Category Archives: home selling tips

7 BIG Mistakes Home Sellers Make Before a Showing


for sale sign at home ready for showingA cockroach. Disgustingly dirty tub.  The list of things that send potential home buyers running from a home is a list that you don’t want to add to when selling your home.  Here is the list of the most common mistakes we’ve seen home sellers make before a showing—and how you can avoid it.

Not clearing the walks.

Driveways and sidewalks that are full of lawn clippings, leaves, and snow block potential buyers from your home, and keep them from making an offer.

What you can do: Clean your sidewalks before every showing.  Because potential home buyers don’t always give you a lot of notice before they want to walk through your home, try to keep your driveway and walks clean at all times.  If you have to leave your home vacant, make a regular trip over to the property or hire a local company for periodic exterior maintenance.

Not worrying about curb appeal.

Buyers make a snap decision about your property from what they see on the outside.  Cracked driveways, overgrown hedges, obnoxious colors, or a rotting front porch can make potential home buyers not want to go in and see more.

What you can do: Your real estate agent can give you names of local home inspectors who can give your home a comprehensive once-over and identify any issues that could make a dent in the amount you take from your home sale.  Use our curb appeal checklist to make sure your home looks it best, and practically pulls potential buyers in the door.

Making your home smell too nice.

Some home sellers bake cookies, others use air fresheners or candles to make their home smell pleasant.  It is possible to overdo it, however, and leave your potential home buyers so preoccupied with their allergies that they don’t see your home as a possibility.

What you can do: Make sure your home has a pleasant smell, but be careful about the strength of the scent.  Strong odors can not only repel potential buyers, but make them think that you’re hiding a problem.

Not taking the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” to heart.

A dirty toilet, tub, or countertop is pretty hard to look past—or can make your buyers wonder how low you’ll go so they can afford to replace any dirty items.

What you can do: Give your home a deep clean that makes your home look new.  If you don’t have time to take on all the scrubbing and elbow grease your home needs, hire a cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom.

Making your rooms look small.

Your prized knick-knacks and furniture may seem like a logical addition to any room, but can make your rooms look tiny because of the clutter.

What you can do: Clear your floors and shelves of all the “stuff” that takes up room.  You can leave a few items on shelves, but try to keep your floors clear to make the room feel larger.  Put any excess items or furniture in storage or in a friend or family member’s home.

Not checking all the light bulbs.

Home buyers make snap judgments about your home ownership from what they see as they walk through. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to check the plumbing, light switches, and windows to see if there are any red flags.

What you can do: Replace all light bulbs (interior and exterior) and make sure your faucets work properly.  Get any issues or major systems repaired before you put your home on the market.  Hire a home inspector that can check your home for any issues that could be a home sale deal breaker.

Not hiring an exterminator.

A dead mouse or bug—or even any sign of an infestation (i.e. droppings, traps, etc.)—can leave potential buyers wondering about the extent of the problem or heading straight for the door.

What you can do: You want potential buyers to be wowed by your home, not disgusted by it.  Hire an exterminator if you have an issue, and make sure your home is clean and free of any pests. If you want to make sure your home is ready and completely prepped for a showing, ask your real estate agent to walk through your home and make recommendations. An experienced local agent can also give you their recommendation of a fair selling price—everything you need to take your home from a good home showing to a home sale.