Main Line Homes Blog


10 Mistakes to avoid that sellers make that lead to their homes not selling.

When selling your home you want to avoid mistakes made by sellers whose properties either expired or were withdrawn as both mean the property did not sell. Below is a list of some of these mistakes. Let us know of any you have come across either as an agent or a buyer.

  1. Over improve their home. always consider if improvements you are making are pricing your home above the fair market value for your neighborhood. Will that extension make your home the largest? This leads to homes that don't fit a neighborhood or won't appraise because of lack of comparative homes for the appraiser to use.
  2. Over price their home. Many sellers want a higher price to test the market or to leave room for negotiation or because they are unwilling to listen to the market believing their home is different. Buyers see all homes and the best time to sell your home is when it first comes on the market, make sure it is considered value for the money or you will miss showings and miss an opportunity to sell.
  3. Don't look at their home through a buyer's eyes. What a seller is willing to accept because they have for several years, a buyer might not. This can range from wallpaper, to color of paint, or carpet instead of hardwood floors, try to see your home as a buyer will when they first come in, is it making a good impression.
  4. This leads to our next point, not keeping the house clean. Buyers like clean houses, it implies the house is looked after and if it is clean it most likely will have been maintained as well. So wipe down those counters, make the beds, and clean the floors and baseboards.
  5. Another similar issue is clutter, if there is too much stuff it prevents a buyer from seeing the space, they get distracted and reject a property that might work well for them. The same for closets, thin out the clothes you don't wear, donate them or store them so closets look spacious. Counters, if you don't use something daily remove it and in some cases you may still need to remove it even when you use it daily.
  6. Lack of maintenance records and utility bills. Often a buyer wants to know the cost of the utilities of a property that interests them, provide it ahead of time, it shows you have nothing to hide which encourages trust if the transaction moves forward. Also keep track of when you have had things maintained through the home, heater, a/c, chimneys, roofs all allow the buyer to build trust in the property.
  7. Light bulbs out or lack of lighting in rooms. If a room is dark it causes buyer to think the seller is trying to hide something. Put plenty of lights in all rooms and if possible have them on for showings.
  8. Sometimes our homes have unusual traits that we overlook, it may the shape of a room, or it may be a door that sticks and needs to be opened in a certain way, these can be distractions and either need to be taken care of by hiring a contractor before listing or use a stager to make better use of these unusual spaces.
  9. Overlooking landscaping issues. A little color goes a long way to create a good first impression, make sure the flower beds are weeded and mulched, clean up last years leaves and purchase some cheap colorful plants to place around the front door.
  10. Animal odors. When you have a pet you get used to the smell, buyers notice it right away, so empty litter boxes, deep clean rugs and use an odor neutralizer when needed.


If you are buying or selling on or around Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line we can help you,  contact us or connect

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Comment balloon 3 commentsNick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • March 15 2010 10:55AM


Looking through a Buyer's eyes - the home should resemble a model home as much as possible for it to sell in this challenging market. Great list of tips for Sellers.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 9 years ago

Remove pets when home is being shown.

Sellers should not be present at showings.

This is such an excellent post and one that sellers should take seriously.  The competition is fierce and it is always best to put your best foot forward on Day One!

Posted by Barb Van Stensel about 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing - a very good list!  Have a great day!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) about 9 years ago

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