Costly Mistakes Made When Selling Your Home

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With over twenty years’ experience as a licensed real estate professional and after selling almost a thousand homes, I’ve seen sell- ers do really well financially with selling their homes, and I’ve seen many sellers lose tens of thousands of dollars. I was reminded of this recently while holding an open house for a listing of mine.

A sweet couple entered the home. After looking around,  they shared that they loved the house and stated they’d buy it that day if their home would sell. Their home is listed at over two million dollars and has been on the market for eighteen months. I immediately knew something was wrong. The wife was eager to share photos of the home, and I was curious to see if I could determine where the problem was. It turned out that they’d recently completed some updates throughout the home. After seeing the before and after photos, I politely smiled—and cringed. The completed renovations had not improved their house at all. It broke my heart. I thought to myself, If only they’d called me, I could’ve helped them avoid this costly mistake and helped them actually sell their home.

There’s nothing I can do to help them now, but I can help you! Here are some of the most common costly mistakes sellers make. If you avoid them, you can not only save money, but you can make money.

  1. Not preparing your home for the market. Your home has to be ready for prospective buyers. Generally speaking, the cleaner, less cluttered, and more well-decorated you home is, the more appealing it will be. Clutter can make your home appear smaller and can make it more difficult for buyers to picture themselves living in your home. In fact, according to, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged.

2. Overpricing your home. The price you want and what the market will pay can be two very different things. Many people think they’ll list their home at a higher price with the selling strategy of “let’s wait and see if we can sell it at that price—or close to it. If not, after a few weeks, we’ll drop the price.” That is a horrible idea. First, as I like to say, “The numbers don’t lie.” The value of the home is the value of the home. Information is more readily available than ever before, and every buyer will know it’s overpriced, making this strategy ineffective. Second, time isn’t your friend. As a seller, the longer a home is on the market, the more you’re likely to end up selling after multiple price drops for less than you would have if you had priced it right the first time.

3. Making the wrong improvements. You know your home needs updating, but it’s critical that you consult a real estate agent to know which updates need to be made and how best to spend your money to get the most for your money. Let’s say you have a home with brass plumbing fixtures and you want to update them to the brushed nickel finish that’s extremely popular in your neighborhood. You rush out to the store and spend good money on traditional brushed nickel faucets. The problem is your neighborhood attracts millennial buyers who love clean lines with a modern design. You’ve spent $82, time, and effort but you are right back where you started.

For an instant download sharing “Seven More Costly Mistakes That Sellers Make,” text “michelle” to 31996.

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