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7 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make When Selling Their Home In San Diego

Updated: May 4, 2022

Selling your San Diego home usually amounts to selling your most valuable asset. A lot depends on selling it for the highest price. Here are 7 common mistakes home sellers make when selling their homes in San Diego.


  • Learn how to get your home ready for sale.

  • Find out what “curb appeal” means and how to create it.

  • Don’t list your home too high.

  • Don’t get too emotionally involved.

  • Learn how to compromise with buyers.

  • Learn how to market your home for sale.

  • Hire an experienced local Realtor.

1. Before Listing Your Home For Sale Get it Ready

Remember when you were looking to buy your home? Did you ever encounter a home for sale with warped floors, cracked ceilings, broken door locks or sinks, and totally out of shape? If you did, you probably quickly looked at another house.

Ever buy a product inside a damaged box? Without even opening the box you probably assumed it was broken too. The same goes when buyers look at a house in need of repairs. Are there bigger repair problems hidden behind the walls or in the foundation?

Spend a little money to hire a professional house inspector for a top to bottom inspection. Find out what needs repairing before your buyers do. Get your entire home in top shape before listing it for sale.

2. Curb Appeal

Homes are like a painting in a gallery or a museum. One always sticks out as more appealing to the eye than the others. That’s what real estate agents refer to as having “curb appeal”.

Buyers like to drive around neighborhoods looking at “For Sale” signs. What makes the driver want to stop the car to get a better look? Making your home’s front and exterior look “attractive” is what curb appeal tries to do.

Newly painted exterior walls with a front door that stands out amongst beautiful landscaping and a freshly cut lawn create curb appeal.

It’s like looking lavishly on a first date. Worth the time and effort to make a lasting impression.

Even if you are selling a distressed house, making the front facade stand out with fresh paint and a revamped front door and driveway gives a good enough first impression that buyers will want to invest in the property.

Learn more about “curb appeal” and staging your home for sale in our blog post: “Tips for Staging Your San Diego Home when Selling”.

3. Listing Your Home at a Too High Price

Salesmanship teaches the best sellers to never overprice their products or services. You must research your local housing market to see what similar nearby homes recently sold for. Similarity means the same style (like Cape Cod, Colonial, or Victorian), age, size (square feet), number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and amenities.

This is one way an experienced local Realtor can help you. Realtors are trained to conduct a Comprehensive Marketing Analysis (CMA) that includes the above home features with similar recently sold homes.

SoCal Lifestyle Realty offers you a Free CMA in San Diego using the unique powerful Homebot Home Value Estimator. Read our recent blog post about how it works titled: “The Pros and Cons of Online Property Value Calculator”.

4. Getting Too Emotionally Involved

After years of enjoying your home, it's human to feel an emotional attachment. How would you feel about selling your favorite pet? Yet, once you list your home for sale you must think like a seller and not like someone losing a treasured possession.

Keep your emotions in check when negotiating with strangers to sell your home. The more open you are to negotiating with buyers the greater chance you get a reasonable deal.

Don’t take low offers personally. This is in line with checking your emotions. For instance, if you are offended by a low offer, you lose the opportunity to counter the offer by going down in price a little bit.

Also, don’t reject early offers thinking your home is worth more than it is and better offers are coming soon. This leads us to the next mistake.

5. Refusing to Compromise with Buyers

The art of selling a home often includes listing the home at a little higher price. This leaves you room to negotiate with buyers. If you are too emotionally involved with your home you may become too uncompromising.

Always leave open some leeway to negotiate the price. Why lose a buyer who offers $5,000 less than your $450,000 asking price? Especially when your list price is a little high.

Be reasonable, leave room to negotiate the price and conditions. For example, if a buyer loves your old sofa and wants you to include it, but you are too emotionally attached to your “favorite” sofa. Is it worth losing the sale?

6. Poorly Marketing Your Home

Successful sales require good marketing. It’s the pillar of salesmanship. Products don’t sell themselves. Placing a “For Sale” sign on a home doesn’t guarantee it will sell.

Your home will face competition from other homes for sale. Generally, the one with better marketing will sell faster and for a higher price than the ones that don’t.

Marketing begins with your home listing platform. Your local San Diego Multiple Listing Service (MLS) contains nearly every home for sale. When buyers go online to search through all the MLS listings, they usually begin with a price range. What they notice first are the photos of the listings. Like curb appeal, what jumps out from the rest with the best appeal? Photos will attract more attention than the words describing the home.

This is why hiring a professional photographer using the best equipment and lighting will make your home photos shine above the others. Let’s face it, smartphones take nice photos. Yet, superior cameras and supporting equipment will bring out the best in home photos.

The most famous professional models are the most photogenic. Why compare homes to models? Because your home becomes a beauty contestant once you list it.

Buyers pore over hundreds of photos looking for their ideal home when suddenly, Bang! “That’s the home that appeals to me!”

High-quality photos and videos sell homes faster because that’s what attracts buyers.

Besides hiring a photographer, hire a videographer with 3D equipment that makes your entire home jump out of the screen to entice buyers for a closer look.

Start by uploading your high-quality photos and videos on your local MLS when you list your home for sale. Then, market your home with videos across social media channels.

According to a 2022 article by HubSpot titled:

“The Best Social Media Platforms for Video Content in 2022” are:

  • YouTube (35%);

  • Facebook (25%); and

  • TikTok (19%).

Use social media platforms for marketing your home for sale photos. According to Motley Fool, the “Social Media Best for Real Estate Marketing” are:

  • Facebook;

  • Instagram; and

  • Twitter.

7. Not Hiring an Experienced Realtor To Sell Your Home in San Diego

The biggest mistake home sellers make is trying to sell their homes themselves. Unless you took many real estate courses, real estate marketing classes, and sold lots of homes, you are inexperienced.

Don’t make the mistake of posting a “For Sale By Owner” sign on your property. It tells real estate agents to stay away and not bring any buyers because they won’t get paid a commission. Experienced buyers will know they can get away with tricking sellers into selling for less.

Even worst, slick “buy a home to flip it quickly for a profit” buyers will present their own sales contract letting them find another buyer to make the profits you should have made.

Avoid the other 6 mistakes by using an experienced San Diego Realtor to:

  1. Advise you on how to get your home fixed up for sale;

  2. Show you how to give your home Curb Appeal;

  3. List your home at a fair price for a faster sale;

  4. Won’t get emotionally involved;

  5. Will compromise with buyers; and

  6. Knows how to market your home.

Read our recent blog post to learn more: “Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the Market”.

Also, another post titled: “Why do Homes Fail to Sell?”.

Want To Sell Your San Diego Home?

Sell Your San Diego Home

Now is the perfect time to list your home for sale in the greater San Diego area. Our recent blog post shows how: “San Diego Home Prices and Rents Soar in 2022”.

SoCal Lifestyle Realty offers San Diego home sellers unique effective marketing tools like Homebot that not only give you a fair estimate of your home’s value but how much equity you currently have.

Also, to help buyers find your home faster with RealScout which quickly scans a buyer’s preferences within all the San Diego Multiple Listings. Buyers looking for a home like yours can find yours fast using RealScout.

Contact us today to invite one of our experienced Realtors to preview your home. We'll give you sound advice to get your home ready for sale, pricing, and marketing your home for a faster sale at the best price in San Diego County.

Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger

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