7 Ways Sellers Can Self-Sabotage Their Home Listing

By Home Bay

Posted on December 21st, 2015

There are lots of posts out there on how to create a great home listing, but there aren’t many that explain what not to do. It’s important to know how to avoid listing mistakes that can really cost you, especially when you’re promoting your most valuable asset – your home. This post will explain seven things you can do that will sabotage your home listing (and how to avoid them).


  1. Publish inaccurate information:
    It’s been said “there’s a butt for every saddle” – and there’s a buyer for every house. So there’s no reason to hide truths about your home. But this happens a lot. Home shoppers will look at a listing and will see the key details (square footage, etc). Then they’ll go to a property to find out the 14 X 16 living room is really only 10 X 12, and the “bonus room” is a glorified closet. When you write your listing description, check your facts and tell it like it is to make sure you aren’t misleading potential buyers.

  2. No photos:
    Most people open a listing, look at the price, scan the details and immediately beeline for the photos. The photos tell the true story of the property. If you don’t have any images, you’re really missing a huge opportunity to connect with potential buyers. Consider it a cardinal sin not to include photos with your listing. Get your camera out! Want some tips on how to make sure you’re photos do a great job of highlighting the benefits of your home? Read this post.

  3. Blurry photos:
    Blurry photos are almost as bad as no photos. If all of the images of your home are dark and fuzzy, home shoppers are not going to have a great first impression. If your photos are rotated the wrong way? Even worse! As you assemble your photos, do a listing search and compare your pictures to those of other homes in your area. Pretend you’re the home shopper. If you see a blurry photo in a lineup of home listings with beautiful images, you may decide to skip over it all together – and so will your potential buyers. The bottom line is, taking a decent photo isn’t that hard with modern tools, so put in the effort. The payoff will be well worth it.

  4. Misleading photos
    Another big photo no-no is dramatically altering the shape of the room using special lenses or photo effects. While a fish-eye photo may look cool, using it in your listing photos is a bad idea. Why? Because what you’re actually doing is lying to potential buyers about the layout and size of your space. When you take photos of your property, use a regular or wide-angle lens, don’t try to take trick shots of your room to make it look like something it’s not and take it easy on the edits. Represent what’s there.

  5. Showing off a messy space:
    Don’t leave your stuff all over the place when you go to take your photos or show your home. No one can get a real feel for what your home is like if all they see clutter. Cleaning is easy. It doesn’t cost anything. It just takes a little time. Having a nice clean space can help you get much better returns on your property. Help potential buyers visualize what your space will look like when it’s empty and ready for them to move in by putting in a little effort to clean it up.

  6. Providing too little information:
    As home shoppers shuffle through listing after listing, the listings blur. That’s why it’s important that you make a real effort to provide enough information on your property to make it stand out from the masses. Don’t skip over the listing description or jot down a one-liner. Instead, use that space to highlight any unique features in your home or recent money-saving upgrades you’ve done. When buyers are considering similar properties in a neighborhood and yours says it has a new roof or energy efficient appliances, the details you opted to focus on can bring in more interest and ultimately, more offers.

  7. Typos:
    Having typos in your listing description is unprofessional. It gives the wrong first impression, so this one should be a no-brainer. Type your listing description in a word processing program that has a good spell check in it. Then, when you think it’s perfect, send it to a friend or family member who is good with words for a last round of edits and final sign-off.

A good rule of thumb is to be honest and comprehensive. Provide as much information as you can so buyers can look at your listing, walk into your home and feel like what they’re seeing was fairly represented in your listing.

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Posted in Selling a House