6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID
WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME!
You listed your home for sale, and it seems as if one problem after another reared its ugly
head. Avoiding common home selling mistakes can determine the outcome of your home
sale and whether or not you sell your home fast and for top dollar, all while reducing excess
stress; now that’s good news, don’t you think?!
Who wouldn’t like to avoid mistakes! I can almost hear your anxiety as you’re imagining
experiencing these mistakes, but don’t worry, because today I’m going to tell you all about
these common mistakes and just how to avoid them when selling your home. Keep reading
to discover the mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid:
1) Not hiring the right person to sell your home
Choosing an agent to sell your home can be a very individual decision. That’s because we
always connect with people differently, so the right agent for your personality might not
necessarily be the perfect fit for someone else.
As well as the ability to develop a strong working relationship, you should also look for a
sales agent that has great knowledge of the real estate market in your area.
How can you increase the chances you will make the right choice in picking a real estate
agent? This is an easy question to answer. You need to understand what things real estate
agents should be doing for home sellers! When all of these tasks are completed in the
correct manner the likelihood, you will be a happy camper will increase exponentially.
So, what is it, real estate agents should do for home sellers:
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 1
1. Price The Home Correctly
2. Market The Heck Out of The Property
3. Communicate Properly
4. Make Sure The Buyer is Qualified
5. Negotiate The Best Terms
6. Attend The Home Inspection to Represent The Seller
7. Attend The Home Appraisal
8. Finalize Loose Ends For Closing
In summary, the traits you should be looking for in a real estate agent consist of these
• Honesty above all else. The Realtor should put YOUR needs before their own.
• Professionalism. From the dress to manners, the agent you hire is the extension of
yourself to everyone they encounter in the home sale journey.
• Excellent communication skills – does the agent stay in touch with their clients?
• Strong negotiator – You want a tiger, not a pussy cat.
• Creative marketer – remember you are not looking for the agent that does the bare
minimum. Is there a comprehensive marketing plan?
• Exceptional company and personal reputation – is the agent and the firm they work for
looked up to as leaders?
• Experience and proven results – does the agent possess the knowledge and expertise to
guide you in unforeseen circumstances? Do they sell in all types of markets? Are they
successful in all kinds of markets and not just when homes are selling like hotcakes?
2) Mis-pricing your home
Every seller wants to sell their home for the best possible price – and hopefully as quickly as
possible. However, without experience selling homes and an understanding of how the
market works, it can be hard to get the results you want.
Setting the price at which to sell your home is not a simple formula, not mathematical. Many
elements factors into the decision. A calculated home value is not necessarily what you
believe your home is worth. Recognizing this helps avoid overpricing, a major factor that
leaves homes languishing or unsold.
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 2
Familiarity with the real estate terms such as market value, appraisal value, and assessed
value can save disappointment and frustration and allow the home seller to more
meaningfully engage in setting a home’s listing price.
The market status as well reflexes on the pricing of the home. When there is a low inventory,
you may have a higher chance getting more dollar for your home, however when listing your
home during the peak real estate season in buyer’s market, the high competition will drive
the buyer’s offers lower.
Mispricing your home comes with the cost. A home sitting for weeks in a hot market hurts
your sale price. Gradual price cuts show buyers you are willing to go even lower and a buyer
approaches the home thinking "how much lower can I get this house?". On the other hand,
when you price a home lower to begin with, and attract competing buyers, the buyer's
mentality is quite different: they think "how high can I go?" This shift in attitude has a big
impact on your bottom line.
So, what is the right price for your home? Getting your home priced accurately starts with
picking a real estate agent you can trust and who will make sure your house gets listed with
If your home is marketed correctly, it will fetch a higher price. Marketing is all about visibility
and attracting the right kind of buyer. With an efficient marketing plan, your home listing
will find its way in front of thousands of well-qualified buyers.
But marketing does not change the value of your home. If your home is overpriced, the best
marketing in the world won’t cure that.
