3 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Real Estate


Selling your home in the post-housing crash world can be more challenging than in previous times and any real estate investor should do as much as possible to avoid making mistakes that can prevent the home from selling or seriously affect the final home sale price.   While no home sale will go off without a hitch, there are some frequently seen home sale mistakes that can and should be avoided if possible.   Here are three avoidable mistakes frequently made when selling real estate that all sellers should try to avoid.

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Don’t Get Emotionally Attached To The Property

One common mistake a property owner makes is being too emotionally attached to a property.  This can be especially true for the novice investor who recently purchased a dilapidated old home and, like raising a child, spent several months babying and renovating it into a beautifully rehabbed property.  Excessive emotional attachment to the home can lead to seller’s remorse or overly emotional responses to feedback and offers.   Home sellers must keep in mind that putting a home up for sale invites feedback and criticism and that buyers in the HGTV era can be extremely critical and  high maintenance.  While you might love the finishes you’ve selected, future owners may have different taste and may want to renovate or change the entire home (you just renovated…it happens).   Don’t be too emotional about the home sale process and try to see things from the buyer’s perspective if at all possible.

Related: One Surefire Way to Lose Money Flipping Houses

Don’t List The Home Before It’s Ready to Be Shown

Another common mistake is putting a home on the market before the home is ready to be shown.   Often a real estate agents or sellers eager to market and advertise the property to the public list the property for sale before pre-listing items are addressed.  Listing pre-construction or during renovation can be a positive only if and only if the owner provides a marketing package complete with floor plans, renderings and anything else a potential buyer will need to envision the finished product.  Have model homes previously built by the investor or developer also can help a buyer envision the final product. Most buyers are not creative enough and are too fearful to purchase a home in the middle of renovation or construction so if you don’t have the tools mentioned above just wait until the project is complete before inviting the public in.

Related: Real Estate Agent or No Real Estate Agent??

Don’t Overprice The Property

Another common home sale mistake is over pricing the property.  Everyone is in this to make money and every seller wants to sell for the highest possible price but overpricing a home will dramatically reduce showings which will in turn will lengthen the amount of time before offers are obtained.  Over pricing also leads to increased days on market, low ball offers and inevitably to price reductions.  In today’s market where inventory is ultra low, Seller’s may want to consider pricing the property low to create a feeding frenzy that will drive the price up over asking to the desired sale price.  It’s a bit of a gamble but it’s happening right now in most major cities.  Supply and demand always has and always will drive the real estate market.

Let me know if you think there are any other common home sale mistakes you’ve seen that I missed? 

Photo: Homini:)

About Author

Frank L. DeFazio sells Philadelphia Real Estate and Philadelphia Condos for Prudential Fox & Roach in Center City Philadelphia. Frank is a real estate agent, investor, developer, and founder of the CenterCityTeam. Read more from Frank at his Philadelphia Real Estate Blog


  1. Robert Watkins on

    Hello Frank,

    Great to the point simply put advice. If sellers followed these rules they will have a great experience, quickly and profitably selling their property.

  2. Good points in your article Frank. I agree with you wholeheartedly, if you overprice your property and, list it on MLS, realtors will use your property as an example of what not to pay for a property. Hope to hear more from you.

  3. I enjoyed the article.

    It is a HOT market in my area and properly rehabbed and properly priced homes are under contract is days. I am seeing more and more over priced renovated properties. In my area I think it is possible to push the market price wise; however, the finished product must be quality. I am seeing a lot of missing quality out there.

  4. Nice article Frank, all good points. Keep those emotions out of it and remember that a house is ONLY worth what someone will pay for it. The buyers could care less what we NEED to get out if it, it is what it is. Thanks for the post.

  5. Great Read. Good advice. I hope investor’s read this. Real Estate is simple NOT EASY! The hard part is the price. What we see in our area is over improvements in a neighborhood that just will not demand a return. I see the new investor’s loose their shits. They install nickel this and stainless that upscale hardwoods in an area where a nice vinyl would be fine. They invest way more in the home than needed. Then they ask for over average sale price because they over improved and thought that would get a bigger return. When your in Rome do as the Romans. Simple.

  6. I’ve often read advice to start marketing the home as soon as it’s purchased, as it’s being renovated. I have found that this does not work, as you stated. If buyers had any creativity, they’d be saving money by buying rehabs too! Thanks for reaffirming my stance on this!

  7. Frank:
    Really great points.

    We don’t get emotionally attached – this is a business.
    Never show before it’s finished – buyers have no vision and won’t get past seeing all the flaws before it was done.
    Never overprice. We list our houses at least 5 percent below market value from the start. Creates interest AND, we want our houses SOLD, not For Sale!

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