Real estate is one of the most important investments you can make.

When it comes time to sell the property, it can be financially devastating to make a mistake.

RE / MAX Southern Africa Regional Director and CEO Adrian Goslett said there are a few common mistakes sellers can avoid to ensure they are maximizing their ROI.

“That’s why I always strongly recommend that the first step for every seller is to partner with a real estate professional.

“As experts in their local suburbs, real estate professionals can share all the tips and tricks so sellers don’t make costly mistakes when listing their home,” Goslett said.

Here are five avoidable mistakes to avoid.

Neglecting necessary repairs
Some sellers ignore major repairs in the hope of closing the sale before anyone notices.

However, these are almost always identified during the home inspection process, and the sale will likely be halted until a repair or agreement can be reached.

To streamline the selling process, evaluate any serious repairs before listing the home.

It may seem unnecessary to spend money on repairs when selling the home, but this will ensure that the property passes inspection, and it could even ensure that higher bids are made on the property.

Not preparing the house for screenings
An important part of preparing a home for exhibits is to minimize the amount of visible clutter and other personal items.

Buyers are better able to imagine themselves in a depersonalized space, so it is advisable to put away any clutter that might distract an interested buyer when entering a room.

Store all surfaces, including shelves, end tables, and kitchen counters.

By cleaning up any clutter, rooms should also appear larger, which could also lead to higher bids for the home.

It’s important to remember that buyers will likely form an opinion on the home before entering through the front door, so be sure to tidy up the exterior as well.

Depending on the season, this can range from weeding flower beds to installing planters or touching up chipped paint on the exterior of the house.

Do not take pictures of professional advertisements
These days, the home buying process begins online.

Ad photos can make all the difference in attracting home buyers.

Even the most luxurious homes will receive far fewer clicks if they are not presented with high quality photos.

It is always best to have a professional photographer take the listed photos.

Photos should have sufficient lighting to help a room appear more spacious. The house should also be prepared as you would before a visit to make sure the house looks its best in the photos.

Leave “room to negotiate”
Many sellers set the asking price higher to “leave room for negotiation”.

This often leads buyers to overlook the house because it does not match their price.

A real estate professional can help guide sellers towards a realistic listing price.
Sometimes setting a price that’s out of proportion to the property’s value means the home will stay on the market longer.

The longer the house has been on the market, the more cheeky buyers are with their offers because they assume the seller will be desperate to sell.

The more a home is listed at its fair market value, the faster it will sell and often at a higher price than if it were initially listed at an inflated price.

Underestimate closing costs
There are various costs associated with the sales process that many salespeople often do not budget for.

There can be costs associated with preparing the home for sale, including routine repairs, staging fees, and possibly professional ad photos.

As the sale progresses there will also be various closing costs associated with the transfer and registration process, moving costs, and realtor commissions that will need to be paid.

The best way to avoid surprises throughout the selling process is to bring in a real estate professional from a reputable brand.

“Selling a house is a complicated process. There are plenty of places homeowners could go wrong if they do it on their own. Involving a real estate agent should be viewed as an important investment decision that will ensure maximum profit from the sale of the home, ”said Goslett.