How to Avoid 10 Home Selling Mistakes

Dave Hanson
Published on March 31, 2016

How to Avoid 10 Home Selling Mistakes


home selling mistakes

When a buyer walks in a home at first glance they want to say “yes, this is the home!” but in reality it’s far easier to say no.  All sellers need to understand that every home has stopping points where the buyer will say yes or no to a home.  The more you remove those stopping points, the better chance you will have of getting the highest price and your home sold the quickest.  Here are 10 home selling mistakes that can be stopping points and you want to remove these from a buyers mind that you might want consider before you put your home on the market.

  1. Don’t make a buyer change the time when they want to see the home – Home Selling Mistakes

When a buyer wants to see a home, they want to see it when it’s most convenient for them.  So make it as easy on them as you possibly can by saying “yes, that will work out fine” even if it’s not convenient for you.  Do whatever you can to accommodate them because the chances of them rescheduling are very slim and they could be the buyer who buys your home.

  1. Don’t make a buyer set an appointment because you don’t want a lockbox – Home Selling Mistakes

Lockboxes are a big part of what separates realtors from for sale by owners and it’s one of the main reasons why those sellers get more money for their home than for sale by owners.  By not having a lockbox on your home, it creates less buyers going through your home because it takes out the convenience factor.  Whatever your reason is for not having a lockbox discuss it with your realtor and try to remove that obstacle so that a lockbox will be on your home and you can get the most for your home.

  1. Don’t make a buyer turn on all the lights because they can’t find the switches in the dark– Home Selling Mistakes

Whenever I sit down with the buyer and discuss what they are looking for in a home most would say I want light bright and spacious.  Don’t underestimate the power of light in your home to sell it.  Turn on all the lights even the ones in the closets and put tape over the switches so that buyers and realtors don’t turn them off when they leave.  This seems excessive but it’s the best way to give a feeling that you want to portray for your home.  Imagine walking up to a home and it’s pitch black the realtors trying to get the key out a lockbox and the buyer is using his tiny little flashlight on his phone to give him some kind of light he finally opens up the door and they’re all a little freaked out by walking into your pitch black home not knowing what they’ll discover.  You are giving them a first impression of fear.  This is a major stopping point.  You can easily remove this fear by turning on all your lights.

  1. Don’t make a buyer plug their nose because your home smells bad – Home Selling Mistakes

Smoking and animals are the largest culprit for a home smelling bad but there are many others.  Try to find the source of the smell and remove it or clean it.  Don’t try to cover it up with room deodorizers or plug-ins this just makes buyers suspicious of what’s going on in the home.  If it’s on the walls, paint it. If it’s in the carpet, clean it or remove it.  One of the best ways to handle odor in a home is to use an Ozone generator. It removes all kinds of odors and you can rent them at most rental companies.

  1. Don’t make a buyer hunt you down to get information about the home – Home Selling Mistakes

Most company websites have a page called frequently asked questions and this helps the customer decide about using their services instead of asking things they don’t even know what to ask for.  If you, as a homeowner, provide that same information, it’ll help the agent and the buyer know more about your home and feel comfortable about moving forward.  Buyers are generally curious about: How old is the roof? How old the furnace when was the last serviced? How old is a hot water tank? When was the kitchen remodeled? Is there insulation in the attic and in the walls? Are there any warranties with the Windows or appliances? Create a FAQ sheet to ease their mind and include anything you can think of that will benefit a buyer.

  1. Don’t make a buyer be your “honey-do-list contractor” – Home Selling Mistakes

One of the worst things that you can do as a homeowner is to have a buyer do an inspection on the home and have the list be a long one. It shows the buyer that you have not maintained this house well or you don’t care about the home. It also makes them think what else the home inspector might be missing.  Give them a sense that you are prideful of your home.  (Make sure to also check out What is Curb Appeal & What Does it Mean Today?’) When an inspector goes through the home and they say “wow, there’s not much on this list” it makes the buyer feel confident about their decision and gives the buyer assurance that they are buying the right homes. Also, let me tell you, it is easier on your pocket book.

  1. Don’t make an buyer think about cleaning your house – Home Selling Mistakes

You want to present your home in the best possible light. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink or clothes laying around will distract your buyers from your home’s great features. Make sure you are leaving your home in the best possible condition so buyers can focus on your beautiful living room and open floor plan and not on how the carpets need to be vacuumed and toys need to be put away.

  1. Don’t make a buyer take their shoes off – Home Selling Mistakes

We are all about first impressions, right? Imagine you are all excited about walking into a home to see this home for the first time and have to stop take off your shoes, wondering if you have holes in your stockings or thinking “is this house clean enough for me to walk around in my socks or bare feet”?  Imagine walking up to the glass sliding door and thinking I want to go out and see the deck/backyard or want to check out the garage area but you can’t because you don’t have your shoes.  I understand you want to keep your house as clean as you possibly can but making a buyer feel comfortable and able to see the homes features is far more important if you want to get top dollar.

  1. Don’t make a buyer purchase an appliance – Home Selling Mistakes

This is a huge stopping point for a buyer not to have an appliance in a home. Do whatever you can to keep appliances in your home, even the washer and dryer.  When a buyer has to come up with their down payment, their closing costs and an appliance, they can feel overwhelmed with the cost of buying your home.  If you need to keep an appliance, go buy a used one and install it before you put your home on the market and keep the appliance you want.  Don’t do it after a buyer sees your home.  When it comes to buyers, out of sight out of mind is always best.

  1. Don’t make a buyer feel awkward when you’re in the home – Home Selling Mistakes

When an agent sets an appointment to come and see your home with a buyer, this is the time to step out of the home, go for walk, or do your errands. Leave the home so that the buyers can feel comfortable in your home and feel free to open up cupboards and look in closets so that they can get a full appreciation of your home and the space.

Other must know tips to avoid home selling mistakes:

  1. 5 Top Myths about Selling Your Home
  2. Don’t price wrong and make a home selling mistake. Find out what’s my home’s value?
  3. Free Insider’s Guide to selling your home in Seattle has more about home selling mistakes

Wondering how to go about selling your home in Seattle WA?  It’s important you understand the process and home selling mistakes to avoid but also how to truly get top dollar for your home by going beyond what’s here with a personal evaluation using my 20+ years of knowledge in the Seattle market.  The information above should be helpful but if you haven’t hired a top real estate agent in Seattle WA yet to assist you with your home, contact me, and I’d love to discuss your real estate needs further!

Dave Hanson Home Team – Exceeding Expectations – 206.686.7525


How to Avoid 10 Home Selling Mistakes
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