Mistakes to avoid when selling your home


It is easy to understand why house selling is ranked as one of the ten most stressful experiences in life! House selling triggers a variety of different emotions, especially when strangers start nosing around your property and opening cupboards and drawers – what an invasion of privacy! There are highs and lows after each house visit and of course all the time that is taken up with preparing your home for house viewing each time – no wonder errors happen!

Here are the 10 mistakes to avoid when selling your home:

1. Don’t try and sell your home yourself

Tempting though it is, do not think that you don’t need an estate agent. Even though you will have to pay a hefty commission, estate agents have the experience of selling houses. Choose a local estate agent and they will know the local property market really well. This will prove invaluable. Check out several estate agencies to find which one feels the best and which one appears the most knowledgeable. Ask friends which company they would recommend and check out reviews and take a drive in your locality to see which one has the most sign boards on display.

2.  Don’t discount selling your home for cash

Many people decide that they not want to have numerous strangers wandering around their home. They also do not like the stress that comes with not knowing the if the property has been sold until the exchange of contracts. The ideal solution for an increasing number of people is a cash property buying company. Their service is fast and efficient and within a few weeks, the cash for your property is in your bank account.

Again it is worth doing your homework first to ensure that you choose the best company. Check out the websites of several companies and importantly spend time reading their ‘we buy any house reviews‘.

3. Don’t over price your home

Whether you choose an estate agent or cash property buying company, it is important to have a realistic value of your property. Have similar properties in your street been sold recently? Ask your neighbours and three different estate agencies to give you a valuation.

It is important to get the price right. If the price is too high, your property will not generate interest, will stay unsold for months and you may have to reduce the price at a later date. It is better to be competitively priced and if there is a high demand,  a price war could be triggered.

4. Don’t ignore those DIY jobs!

It is essential to prepare to sell your home. Tackle all the DIY jobs that you have long been ignoring! It is vital that your home is in good order before it goes on the market. Ensure all light switches work and are in good condition. Have you repaired cracked pipes and tiles etc.? If you have any brightly coloured walls in your home, it is best to repaint them in a neutral shade like cream or soft grey..

5. Have a major clean and declutter

It is very important that you spring clean your home to prepare it for the market. Shampoo all the carpets, wash the walls and doors, clean the windows and make sure your home is sparkling. As you clean, ‘clear the decks’ and ensure that every room is also clutter-free. Pop all photographs and ornaments away safely. Ensure kitchen worktops are bare and bathrooms uncluttered. Prospective buyers want to see your home as ‘a bare canvas’ that they can quickly and easily make their own.

6. Prepare your home for the ‘photo shoot’

It will be the photographs rather than the written description that will sell your property, so it is important to have every room in the house looking as good as possible. If you don’t want to undertake this aspect, it could be well worth employing someone from one of the property styling services to transform the looks of your home.

When making these preparations, don’t forget to sort out the gardens. The front garden is most important, so ensure your home has ‘kerb appeal’. For this,  cutting the grass, digging the flowerbeds, planting brightly coloured annuals and adding a hanging basket, will do the trick nicely!

7. Don’t hide any problems

If you do have any fundamental problems with the building, it is best not to try and hide these. It may well be worthwhile seeing if they can be sorted before your home goes on the market. If your home doesn’t have good insulation in the cavity walls or roof, this is surprisingly cheap to put right. If you do have cavity wall insulation and have noticed a patch of rising damp, get this checked out by experts as it could well be caused by old and crumbling insulation material.

8.  Don’t be unavailable for viewings

Even though you may feel like running, it is really important that you are in the home when the agent brings prospective buyers for a viewing. The bottom line is that no one knows your home like you do! There could well be questions asked that your estate agent might not be able to answer, but you certainly can! These questions could include school catchment areas, doctors’ surgeries etc.

9. Don’t under estimate the cost of selling

There are a number of costs that you will incur when you sell your house. Estate agents charge 1- 3% in commission on the final selling price of your home. The average commission charged by estate agents in England Wales is 1.18% – plus VAT. The average UK house price is £251,000 so the agent’s fees for selling such a property would be £2,961.

It is important to check exactly what your estate agent’s fees include. Likewise, if you are selling your property to cash property buying company, check that there are no hidden costs.

Other costs of selling a property of this value through an estate agency include the conveyancing legal fees which will be about £1,046. You will need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home and these cost £60-120. If you still have a mortgage on the property you are selling, you will be liable for a mortgage exit fee and this can cost £60- 300 depending on  your mortgage provider.

10. Remember to budget for removals!

Another major expense of selling your home is the services of a removal company to pack and move your belongings to your new abode. This cost varies, depending on the size of your house and the distance to your new home. To give you an idea, moving the contents of a three-bedroomed house a distance of 50 miles, will cost just under £2,000.

Hopefully, our list has you thinking about your house sale and how to avoid the various pitfalls. Good preparation is key to success and choosing the best company to achieve a swift house sale for you – Good luck!