9 Inconvenient Truths About Selling Your Home

March 13th, 2022

9 Inconvenient Truths About Selling Your Home


When you decide to list your home for sale, a lot is on the line. A stalled sale could jeopardize your next home purchase, delay your move … even substantially impact your family’s net worth. It’s not a time to get cute or indulge in wishful thinking.

Our team brings a can-do attitude to every home we list. Every home is perfect for someone on the market. But we also make a point of being honest, and we don’t sugar-coat the rough edges of the process.

 There’s no “convenient” way to sell a home, especially not if you want top dollar. We find that our clients have the best outcomes when they expect the inconvenience, accept it as a temporary hassle, and make realistic allowances for it.


In that spirit, here are nine inconvenient truths about selling your home to help you set the stage for a successful listing …


1. A Dirty Home Will Cost You

Not all of our clients are fastidious housekeepers. We don’t judge, but we do try to be honest about what kind of attention your home needs to sell for the highest price possible. When we suggest a deep cleaning before showings, a few of our clients have balked at the inconvenience. “Can’t they just imagine what it will look like after the cleaning?” one asked.


Maybe technically they can … but they won’t. You can’t blame them either. Home buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. They want to imagine their prized possessions, the smell of coffee roasting in the morning, their children playing on the floor. If a house is dirty, cluttered, or smelly, all they will imagine is misery.


Worse, home buyers may see an unkept home as a red flag for deeper, underlying issues — deferred maintenance, bad bones, costly repairs in their near future.


The bottom line is this … Showing a dirty home will cost you thousands at closing and possibly prevent your home from selling at all. A deep cleaning is more than worth it, even if you have to take your shoes off in the house while it’s listed.

2. It’s Not Worth It to Scrimp on Repairs

Some homeowners try to avoid repairs. They won’t even be living there much longer. Why not just knock a few grand off the sale price and let the buyer take care of it? After all, they’re the ones who will get to enjoy it, not you.


The hard truth is that deferred repairs will cost you more at closing than you would spend on the repairs in the first place. A house with too many deferred repairs starts to look like a “fixer-upper,” appealing only to investors who pay far below top-dollar. Not worth it.


We say this with love — suck it up and do the repairs. It may hurt your credit card or take a whack at your savings, but you will almost always come out ahead in the end.

3. There’s No Points for Being “Creative”

You may love your lavender walls or your collection of antique garden gnomes, but selling your home is not the time to let your freak flag fly.


Remember, we’re trying to get people to imagine themselves living in your home — the walls painted their favorite colors, walls and corners festooned with their prized possessions. If they happen to hate your “distinctive” taste, they will be turned off immediately … and for no good reason.


We therefore recommend that people box up their collections, paint their walls neutral colors, and do everything possible to make their home a blank slate. Give the prospective buyers a chance for their imaginations to run wild. You can go back to lavender walls in your next home.


4. Homes Sell When you Price Them Right

There is no “unsellable” home, but tons of homes sit on the market unsold for one reason and one reason only … they are overpriced.


The best time for your listing is when it first hits the market. Buyers and REALTORs alike flock to a shiny new listing. But if you get the price too high, it will get filtered out of searches. Your neighbors’ homes will look more attractive. Prospective buyers will be disappointed at tours, and their buying agents will steer them to better deals.


As time passes, your listing starts to look stale. Prospects will see the days on the market adding up and wonder what is “wrong” with your home.


In short, getting the price right out the gate is the biggest determining factor in a quick, successful sale of your house.

5. Great Photos and Videos Sell Homes

Even a beautiful home will suffer on the market if the seller scrimps on visuals for the listing. In the digital age, buyers want to know what a house looks like before they tour … and I mean they want to know exactly what they are getting.


Remember, the goal is to get prospects in the door. Small, poorly-lit, or poorly-framed photos just don’t cut it. It is more than worth it to hire a professional photographer to take stellar photos, possibly even a video tour.

6. The Buyer Will Try to Negotiate After the Inspection

No, not maybe — they will do it. There’s no such thing as a perfect inspection. The inspector will return a laundry list of defects, most of them minor, and the buyer will freak out about every one of them and try to nickel and dime you for all it’s worth.


Remember, it pays to do as many repairs as possible so the buyers have little leverage. But in anticipation for the buyers’ post-inspection demands, make sure you come ready to negotiate. It helps to have a listing agent who is a tough customer and knows how to handle buyer objections.

7. It’s Not Worth It to Attend Your Own Home Showings

You may want to meet your potential buyer. You may not want the hassle of ducking out to a coffee shop five times a day so buyers can parade through your castle. Can’t you just hide in the closet?


No. Prospective buyers check every closet, and they will find you. Once they know they are talking to the seller, they will pepper you with questions that you may not be ready for. They may turn on the charm in hopes of a sweetheart deal.


Don’t attend your own home showings. You don’t want to turn off a good buyer with an awkward answer to an unexpected question, nor do you want to put a face to the name lest you make an emotional selling decision instead of a rational one. Let your agent handle the showings, and make yourself scarce!

8. Home Sales Fall Apart Due to Poor Communication

We get it — like everyone in the internet age, home sellers face a constant barrage of communication. Junk emails, robocalls, Instagram DMs, text messages … It's easy to get behind.


But calls, emails, and texts from your listing agent can’t be treated like brunch requests from friends, to be replied to or ignored based on how busy you are. We try to handle as much of the process for you as we can, but sometimes we need answers to buyers’ questions, paperwork signed, offers and addendums approved. The deal could very easily hang in the balance.


For the sake of a successful listing, your listing agent is the call you should always take, the email you should open first, the text message to reply to. If the deal falls apart because you are behind on your emails, it will sit longer on the market and start to look like a loser.

9. Experience Matters

Home listings are complicated beasts. An experienced hand on the wheel makes all the difference. Make sure to choose a listing agent with experience and a track record of success!




For more inconvenient—but important—truths behind successful home listings, please reach out to us! We’re here to help you sell your home quickly, easily, for the highest price possible


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People Said

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Dave K.October 26th, 2019

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Billy is a very knowledgeable real estate agent. If you have a home to sell, give him a call.

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Lacey is amazing! She is so patient, understanding, honest and fair! She is everything you would want in a realtor but rarely find. The home buying and selling is a whole process that can be overwhelming and almost impossible if you don't have the right person on your side. She is so caring and pays attention to details you couldn't ask for anyone better to be there with you as you make such an important decision.

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Whether you’re selling or buying a home for the first time or the tenth time, we’re here to help the process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Just let us know your real estate goals and we’ll make them happen.

We’d be happy to discuss your home for sale and answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes in Maryland. Drop us a line or fill out the contact form today – we look forward to getting to know you!