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Selling Your Home on Your Own? Avoid These 5 Listing Mistakes

Lizzy MantheOctober 21, 2018

Selling your home can be stressful. It can be tough to let go of a place where you’ve made memories and spent years of your life, and that’s to say nothing of the packing and prepping. You’ve probably already spent time and money getting your home ready for tours by potential buyers: deep-cleaning, landscaping and touch-up paint jobs.

But have you spent the same amount of care on your home’s listing? Your listing is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and whether they’re fresh out of college or have been homeowners for years, they’ll expect professionalism, clarity and great images. Help give them those things by avoiding these five listing mistakes:

Mistake #1: Amateurish Photos

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but good photos of your home could be worth thousands of dollars. After your asking price, the photo gallery is by far the most important part of your listing. Potential buyers want to know, at a glance, whether your house is worth a longer look. So, make sure your photos are comprehensive, well-lit and properly staged. Unless you’re a great photographer, it’s usually a good idea to hire a professional (sorry, cell phone pictures don’t count). They’ll be sure to capture your home’s best features.

Mistake #2: Grammatical Errors

This sounds obvious, but it’s hard to take a listing seriously when it’s filled with misspellings, comma splices and subjects that don’t agree with their verbs. That isn’t because all buyers are grammar-sticklers or third-grade language arts teachers — it’s because a poorly-written listing can make you seem unprofessional and careless. Think about it this way: If you were applying for a job, wouldn’t you want someone else to read over your resume for any errors? Treat your listing the same way. Make sure someone else reads it over before you post it.

Mistake #3: Overselling

You know how dating app users get frustrated when other users misrepresent themselves as 15 years younger, 40 pounds lighter, and with a full head of hair? Make sure not to do the same with your home. If your two-bedroom has an extra closet, don’t call it an office. That bathtub isn’t a Jacuzzi. And if you oversell your home’s amenities, an interested buyer will trust you less if they tour the place and see that you’ve exaggerated. Instead of inflating your home’s assets, just be honest about what you have.

Mistake #4: Underselling

That being said, don’t trash your house if you want someone else to buy it. Phrases like, “It isn’t much, but it’s my home” do NOT belong in a home listing. If your house is small, say it’s “cozy” or has “a small footprint,” not “tiny” or “miniscule.” Better yet, instead of focusing on your home’s perceived flaws, point out its best features. Get a lot of light through south-facing windows? Mention it. Are the neighbors friendly and helpful? Give them a shout-out. Remain positive and upbeat.

Mistake #5: Relying on One Medium

Back in the day, you could rely on some yard signs and a paper listing. Those days are gone. Buyers are using a variety of platforms to search for their new home, so make sure you’re on all of them. Newspaper listing? Check. Online listing? Check. Social media posts? Check. Make sure that your house is connecting with potential buyers anywhere they’re looking.

Don’t Sell Your Home Short

Your listing may not convince someone to make an offer, but it can convince someone to move on without a second thought. Run your listing by friends and family to make sure there aren’t any glaring flaws that could get in the way of someone seeing your home’s best features.

Keep in mind, real estate agents specialize in creating listings to target buyers in each local market. If you’re considering working with a seller’s agent to help you sell your home, we can help! Reach out to us anytime at 855-200-2085.

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    Lizzy Manthe

    The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.