Selling a house is "the deal of a lifetime" for most owners. Rarely is such a large sum of money at stake for a private person as when selling the house.

Without question: With such an important sale, you absolutely do not want to make any mistakes. After all, especially in the high-price province of Tyrol, even avoidable mistakes can quickly become expensive. With sales prices averaging 700,000 euros in Tyrol, a mistake that "only" accounts for 10 percent will already cost you 70,000 euros. A whole lot of money that hardly anyone has to give away.

But how are you as a layman supposed to know the mistakes? How are you supposed to know how to sell your house "flawlessly"?

I have just the thing for you: As a state-certified real estate agent and court-certified expert, I will show you the 5 most common mistakes in house sales that I have observed in private sales. Of course, I will not only tell you these mistakes, as an expert I will also show you how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: You are marketing your house at the wrong price

Neither too high a price nor too low a price is beneficial for your house. If the price is too high, you will scare off potential buyers. If the price is too low, you are "giving away" your property.

In both cases, readjusting the price is more problematic than helpful. Adjusting the price after the fact only shows that you simply do not know the value of your house. In this way, you give prospective buyers the feeling that you are estimating the selling price indiscriminately.

Experienced professionals exploit this mistake (whether too low or too high) and push the price down to rock bottom with particularly low purchase offers. In the worst case, your property gets caught in a persistent downward price spiral. The sales value of your house is thus destroyed on the market.

If you now want to avoid this mistake by simply advertising your house without a price, I would advise against it. Even if there is no basic "must", I recommend from experience that you state your price expectations already in the advertisement. An advertisement for sale without a price lacks a fundamental element for the buyer's decision.

A good price, on the other hand, helps to attract the right target group. This way, you save yourself real estate tourism through your house and don't get annoyed by offers that are too cheap.

So to avoid this mistake, you should market your property according to its actual value. The value of your house is determined by:

  • Supply and demand: The more enquiries you receive for your house, the more likely you are to have a say in the selling price.
  • Macro location: Macro location refers to the surrounding region in which a property is located. For example, there is a difference between rural regions (e.g. Ötztal) and cities (e.g. Innsbruck city).
  • Microlocation: Microlocation is the surrounding area in which the house is located. It makes a difference whether a house is located in a commercial area or in a well-connected residential area. Decisive factors here can be parks or good schools in the vicinity.
  • Year of construction and condition: The age of a property and the condition it is in influence its value. Necessary renovation work lowers the price. That is why newer houses are usually worth more than older ones.
  • Size: The larger the area of the property, the higher its value. However, the price per square metre (€/m²) is usually lower for larger properties than for smaller ones.
  • Optimal presentation/optimal marketing: How you prepare your house for sale, which pictures you use and on which platforms you market your house influence the selling price of your house.

Mistake #2: You cause a stalled sales process

Not only for you is a lot of money at stake in your house sale. For the buyers, too, it's about a large sum that they probably only spend once or twice in their entire lives. This means that prospective buyers make the decision to buy in the real estate transaction with careful consideration and only after a long period of deliberation.

Accordingly, a smooth sales process is a basic requirement in real estate trading. Otherwise, the seller loses respectability. The consequence: for safety's sake, the prospective buyer turns away and appropriates another house

You prevent a stagnant sales process by taking enough time for the prospective buyers for detailed discussions as well as viewing appointments. You should also make sure that you are easily accessible for the potential buyer during the negotiation period.

Another reason why a sales process often falters is the lack of important official documents at the required time.

Therefore, my advice to you is to have the documents ready in an easily dispatchable, properly labelled form as a PDF in a file size that is not too large. The same applies to the physical documents.

