Selling a home is not something most people do often. Lack of home selling experience leads to many poor decisions, including ignoring the advice of experienced real estate professionals. Real estate agents, home stagers, home inspectors, and professional photographers are often seen as an expense rather than an investment.
Sellers underestimate the value of hiring professionals and it's often their attempt to save money that costs them the most in the long run. Rather than focusing on the cost of a service, sellers should be more concerned with what the lack of professional advice could cost them.
As a Home Stager, I've met sellers who had no luck listing "for sale by owner" and finally sold after listing with an agent. I've worked with sellers who had been on the market for many months with no action and then got an offer within 2 weeks of a home staging consult. I've seen price reductions that could have been prevented if the seller had hired a home inspector prior to listing.
Selling a house requires strategic marketing. A successful sale requires knowing your buyer pool, knowledge of the local market, and identifying maintenance issues. It requires preparation and presentation to create visual and emotional appeal. It requires high quality photography.
One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is not realizing that money spent on experienced professionals is a wise investment.