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 3
To wrap this up, I can say that pricing a home properly is a skill and an art. The price is also
the most important consideration for getting your home sold. If you get the price, wrong
nothing else you or your agent does will matter.
In fact, setting the right price is 75% of the marketing for your home as the correct price
attracts the right buyers.
3) Neglecting necessary repairs prior to sale
Just because you’ve decided to sell your home doesn’t mean that now is the time to cut
corners. Cheesy home repairs will be visible to Buyers and their inspectors. Don’t give Buyers
the opportunity to request a price reduction.
The process of getting a property ready to put on the market can seem daunting enough.
There’s clearing the clutter, endless amounts of cleaning, organizing and scrutinizing your
property with a fine-tooth comb. What needs attention and what can you leave alone?
Welcome to the new world of “fixing to sell.” Gone are the days of throwing it on the market
and seeing what happens. Prepping for sale is a highly choreographed dance of repair along
with a bit of renovation and presentation.
Don’t ignore these seven areas:
1. Structural and mechanical
It might not be glamorous, but buyers are looking at big-ticket items like the age and
condition of the roof, air conditioning and heating systems, water heater, electrical panel
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 4
Now, I’m not saying all have to be replaced, but if any of these components are on their last
leg, you might seriously need to consider replacing them as these items could factor into
the kind of financing the buyer is able to obtain as well as insurability of the property.
If you lack the budget to replace these items, get estimates on the cost involved to replace.
You can always offer to contribute to the replacement cost in the form of a credit to the
buyer’s closing costs and offer a home warranty that can provide some coverage should
something fail or need repair.
How does the exterior of your home look? Is there any wood rot? When was the last time it
was painted? Are there any stucco cracks that need attention?
First impressions start from the outside, and the exterior will show up in photos across a
multitude of websites, etc. This is definitely an area worth spending the money.
Speaking of the exterior, how does your landscaping look? Are the plantings overgrown,
worn and wilted? What about the ground cover?
Are the planting beds in need of some fresh mulch, pine straw, rock, etc.? Are there any
overgrown tree limbs hanging over the house or blocking the home’s view? For a relatively
inexpensive investment, you can transform how your exterior looks by trimming back and
freshening things up with new plants and landscaping.
Let’s face it: buyers buy with their eyes, so now is the time to go through the interior in detail.
Are there dents and dings on the walls, scratched moldings or worn paint? Now is the time
to spruce up the inside with a fresh coat of paint.
Some may adore bright and bold colors, however the masses are attracted to neutrals
knowing they can add their own pizazz, if desired. Finding Buyers who have the exact same
bold tastes as you will be limited. Why would you ever want to limit the number of Buyers
drawn to your home? Don’t. Choose a neutral palette that will transition well with any buyer’s
According to a study done by French psychologists Gil and Bigot, people found gray to be
connected to sadness, negativity, and unattractiveness. In a study led by Nancy Kwallek, a
professor at the University of Texas at Austin, people favored focusing in rooms painted in
shades of white or beige.
As a general rule, bright colors tend to distract and overwhelm buyers, gray could make them
subconsciously sad, but beige is the perfect combination of calming and warm.
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 5
Look at your light fixtures, ceiling fans and light switches — these are relatively inexpensive
things to update and replace, yet they go a long way toward creating value.
Light and bright makes everything look so much better. Blinds drawn, lights not turned on
and light bulbs burnt out do not elicit welcoming thoughts.
And at last The front door? This is critical! Does it need a fresh coat of paint or new
This area is always huge with buyers. Even if the buyers barely know how to boil water, they
always envision themselves cooking and entertaining in the HGTV like perfect kitchen
surrounded by sleek appliances and cabinetry.
Here’s where you need to give them the look for less. Think new hardware on cabinets,
adding or changing out a dated tile backsplash and updating appliances. Also, consider
changing out counters — you might be able to find a reasonably price remnant of a granite
Simple and clean goes long way in bathrooms. Sprucing up your bathrooms to sell can be
as simple as having the grout on the existing tile steam cleaned or re-grouting where
needed. Caulking, new plumbing and light fixtures along with mirrors can create value.