The minimum documents you need to have ready are:

  • Land register extract: The extract from the land register provides information about the property and your ownership. You can request the land register extract at the competent district court for 15 euros.
  • Building decision: The building decision is the official decision on the building permit for your property.
  • Building plans: This refers to the current building plans that are noted in the building permit. You can obtain the building permit and the building plans from the competent authority (municipal authority in Innsbruck or municipality in the other parts of Tyrol).
  • Occupancypermit according to the legal situation on the date of construction: This document proves that you are allowed to occupy your property. You must request the occupancy permit from the municipality after completion.
  • Energy certificate: The energy certificate describes the energy condition of the property. In principle, you must already inform the potential buyer about the energy condition of your property in your advertisement. You can have the energy certificate issued by master builders, architects, plumbers and electricians.

I have learned from experience that many prospective buyers feel overwhelmed if they receive all the necessary documents right at the beginning. I recommend much more that you "feed" the prospective buyer with the relevant documents at every stage of the sale.

I have prepared tips on how best to keep your documents ready in the article "Keep your property documents ready when selling real estate...".

Mistake #3: You use bad pictures of the property

The price of your house also depends on the optimal presentation. The first impression counts - also with houses.

Whether blurry, too dark or too high a contrast - the quality of the pictures initially rubs off on the perception of the house. If the pictures are bad, potential buyers perceive your house as inferior. As a result, buyers have no interest in your property.

The solution not only sounds simple, it is: use only high-quality photos of your house. In addition to the technique for taking photos, this also means that you should thoroughly clean up your house beforehand and make it "photo-ready".

I explain how best to photograph your property in the blog post "Put your property in the right light...first impressions count. “

Mistake #4: You conceal the defects of the house

I know that you as the owner do not like to talk about the damage to your house. However, you are legally obliged to inform the buyer about known defects and damages (for example, cracks in the brickwork or a leaky cellar).

If you conceal these defects from the buyer, the new owner can claim compensation from you after discovering such a defect.

Therefore, you should list all the damages to your house. Be honest and do not try to hide any defects.

To keep the risk of legal consequences really low, I advise you to have your house assessed by an expert. This expert knows which details to look out for during an inspection.

Mistake #5: You blindly trust your prospective buyer

Of course, I don't want to accuse potential real estate buyers of bad intentions. But if you trust a buyer unconditionally, from experience it can end badly for you. You may end up in a long legal dispute. Or even worse, you could fall into the trap of fraudsters. That's why you should always take a close look at the buyer of your property.

Probably the most important factor you should check is the creditworthiness of the buyer. This is the only way to ensure that you really get the money in the end.

Additionally, when dealing with prospects, I always advise my clients: keep the communication with the potential buyers.

Just think of mistake #4. Imagine you have pointed out the defects of your house to the buyer. Now after the purchase, the new owner claims never to have known about the damages. How do you prove the opposite?

By keeping communication with buyers, you can easily prove your point in case of disputes or confusion.

But beware! As a result, you must also pay attention to your formulations. If you negligently express yourself incorrectly, this can have a detrimental effect on you in a legal dispute.

In addition, to be really on the safe side, I also advise you: Determine together with the buyer the lawyer or notary who will draw up the purchase contract. Otherwise, there is a possibility that the purchase contract contains a clause to your disadvantage.

You now know the possible mistakes when selling a house, but where do you go from here?

As you can see, mistakes are easily made when selling a house. And unfortunately, these mistakes have expensive consequences, especially in real estate trading.

But who knows, maybe you had a few "aha moments" while reading it so that you avoid all mistakes when selling your house. To be honest, I even hope so.

I have summarisedmore information on how to sell your house and what you need to bear in mind in my series of articles "Selling a house: 16 articles to help you achieve the best result". To make sure that nothing goes wrong with your house sale, I have also put together a house sale checklist for you.

Have you noticed while reading that selling a house in person is more difficult than you imagined? Would you still prefer individual advice from areal estate agent in Tyrol?

At Arealita, we take plenty of time to answer all your questions during a free initial consultation. Simply contact us: by e-mail(, by phone(+ 43 512 580 242) or by contact form(click here!).

Yours sincerely,
Yours sincerely, Bernhard Großruck

Photo: fizeks -

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