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Email Post to a Friend: 6 Mistakes First-Time Sellers Make

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Congratulations! You've made the exciting decision to put your home on the market. As a first-time seller, you probably have a lot of questions and aren't quite sure what to expect. 

You may have even heard that the selling process can be stressful, but we're hoping that by avoiding the most common mistakes, it will be a much more enjoyable experience for you!

Let's dive in…

#1. Not Hiring an Agent

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a first-time seller is thinking you can do it all on your own. If it were easier this way, everyone would do it! But there's a reason why FSBO sales only make up 8% of all home sales in the US. 

We're not going to sugarcoat it. The selling process is a lot! From documents to preparation to marketing and more, there are many things to be done — and it is important that they are done in the correct way! 

To give your home its absolute best shot at success, you need someone in your corner that is dedicated to the job, has the experience, and boasts proven results.

According to the NAR, agent-assisted listings sell anywhere from 5.5-26% more than FSBO. Don't make a mistake that could cause you to miss out on more money for your home. 

#2. Being the Owner Versus the Seller 

Home is where many of our favorite memories are made. So, it's likely that the decision to put yours on the market wasn't an easy one. While the feelings you have are completely valid, they need to be separated from the selling process for it to be successful.

Here's what we mean. As much as you love that themed bedroom, those walls lined with family photos, and the sports trophies showcased in the living room, potential buyers may not. It's important to depersonalize the home before it goes to market so that viewers will be able to picture themselves there.

Remember, you are the seller first and the owner second!

#3. Setting an Unrealistic Asking Price

You can't expect your home to sell if you've set an unrealistic asking price. If priced too high, it may be weeks or even months before someone reaches out –- and they still may not offer close to what you're asking. 

On the other hand, pricing too low can cause you to miss out on hundreds or thousands of dollars in profit! 

Your best bet here is to ask an agent. Not only are they experienced, but they know the area you're in, what houses are going for, and what's going on in the current market. They will be able to provide you with a number and the reasoning behind it. 

#4. Being Unwilling to Make Repairs

The "love it or leave it" mentality isn't smart here. If potential buyers notice something wrong, they will leave it. 

What is smart is preparing your home before it hits the market. Take care of anything that needs to be repaired or updated before someone can point it out at the open house. 

Any problems will be uncovered at the time of inspection, so you might as well put in the work ahead of time! 

#5. Choosing Poor Listing Photos

Your listing photos are more important than you may think. Many times, they provide the first impression of your home and become the deciding factor for making the next move. 

Here are some quick tips for taking quality listing photos that will attract potential buyers instead of scare them away. 

1) Declutter the space to remove distractions.

2) Shoot from the corners to capture the entire space and make it look larger. 

3) Highlight its best features by utilizing lighting.

4) Double-check for things like televisions playing and toilet seats up. 

#6. Being Close Minded About Offers 

Throughout the selling process, you may receive a number of offers. Don't expect asking price right out of the gate, and don't be offended if someone lowballs you. It happens, and that is okay! 

You just have to be realistic. No offer will be written at full price without concessions or contingencies. But try to look at each offer with an open mind. 

By avoiding these 6 mistakes, your first time selling will be far more enjoyable and far less stressful! Good luck and happy selling. 

The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

For real estate insight, market trends, and more, check out our weekly blog at

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