What you walk on creates value. It is the largest visible area in your home. If you can only
afford to make the investment in one significant part of your home, consider updating the
flooring. There are a ton of low-cost options to choose from that include wood plank tiles
and highly upgraded laminate flooring — think wide plank, light colored or hand-scraped
New flooring can totally transform the look of your space and give it that “wow” factor
I understand not everyone has a financial resource to go ahead and do the whole house
makeover. And that is not what I am asking you to do. When preparing house for sale, drive
a delicate balance between what to fix and what to leave alone, but in the end, make the
right improvements that will result in a faster sale for top dollar.
Last but not least, many times having house deeply cleaned makes whole big of the
difference in its first appearance to the buyer. It’s time to bring out the neat and clean freak
in you when selling a home.
If you are not replacing the floors, then have the carpets steam cleaned. If you are not
painting whole house, buy a small can of paint, and touch up the heavy traffic areas such as
hallway walls, front of the island, corners (especially around kids rooms – at least in my house
that would be the case) around switches etc… Make sure you deep clean the bathrooms,
removing the soap scum and mildew, and mineral deposits from fixtures, shower doors and
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 6
Keeping your home neat, orderly and smelling clean speaks volumes to Buyers as they
wonder through your home. It tells them that you care for your home and a cared for home
brings in top dollars from Buyers.
4) Selling your home empty
Thousands of sellers have been in the exact position you are in right now and the first
question they always have is: “Will this house sell for less because it is empty.”
The short answer is yes, empty houses do take longer to sell than furnished, occupied or
A study from the Appraisal Institute found that vacant houses sold for 6% less than occupied
houses and stayed on the market longer.
When the individuality of your house is taken away, it’s almost impossible to differentiate
your home from others on the market with anything other than price.
Many sellers with empty homes end up having to lower their price to make themselves stand
Why, you ask?
• Rooms Look Smaller When They are Empty
• Buyers Are Going to Think You’re in a Rush
• Flaws Become More Obvious
• Byers have hard time to imagine the layout of their furniture and use of the living
You can’t rely on buyers to scoop up your property just because of size and location.
You have to make the house look like the set of an HGTV commercial with clean lines, accent
pillows–even a strategically placed bowl of lemons. Staging a home can show off its great
condition and hide imperfections.
“It might cost you 2 grand to prep the house, and if you don’t do it it’ll cost you 20 grand in
Staging a home isn’t always about having to hire a professional Stager. You can accomplish
this if your Real Estate Agent knows how to give your home the right feel. The rooms in your
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 7
home need to portray a clear visible use and focal point. Make sure that the furniture layout
flows nicely and that you appeal to the Buyer’s senses.
If staging your home isn’t an option, consider putting the bare minimum amount of
furniture, even if it’s not the nicest stuff in the world. A place to sit goes a long way when
you’ve been looking at houses all day. It’s a nice gesture to leave a few chairs or stools so
prospects have a place to sit down. Think about adding some inexpensive secondhand
furniture as a way to help the buyer visualize the space.
However, if you do have to remove the furniture and can’t effort the staging company, have
at least your real estate agent to take professional photos before the furniture is gone. The
photos are the first impression of your home Buyers see before they go visit your home in
5) Not eliminating clutter
Decluttering, cleaning, polishing floors and making windows shine shows off the condition
of the house and lets prospective buyers imagine themselves in the space. Prepping the
house is one of the biggest, most time-consuming jobs, so if you’re considering skipping
this step, it’s understandable–but don’t. If you want a better return on your investment and
buyers to feel comfortable in your space, preparing your house is essential.
