The process of selling a house may sound simple, but the emotional grind can be draining. Others might not like the idea of getting a realtor or agent to do the job, but the truth is, they can act as the buffer from all the stress. They can help steer you away from the bad decisions you can make along the way before closing the sale.

Here are some of the most common pitfalls you should avoid:

  1. Emotional selling

Selling your house, especially one that you have grown attached to and have lots of memories, can very much affect the way you sell.

You may want to sell to someone who has no intentions to renovate, so in your mind, the house’s structure would still be intact. You may even sell to a friend for less than the price you intended. You may opt to sell at a loss for a quick sale if you need the money for an emergency. Many factors can make this deal something to regret if you let your emotions get in the way.

When you decide to sell your house, you need to let go first and start thinking of it as a business. Having a realtor can prevent you from making these emotional decisions and keep you focused on selling your house at the highest possible price.

  1. Selling at the wrong price

The right price will attract the right buyer. Set the cost of your property using the comparative market analysis (CMA) as a basis. The CMA estimates the value of a home or property based on similar properties in the immediate area.

A CMA report will usually include the following data:

  • The complete details of your property
  • Research on other comparable properties nearby
  • The sales prices of the other comparable properties
  • Your home’s previous sale data
  • Fair market value
  • The property’s square footage
  • Dollar adjustments

There is no standard CMA report to follow. Information will be different depending on the requirements in a particular location.

Most realtors know how to do this estimate, and sometimes they use software to create a more comprehensive report. If you do not plan to hire a realtor, you should arm yourself with this information before dealing with buyers.

  1. Making the wrong repairs

Every house that will be on sale needs to be presentable to get the highest resale value. Properly working faucets, non-leaky roof, workable kitchen—all these can add value to your home. For added aesthetics, you can have the walls repainted, add landscaping or remodel the bathroom.

These renovations will require a lot of money, so this value should be added to your sale price and compute investment return. Remember that not all repairs are necessary. It is better to consult with an expert to know which parts of the house need work and which ones can be left alone or fixed with minimal repairs.

  1. You failed to give a full seller property disclosure

A property disclosure is a crucial legal document that can save you a lot of trouble after selling your home. This document will disclose to the buyer all known defects of the house. With this document, they agree to buy the property even with those defects.

The danger of not having this document is that the buyer can demand a considerable amount of money if they find significant defects in the house, like a crack in the foundation or destroyed pipes.

Pros and cons of getting an agent

Getting an agent can make selling the house more manageable and less stressful. But if you want to forego the usual 5-6% commission they get from the sale of your home, get ready to do a bit of work.

Some are successful in selling their homes even without a realtor. If you have a little background in real estate and feel you can handle the requirements, selling on your own would give you more investment return.


Good agents will have your best interest at heart and will sell your property at a very competitive price. It will save you the trouble of coming up with your own CMA. They have a much better marketing skill and know where to look for buyers, so selling the house might be quicker.

Having an agent can give you a third person’s perspective when making decisions. They do not have an emotional attachment to the house and can alert you if they feel you are holding back. For them, this is pure business, and that’s how the sale of your home will go.

An agent can handle buyer questions better because they have a lot more experience. They also know how to screen buyers and tell which ones are genuinely interested and which ones only seem curious. Not having to cater to every buyer will save you a lot of time, especially if you are very busy with work.

They are also familiar with the documentary requirements of home selling so that paperwork will flow faster. If there are any glitches during the process, they will have more experience in troubleshooting.


Selling your house on your own will save you a lot of money because there is no need to pay for a realtor.

According to the Hawaii Housing Market on, the median sale price of houses in Hawaii is $665,000. A survey of local agents revealed the average commission for realtors in Hawaii is 5.25%. That means your agent can get around $34,900 in commission.

If you feel that you need this amount of money, you can opt not to get a realtor. Just make sure to research and consult as many people as you can to avoid mishaps. Otherwise, the money you could save may just end up being a loss.

You may also consider getting a real estate lawyer to make sure that there will be no glitches. Also, if your buyer has an agent, you may be required to pay a commission of about 1% up to 3%.

First-time property sellers with little background in real estate should really consider getting a realtor in Hawaii to avoid any loss and legal troubles. If you cannot give up the 5% agent commission, you should still consider getting a real estate lawyer as a buffer in case you encounter trouble.