• The top mistake sellers make is overpricing their home and refusing to compromise with potential buyers.
  • Sellers can make the selling process harder by refusing to follow basic showing etiquette, such as staging the home and staying during buyer tours.
  • Lastly, only 10 percent of for-sale-by-owners actually sell.

Selling a home is tough.

But sellers can unknowingly make the process more painful than stepping on a pile of legos by committing these no-nos shared by agents in the Raise The Bar Facebook group. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Don’t take the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route

Most sellers who choose the FSBO strategy do so in an attempt to avoid paying agent commission fees, and some actually feel they have the skills to sell a home on their own. But, as seen in one of widely popular posts, “10 reasons why for-sale-by-owners fail,” only 8 percent of all home sales are FSBOs. Ouch!

2. Improperly preparing their home for sale

Agents shared stories of sellers whose homes smelled like smoke or pets (sorry, Fido), and sellers who were hesitant to invest in professional cleaning services to remove those odors. “They swear they smoke outside, yet the home reeks of smoke,” Eric Larkin says.


In addition to issues with hard-to-clean odors, some sellers have a hard time decluttering their home so it can always be ready for showings.

Sonya Mays suggests sellers remove photos and knick-knacks from the walls and throughly clean kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Furthermore, she tells sellers to get their home’s curb appeal up to par. “If the home lacks curb appeal, then it’s hard to get people inside if they don’t like the outside.”

On the other hand, Jay Thompson says sellers need to be careful not to go overboard with home improvements.

“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. A lack of showing etiquette 

Showings are the first opportunity potential buyers have to get a feel for the home and imagine themselves living there. Sellers can sour the showing by refusing to leave the home, or lurking in the background as buyers go through rooms.

Moreover, some sellers are hesitant to even hold a showing, which greatly diminishes the chances of the home actually ever being sold. Sonya Mays says it’s ridiculous to expect buyers to make an offer solely on photos.

4. Sharing too much on social media. 

Matthew Leprino says he’s noticing that sellers are increasingly taking to social media to vent about the home selling process. Another faux pas is when sellers share incorrect listing information on sites such as Facebook or Craigslist.

5. Overpricing the home

This is the top struggle agents face with buyers: “[Sellers] either believing that their house is worth more than the market suggests or that a low commission will save them money,” Andrew Wetzel says.

Furthermore, agents talked about the danger of constantly turning down offers. Barb Hassan says some sellers refuse initial offers because they believe “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.”

Of course, it’s important to be smart about the offers that come to the table, but depending on the market, sellers can end up leaving themselves out to dry.

What mistakes have you seen sellers make? Share them in the comments below.

Email Marian McPherson.

Connect with me on Facebook!

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