Selling a home is tough. You have Buyers coming through your home at all different times
of day, you have to keep your home always “show ready” and you have to be available for
questions and contract signing and initialing, just to name a few. It’s a pain, I know. The
quicker you comply and be inconvenienced, the quicker you can get your sold for top dollar
and then, you don’t have to worry about leaving your bed unmade one day when you’re off
Decluttering a home means to remove the excess, the overflowing and the things that take
away from the beautiful bones of your home. This means bare Kitchen and Bathroom
counter tops. In the Kitchen we could see a Coffee Machine or Tea pot. If you’re a morning
toast person, you can keep the Toaster out, otherwise hide it away. In your Bathrooms,
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 8
remove all toiletries and keep out only a few decorative items. Overstuffed closets are a nono
too. Pack and put in storage if you have to, in order to free up space in your home. No
Buyer wants to see a home that’s stuffed to the brim, as it clearly screams that it wouldn’t
accommodate their belongings.
Seeing “You” when Buyers walk into your home make it difficult for them to see themselves
living in your home. It’s a gift to be able to see beyond the “You” and most Buyers do not
possess that gift. Make it easy for them and remove your extremely personal touches such
as rows of family photos and your collections.
Yes, selling a home involves a bit more work in keeping your home neat. If it involves having
to get up 10 minutes early each day in order to allow extra time to care for your breakfast
dishes before leaving for work, then you have to get up earlier. The one day you leave the
dishes in the sink will be the day that 3 Buyers will want to visit your home. A messy home
can signal to a Buyer that you don’t care about your home, which results in no offer or a
reduced offering price as they anticipate possible underlying issues.
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 9
A home’s presentation will always be key. This begins from how well you prepare your home,
how well your Real Estate Agent photographs and videos your home and how well your
home was blasted across the internet. When this isn’t covered well you can expect a longer
than expected time frame to sell your home along with a lower selling price. It’s that simple.
One last note in this paragraph, staying around for home showings sets you up to be
interrogated by Buyers and their Real Estate Agents. Don’t risk being tripped up by them. Get
out of the house come show time.
6) Using bad property photos
Great listing photos can make or break how potential buyers receive a property online.
Make sure that your real estate agent hires the best of the best to take your listing photos
because clean, professional images showcase the unique and beautiful elements of your
property the best.
Dark lit photos, toilet lids up, pets running through the photo, you in the photo, few photos
and just plain, awful photos won’t get Buyers into your home. They’ll skip over your home
and keep hunting for the well photographed home.
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 10
What you never knew?! Didn’t you ask to see your home’s presentation? Even without you
asking, your Real Estate Agent should show you the finished product of your home’s online
presentation. So many of the photos that I come across when I’m searching for homes for
sale for my Buyers in Tampa, Florida are disgraceful, while I’m just shocked at the pathetic
photo presentations. I’m sure that the homeowners have no idea of how poorly their home
looks otherwise, they’d fire their Agent.
Your home should look so good that you almost second guess your decision to sell, as you’ll
want to buy your home all over again.
You didn’t make sure prospective Buyers were well qualified financially to buy your home –
When considering a Buyer’s offer to purchase your home, you’ll want to scrutinize their
financing qualifications, if financing. Ensure that their credit, income and assets have been
reviewed. Ask your Real Estate Agent, as they should be making sure this occurs with each
If you have children, do not forget about them. Don’t think your children aren’t affected
by your move. Discuss the move with them and involve them in the planning and
preparation to keep their emotional outbursts to a minimum.
You can never have a solid relationship without trust. You must have complete trust and
faith in your Real Estate Agent, if you’re going to have any kind of success in getting your
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 11
So, you’ve decluttered, painted, repaired and
staged your home. You’re ready to sell! Knowing
what to expect ahead of time can help you
maintain a positive attitude throughout the
selling process. It’s no secret that selling a home
can be stressful but remember these tips when
you need to keep your positivity high and your
• Plan ahead.
• Get organized.
• Treat yourself.
• Involve your children.
• Be open to feedback.
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will” – Zig Ziglar
As your realtor, I am here to make your home present in the best possible way! I am also here
to give you fresh ideas for marketing and support to help you through frustrations. If you’re
looking for a realtor to team up with in Tampa, Florida give me a call! I’d love to meet you,
shake your hand, chat about your needs and help you with your real estate venture!
+1 (813) 515 8805
JANA SCHMITT – 6 COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME! 12