The most valuable thing about making mistakes is the lessons you’ll learn as a result. 


The best thing about other people’s mistakes is you can also learn from them and avoid making those errors yourself.  After all our years of helping people sell their properties privately, we’ve come to know these mistakes all too well. Without further ado, here are the seven most common (and easily avoidable) errors people make when selling their properties. 

1 – Your Inner Cinderella

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked by the number of people who fail to adequately clean their homes before selling. So, the first thing you must do is head to the cleaning cupboard and get down to business.

At minimum, be sure to clear your home from unnecessary clutter, spruce up the gardens, and ensure every room in the house is sparkling clean. Go the extra mile by tending to fixtures around your home in need of repair, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, and if you really want to wow buyers, consider professionally staging your home. All the above will make your property more attractive to buyers and will add value to your home.


2 – Own the Spotlight

Do not cut corners with the advertising you invest in your property. Nowadays, most buyers use the internet to search for properties. As such, the most important element of an online listing are its photos. Use a variety of photos to showcase the different elements your property has to offer. If you only post photos of one area, buyers may get suspicious that you have something to hide. Remember, buyers are especially keen to see wet areas (i.e. bathroom and kitchen) of the home before inspecting your property, as these are the most expensive to renovate.

3 – The Price is Right

One major factor to consider when selling property is setting a fair and realistic sale price. If you set it too high, your property could languish on the market. However, setting it too low could see you losing out on some serious profit. Be proactive in doing simple market research, such as comparing the sale prices of similar, recently sold homes in your suburb. This research will guide you in setting the right asking price.


4 – Objectivity is Key

Do your best to remain objective throughout the process of selling your property. Selling a home can be an emotional process. Over the years you’ve invested time and effort to turn that house into a home. However, it’s now your buyer’s turn to create their version of “home” in that space. 

Keep an open mind to comments you may receive. For example, if you overhear a buyer planning to re-do the kitchen, take pride in knowing they see value in your space. If you think staying impartial will be difficult, ask trusted family or friends to point out their unbiased opinions before hosting Open for Inspections. This exercise will give you a helpful reality check before facing potential buyers.


5 – Honesty is the Best Policy

It can be tempting to paint over rising damp – that is, to implement short term fixes for structural errors so you can save money. However, if buyers insist on a formal building inspection, your handiwork could be uncovered if not done properly. Instead of risking the loss of a sale, repair all major issues properly before listing your house for sale. Alternatively, highlight the issue to buyers upfront – honesty is the best policy after all.

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6 – Mind Your Manners

It’s rare that the final sale price of a home matches the exact asking price. When entering into negotiations with buyers, it’s important not to burn your bridges.

It can be tempting to accept a high offer and dismiss lower ones. However, it’s important to consider the financial situation of every buyer. A cash buyer who offers a few thousand dollars less can be far more suitable than a buyer who still needs to secure their financing. If the financing falls through, so could the sale of your home. If you’ve damaged your relationship with buyers that have previously made offers, those opportunities will be lost and you’ll be left to start from scratch.

Similarly, if you receive an unsuitable offer, respond politely and explain why you have set the price as is rather than completely dismissing the offer.  Use tangible facts, such as recent sales history or evidence of expensive renovations that have added value to your home. The buyer may come back with a better offer after considering your thoughtful response.


7 – Keep Your Ducks in a Row

You wouldn’t want to miss out on selling your property simply because you didn’t have the proper documents, would you?

Enlist a trusted conveyancer to prepare all necessary contracts and legal documentation before you list your property for sale. Some of our vendors have received offers after just a few days of listing on the market, so it certainly pays to be prepared. In fact, if your property is in New South Wales, you are legally required to have a Contract of Sale prepared before putting your property on the market.

If you’re looking for a savvy alternative to handling the legal side of selling your property, try using an online conveyancing company. Their services allow you to handle everything from the comfort of your home.


Ultimately, selling real estate is all about preparation. Organise yourself and your home before listing on the market and set realistic expectations for everything from your buyers’ opinions to your final sale price. If you’re fully prepared, there is no doubt success is on the horizon.

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