Don’t Make This Costly Mistake When Selling Your Home!

Conventional Loans Banner
Conventional Loans
March 23, 2015
Which Schools Are Zoned For This Address?
April 20, 2015
Show all

Don’t Make This Costly Mistake When Selling Your Home!



John needed to sell his house quickly. He had recently retired and purchased a home in Florida… he was ready to move! The mortgage on his new place in Florida was about the same as his current mortgage.

Now he needed to sell quickly or he would have to carry two mortgage payments which he really couldn’t afford if he was to enjoy his retirement the way he wanted.. But John wasn’t really worried about it. After all, his house was in a nice neighborhood in a desirable part of town near great schools.

He hired a Realtor®, certain that once the for sale sign was in the yard, buyers would line up to get a chance to buy it. He was confident he would sell quickly and get his asking price – no sweat! penny wise

One month passed with no offers. John was getting worried. He really needed to move soon. The movers had already come and he was ready to join his furniture in Florida but now his first mortgage payment on the new house was due and he couldn’t afford both, but no one was interested. Then, to add insult to injury, buyers were leaving tons of negative comments!

So what was the problem? He wasn’t making his house ready for buyers. John just refused to make his house buyer-friendly. His real estate agent had cautioned that if he didn’t get the house show-ready, it would sit on the market and sell for far less than asking price.

Unfortunately, John’s mistake is all too common. Many sellers think they can just put a sign up and that’s enough but they were finding lots of other houses for the same price or just a little more that were in mint condition. 

Buyers don’t want a fixer-upper; they want to back up their moving truck, unload their stuff, and put their recliner in front of the TV. Sellers who refuse to believe they need to do much of anything to get their house ready to go on the market think they are saving money on the front end but, in fact, they are losing it on the back end.

John’s refusal to invest in sprucing up his home before putting it on the market was about to cost him a double mortgage payment, not to mention the stress of trying to sell from out-of-state. So if this mistake can cost you time and money, not to mention cause some serious stress, why do sellers refuse to make their houses more attractive to buyers? The three reasons many sellers aren’t getting their house ready for buyers:

  • They don’t believe it makes a difference (or not enough difference). They love their house the way it is and think the house will sell itself. They just think putting money into it right before moving is a waste of money. John was really cautious about spending any money because he wanted to have cash on hand for all his moving expenses. He simply didn’t believe that a coat of paint, in a neutral color, would make a difference.
  • They don’t think there’s a problem. For some reason, it is really hard to convince smokers and pet owners that their homes don’t smell like roses. John wasn’t a smoker but he did own a couple of dogs that were allowed a lot of freedom to run the house. When they were puppies they had even had a number of accidents on the carpets. John didn’t notice the lingering odors but buyers sure did. Some sellers don’t realize their house smells because they’re so used to it, or they don’t think it’s a deal killer… but to most buyers it’s a huge deal killer!
  • They think they don’t have the money needed to do what their agent recommends. They don’t think they’ll get the money back. While that is usually true regarding major items such as kitchen or bath updates but when it comes to painting, cleaning, replacing old carpet or even replacing a roof that is at the end of it’s life, it makes all the difference in the world. Buyers see all that needs to be done and quickly add up the cost in their minds – the problem is that they invariably figure about 2-3 times the actual amount needed AND they add on for the inconvenience of having to do the work themselves.



TIMOTHY H. FENNELL, PA - Tim Fennell is a Florida licensed Real Estate Broker Associate with The Legends of Real Estate. Realtors® in Jacksonville, Florida. His strong background in business development, real estate investments, counseling and marketing greatly enhance his skills as a Listing and Internet Marketing Specialist. Tim and his wife, Susan, have over 30 years experience in Jacksonville Real Estate sales, marketing and investing and both are Accredited Consultants in Real Estate (ACRE®). When you're ready to be consulted with, rather than sold to, give them a call at 904.568.4528

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *