Expert Answers: 5 Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make


|10 min read

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Mike Jeppson, an experienced real estate broker at Home Smart and FastExpert partner, gives the honest truth about mistakes home sellers make. Read on to get your home sold with less hassle!

Are you wondering, “Why isn’t my home selling?” Well, you may be accidentally sabotaging the sale of your home. Some homes sit on the market for weeks or months because of mistakes home sellers make.

Home selling requires both physical and mental preparation. Selling a home is no simple feat. It is not a sprint. It can be more like a marathon with steep hills and bad weather. However, it does not need to be this difficult. Just like training for a marathon prepares you for the race, with the right preparation and attitude, your home sale race can be successful and rewarding.

Let me help you prepare for your home sale. In this article, I’ll lay out common mistakes home sellers make along with recommendations for a smooth sale.

1. Missing Motivation

Long ago, I heard the saying, “No Mo, No Go.”

This refers to home sellers having sufficient motivation to go through the daunting process of selling their home. If the motivation is not strong enough, the deal is less likely to work out, and the process may become more stressful than necessary for all parties involved.

If you are considering selling your home, please consider your mindset and how motivated you are to go through the process. Remember, it’s a marathon, and you need the motivation to finish.  

2. Underestimating the Inconvenience

The biggest mistake home sellers make is underestimating how inconvenient the process of selling a home will be.

This is especially true if you live in the home during the sale process. When there are people living in the home who need to eat, sleep, and do normal things, it is challenging to have the home perfectly ready at all times.

However, make the sacrifice and have the home ready to show. Remind yourself that this is a temporary inconvenience, and keep your eyes on your home-selling goal.

As a home-seller, you get one chance to make a first impression. Expectations are high, and it is up to the seller to perform. Most buyers do not want to have to visualize what the home will look like when it is cleaned. It’s essential to make yourself uncomfortable so that future buyers can envision themselves being comfortable in your cozy abode.

3. Limiting Showings

Another mistake sellers make is not being flexible for showings. I have heard sellers say over and over “If they are serious buyers, they will work with our schedule and come see the house when it is convenient for us”.

Contrary to the belief of many sellers, buyers may not circle back if a showing request cannot be accommodated. You might miss out on the perfect buyer by not being flexible. Even if a potential buyer requests a short notice showing, it is best to open your doors to them. If you only show your home at times that are convenient for you, then the home sale process will be prolonged and potentially frustrating.

Control what you can control by keeping the home clean and show-ready. Be flexible and keep your mind locked in on the end goal. 

4. Ignoring Advice

Your real estate agent has your best interest in mind. Moreover, it’s also in the agent’s best interest to sell your home. Therefore, trust your agent and follow their advice.

Sellers who do not trust or want to listen to their agent or broker are making a mistake. You hired a professional to assist in selling your home. In many cases, the agent has been involved in the listing and sale of hundreds or thousands of homes.

A challenging process will be more challenging if you do not follow their guidance. In addition, it will likely take additional time to sell your home and potentially cause money to be left on the table.

Make sure you feel 100% comfortable with your agent before signing a contract with them. Set your standards high, interview multiple agents, and then let the agent you hire guide you. They are professionals and have a track record to prove it. 

If along the way, you truly believe the agent is not a good fit, discuss the issues with the agent, and determine if you need to cancel the agent’s contract.

5. Responding Emotionally

It is difficult to relinquish the memories held in a home. You see all the thought and care that you put into the home and you also remember all the cherished times with friends and family. Understandably, it is challenging to move away from a place that holds part of your heart.

Yet, it’s essential to understand that buyers do not have the same emotional attachment that you do as the seller (not yet anyway).

A major mistake sellers often make is responding emotionally and/or unreasonably to buyers’ requests for repairs or concessions. I see many sales fall apart based on this factor. The requests from the buyer are not personal, and they are not trying to disrespect your home. It makes sense that the potential buyer wants things fixed if they are broken.

It’s critical to keep the end goal in mind. At the end of the day, many of the items a buyer might ask for should be taken care of whether they move forward with the sale or not. Selling a home is a highly emotional process. Trust in the process and the professionals who are in your corner. 

Work with an Agent You Trust

Sellers who maintain realistic expectations and have sufficient motivation for selling should expect to (for the most part), have a smooth experience. There are many professional and highly competent real estate agents who can assist and get the job done in an ethical and moral way.

Agents and brokers are here to help sellers accomplish their goal of selling their homes with the best possible terms and with the least amount of inconvenience. Most of the agents truly care about their clients and will do whatever it takes to ensure the process of selling a home goes as smoothly as possible. 

Take your time choosing an agent that is your best fit, trust the process, and keep your end goal in mind.

Mike Jeppson HomeSmart

Mike Jeppson is one of the Coachella Valley's most trusted brokers, counting among his associates and clients numerous business owners and distinguished community leaders. As the designated broker of HomeSmart in Palm Desert, CA, Mike oversees the daily operations and manages over 500 agents. A high touch broker known for his extensive market and contract knowledge, Mike aims to produce positive results and impact all of those he comes in contact with.

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