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5 Home Selling Mistakes That Can Kill Your Deal

If you’re ready to sell your home, it’s important to think carefully about how you’re going to do it. Making certain missteps along the way can derail the sale and leave you stuck in a house that no longer fits your lifestyle. If you want to find someone who can afford to buy your house and seal the deal as quickly as possible, here are five home selling mistakes it’s wise to try to avoid.

Find out now: How much house can I afford?

1. Overvaluing the Home

What you list your home for and what buyers are actually willing to pay for it are two very different things. Just because you’ve spent thousands of dollars on renovations, for example, doesn’t mean you’re going to get the kind of return you’re counting on.

If you get an offer from a buyer that’s less than your asking price, there’s no need to panic. Getting a second opinion from your real estate agent on how the home should be priced can give you an idea of whether the buyer’s offer is a fair deal.

2. Refusing to Negotiate

5 Home Selling Mistakes That Can Kill Your Deal

There’s a certain amount of negotiation that goes on in the home buying process. For instance, the buyer may want you to pay a percentage of the closing costs or vacate the property by a certain date. If you’re adamant about not giving an inch for normal requests or contingencies, the buyer may decide to back out.

While you’re not expected to give in to everything the buyer wants, it’s a good idea to at least be willing to compromise on some things.

Related Article: 15 Reasons Why Your House Won’t Sell

3. Skipping out on Repairs

Buyers are advised to get a home inspection before heading to settlement and sometimes minor issues show up. It’s up to you and the buyer to decide whether you’ll make the repairs or offer a cash credit but either way, repairs can’t be ignored. If you can’t be bothered to replace a few roof shingles or fix a cracked window seal, you might have to say goodbye to the buyer.

4. Covering up Major Flaws

If you know that the home you’re selling has a major issue, such as a roof leak or a crack in its foundation, trying to hide it won’t help you. Chances are, the flaw will turn up during the inspection.

Waiting until the last minute to disclose major problems can lead to a falling out with the homebuyer. You could be in even more trouble if the buyers discover a problem once the sale is complete and they can prove you knew about the problem beforehand. Being upfront with the listing agent can ensure that you only attract buyers who know exactly what they’re getting into.

5. Accepting an Offer From an Unqualified Buyer

5 Home Selling Mistakes That Can Kill Your Deal

One of the biggest question marks from a seller’s perspective is the buyer’s financing. Getting a mortgage is not easy and some buyers can’t secure a loan at all. Once the offers start rolling in, it’s important look at whether the interested parties are pre-approved for a loan. You don’t want to spend months courting a buyer who ultimately won’t be able to purchase the home.

Check out our mortgage calculator.

The Bottom Line

Successfully selling your home begins with knowing what can bring the deal to a screeching halt. Steering clear of common errors is important if you don’t want your home to sit on the market for a long time.

Photo credit: ©, © Fertnig, ©

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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