5 Seller Mistakes to Avoid Making

April 22, 2016


While selling a home can be tough, some sellers can inadvertently make the process even more challenging for themselves. According to the agents in the Raise The Bar Facebook group,  sellers looking to make life easier for themselves should definitely avoid making the following mistakes:

1. Unless you are an agent, avoid the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route

As noted in one of the group’s popular posts, “10 reasons why for-sale-by-owners fail,” only a mere 8% of total home sales are completed using the FSBO strategy. Yikes! Whether sellers believe they have the necessary skills to sell their home without assistance, or that the FSBO route seems like a good way to save cash on agent commission fees, the risk usually does not outweigh the reward.

2. Inadequate preparation for selling their home

Between expensive (and sometimes unnecessary) home improvements, stubborn odors, and clutter, some sellers begin making mistakes at the very beginning.

Nothing says “used” faster than a hard-to-clean odor. Agents, such as Eric Larson, shared past experiences they’ve had with sellers who were hesitant to invest in the professional services needed to get rid of smoke or pet odors. “They swear they smoke outside, yet the home reeks of smoke,” Larkin says. Never a good thing.

In addition to not dealing with odors, sellers may not realize just how cluttered their home is. Clutter makes spaces look smaller than they are. According to Sonya Mays, removing knick-knacks and photos from the home, and thoroughly cleaning kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are musts. It gives potential buyers room to imagine themselves making the home their own.

The outside is important as well. In regards to curb appeal, Mays advises sellers, “If the home lacks curb appeal, then it’s hard to get people inside if they don’t like the outside.” Jay Thompson, on the other hand cautions sellers to consider their home improvements carefully. According to Thompson,“Thinking a home improvement expense is going to add an equal dollar value to the home [is a mistake],” he says. “Thinking a home maintenance expense is going to add ANY dollar value to a home [is a mistake].”

3. Lacking showing etiquette

No one likes to shop with sellers peering over their shoulders and eavesdropping. Potential buyers need to have room to get a feel for the home themselves, and to imagine what it would be like to live there. Having a buyer lurking about, refusing to leave the property during a showing, or refusing to hold a showing are surefire ways to keep a good home on the market longer than necessary.

4. Social media faux pas

According to Matthew Leprino, social media is playing a bigger role in the home selling process, and not necessarily in a good way. Posting the wrong listing information on sites such as Facebook or Craigslist is a common error, as is using social media to vent about the frustrations of the home selling process.

5. Overpricing the home

According to Andrew Wetzel, the number one struggle agents face with sellers is that they “either believe that their house is worth more than the market suggests or that a low commission will save them money.” Other agents such as Barb Hassan bemoan the danger of sellers turning down reasonable offers based on the belief that “they’ll get more as time goes by,” or because “it’s too new of a listing, and they want to wait for a better offer.” While it is important to carefully consider the offers that come to the table, depending on the market, sellers could wind up doing themselves a complete disservice and end up holding the bag if they hold if they hold out too long.


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