A List to Avoid - Common Mistakes Sellers Make

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

As a seller, this is a list you want to avoid yet so many of us make more of these mistakes than we would like to admit while others are completely unaware that they are doing it.  As a listing agent, it is my job to prepare the seller for things that I see as potential problems for a buyer.  This is not always easy to do as it can be very embarrassing for someone to be told that their house smells or that there is to much clutter.  There is truth in the theory that it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time.  However, when you are selling your home, it is important to try and please all of the buyers until you find the one who wants to buy your home and to avoid the most common mistakes that sellers make.

The graph below was prepared to show you what a survey of 1000 Real Estate Agents listed as the top mistakes sellers make when selling their homes.   


Data provided by ActiveRain.com. ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

Let's review these. 

1.  Overpriced home - We all want millions of dollars for our home because, after all in our eyes, it is the best home with the best options where you have created pricesless memories.  It is important to be realistic about the price.  If you have hired an agent who has taken the time to prepare a thorough market analysis for you that shows that the homes in your neighborhood are selling for $150,000, then it is also important for you to take that opinion to heart.  Your agent wants to get the best price possible in the shortest amount of time possible.  That is their job.  So if you are realistic from the begining, you will not waste your time and you will make more money because the longer the house sits on the market, the less money you will make. 

2.  Showing availability - I cannot emphasize this enough.  Once the decision has been made to sell your home, then make it available to potential buyers.  The quicker you get an offer then the quicker you can stop making your bed every morning. 

3.  Cluttered spaces - In following with the Nike theme, JUST MOVE IT! Buyers do not care if you are packing and they do not care if you have to rent a storage space.  What they do care about is if their furniture will fit in the space that is there so make it available for them to see.   

4. Unpleasant Odors - Wet dog is NOT a Yankee Candle scent.  Clean those carpets, clean the drapes and clean the house!  Enough said!!

5.  Unwilling to Negotiate - If you are serious about selling your home, then it is important to be serious about negotiating the offer.  Most of the time there can be a meeting of the minds if all parties are willing to negotiate. 

6.  Won't make repairs - Refer to #5 above.  Selling a home is a give-give proposition.  Remember that this buyer loves your home and wants to enjoy it as much as you have and if you can fix an electrical outlet to prevent it from going back on the market and starting over, it just might be worth it.  Be reasonable and work with the buyer to come to a mutual agreement. 

Avoiding these common mistakes when selling your home can be easily done if you and your agent will work together to identify and resolve the problems expeditiously.  Ask your friends and family to give you some honest feedback on how they see your home.  You just might be surprised at which of these common mistakes you are making! 



Posted by


Stacey Cousineau, e-Pro, GRI, SSC

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.


Cell:  240-416-9268

Broker:  301-843-3600

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Comments (3)

Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

That unwillingness to negotiate is a key one, I think, in secondary home markets.

Feb 04, 2014 06:57 AM
Stacey Cousineau
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Waldorf, MD

Thanks Li...I agree and sometimes there are some simple solutions that people miss. 

Feb 04, 2014 07:02 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Time for me to blog about the mistakes sellers make in Andover area. Great infographics.

Feb 04, 2014 01:30 PM