cost around $525 to $2,000.
  4. Home Inspection Repairs – A home inspection can cost a few hundred bucks, but it is necessary to know your house’s issues or problems. From then, you can either fix it or give a discount.
  5. Seller Concessions – During the deal, buyers will negotiate for a lower asking price or pay for the full asking price provided there’s a seller concession. The arrangement may include throwing in items like dryer and washer or paying all the closing costs.

Additional expenses include moving costs and a mortgage for your next home. However, if you’re not directly moving into a new house, you need to account for rental fees, storage fees, utilities, HOA dues, and additional taxes. If you’re in California, check this Sundae’s guide on California’s most taxed cities for finding the most suitable new home for you.

Pricing It Incorrectly

One of the critical aspects needed for ensuring home selling success is appropriately pricing your house. Unfortunately, incorrectly pricing your house is among the most common mistakes a home seller can make. Moreover, it is also one of the primary reasons a house doesn’t sell and is left sitting on the market.

Price your house according to your local market and the comparable homes sold in your area. Other factors that affect the home’s price are market strength, location, local demand, and the house’s condition. An overpriced house is a turn-off to many buyers.

The Bottom Line

Selling your home for the first time is considered to be a major life milestone. However, never forget that it can be a grueling process with unexpected challenges and problems coming your way in achieving that “SOLD” sign.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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