Whether it’s your first time selling a home, or you’re a real estate veteran unloading a project house for a tidy profit, mistakes can be made that lead to increased costs on your end – if not the loss of the deal. Below are 4 easily avoidable mistakes people make when selling homes, and what you should do instead.

Not hiring a real estate agent
Some folks think that by not hiring a real estate agent they can save some money. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of time and effort, along with the complexity of the real estate business, often makes working without an agent an incredible headache. Do yourself a favor and hire a real estate agent.

No inspection
You need an inspection of your home if you plan to put it on the market. The inspector is going to be able to make sure any and all improvements you’ve made are up to snuff, and also will be able to alert you to any repairs you need to make. If you don’t hire an inspector, but the buyer does and repairs are necessary, you’re going to look bad. Real bad.

Suppose there are some issues with the home that need to be addressed. Perhaps the plumbing needs some work and the roof isn’t in the greatest condition. If you know that work needs to be done on the home, and you don’t intend to do it yourself, you absolutely must inform prospective buyers of the issues. Sometimes, a buyer will insist the repairs be made before they even think of purchasing the home, while others will be ok with doing it themselves. The latter will want the price of the home to reflect the cost of the repairs, though, so be ready for that.

Showing an empty home
You absolutely want your home to be sparkling clean and clutter-free when you show it to prospective buyers. Some folks, though, take this to mean that they need to have the place completely emptied out to do so – which isn’t the case. Remove all personal items like picture frames, book shelves, end tables, etc. but leave some of the bigger stuff like the living room couch, beds, a lamp or two, etc. When a house is cleared of personal items and clutter, but still contains some furniture, it will allow prospective buyers to see the potential of the space. Doing so will allow them to fill in the blanks with their own items or ideas. Showing them a completely empty home has less of an effect and doesn’t typically lead to the best offers.