Six Biggest Home Seller Mistakes

The Essential Handbook for Selling a Home

There are many factors in getting a home sold and sold quickly. I always say, “We don’t want a house for sale; we want the house SOLD!”

The above infographic is a great visual on why most properties don’t sell.

1. Price. Number one priority, price. If your home is overpriced, buyers won’t even look at it. Why? Because they don’t want to waste their time falling in love with a home that the seller is not motivated enough to sell. And be aware that, even if a buyer does offer the higher price that you’d love to get, it must appraise for that amount. No lender is going to give a loan for more than the property appraises for.

2. Showing availability. Make sure your home is ready to show anytime you have a buyer willing to look at it. There are a lot of houses on the market and if yours is inconvenient, a willing buyer will look at others and may never come back to yours.

3. Cluttered space. Having too much “stuff” around makes your home feel smaller and looks like a lot of work. To put forth the best impression, clean up and clear out. Consider renting a storage space so you can box up all those extra nick-knacks and photos that are sitting around and need to be put away. Too much furniture? Put what you can into storage to make your rooms look and feel larger.

4. Unpleasant odors. Even animal lovers don’t want to move into a home that smells like someone else’s pets.  And it’s not only animals that can cause odors. Cooking habits, smoking, perfumes, etc. can give a home an odor that is unfamiliar and, therefore, unpleasant to a prospective buyer. You want your home fresh and clean so the new buyer pictures themselves, not you, living there.

5. Unwilling to negotiate. You want to get as much as you can for the sale of your home. The buyer wants to feel that they’re getting a great deal when they purchase. Everyone wants to feel like they win, so being willing to negotiate is essential. And it’s not all about price – you can agree to leave a piece of furniture or chandelier that you had planned to take, you can help pay their closing costs, offer a home warranty to cover maintenance of the mechanical features such as the HVAC and appliances. The best way to encourage a buyer to give a little in negotiation is to show that you’re willing to give a little, too.

6. Wont’ make repairs. The negotiations haven’t ended when price is agreed to. Once the buyer has the property inspected, necessary repairs will be found (trust me). Most buyers want at least some of these repairs made before closing. In fact, negotiations and concessions often take place right up until the time of closing, so be flexible as needed to get your buyer all the way to closing.

Again, remember that the goal is not to have your house for sale, but to have your house sold. Avoid these six seller mistakes and, for additional tips, please check out my book The Essential Handbook for Selling a Home.

What’s been your experience when selling a house?

This post has 4 Comments | Would you like to leave a comment?


  1. Hi Michael:

    I’ve written a bunch here about getting started in real estate investing. I hope you find it helpful!

    I wish you tremendous success with this and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment.

  2. I had a broker license that was active for about 30 years but never did that full time. I only did a few deals for people I know. I never dealt with the general public and always have been in construction. I am now 60 and I am thinking about getting into real estate investment. While I recover medically I am doing a bunch of learning and I hope to be able to start doing it around the first of the year to get into real estate.

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