Top 3 mistakes sellers make (and how to avoid them)

March 3, 2020


There is so much advice floating around about avoiding mistakes as a buyer that it’s easy to overlook the pitfalls and potential blunders of selling. There are a few that stand out to me as some of the most common mistakes that sellers fall into. Here they are, as well as ways you can avoid them.


Avoiding repairs and instead offering credit to buyers.

If your home needs repairs, upgrades or just some TLC before anyone will take notice, it can be easy to say, “Gosh, I’d rather just take less money, and they can worry about it after the house is theirs.” This can be a big mistake! The simple fact is that while you may not have the time to deal with it, neither do your buyers. “Time is money” may sound cliché but it certainly applies to everyone.


The effect is that potential buyers will likely bring extremely low offers. Instead, I often recommend to sellers to invest in the repairs and get the work done before you list your home to sell. Not only will your home sell more quickly, you are much more likely to benefit financially from the sale. There is nothing buyers love more than a turn-key home!


Ignoring initial offers.

It can be tempting to overlook the first offers that come in, but not taking these seriously can be another colossal misstep. While the first offer might not blow your socks off, potential first offers are often very motivated. Perhaps they are in a rush. Maybe they fell in love with your kitchen. It could be your home is near their aging parent’s home. You never know!


Plus, even if the offer is respectably modest, this is where negotiations begin. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), I will say that having an experienced negotiator in your corner will benefit you at the closing table—and you’ll be glad you pursued that initial offer!


Not making your home marketable.

In addition to pricing, making your home marketable is vital to getting to the closing table. What do I mean by that? Making your home marketable means being aware that every aesthetic change you make can impact how well it sells. This varies from choosing your bathroom fixtures to transforming your backyard into a giant koi pond.


For example, a 9-foot wine rack built into your kitchen can be great to display your vintage wines. However a buyer that isn’t a wine drinker may find it to be a useless waste of space. If you do build that wine rack, make sure its easy to remove. Making your home marketable means ensuring it can be de-personalized to suit its new owner.


Once you decide to list, go ahead and create a reasonably blank slate for potential buyers by staging. It’s not always an option to hire a professional staging service, but you can go a long way by getting rid of your clutter. If that prospect seems overwhelming, focus mainly on your living room, master bedroom and kitchen as the most important rooms to declutter. Use this as your time to start the moving process!


If you are interested in working with a staging expert, let me know and I can recommend some really talented pros to help!


I can help you avoid these and other common selling mistakes. Contact me at (904) 501-1830 or

About Mirtha Barzaga
For more than a decade, Mirtha Barzaga has consistently stood as a fixture in Northeast Florida real estate. She is recognized as a top contributing agent for Davidson Realty, Inc., specializing in homes throughout Jacksonville, St. Augustine and World Golf Village. She has earned recognition as Davidson’s Top Sales Agent of the Year, Top Producing Agent of the Year, and Top Listing Agent of the Year. Mirtha is a trusted guide for clients throughout the buying and selling process, boasting designations as a Certified Negotiation Expert, Certified Distressed Property Expert and Nocatee Certified Agent. As a bilingual Realtor, Mirtha is pleased to assist Davidson’s Spanish-speaking clients. Learn more about Mirtha and see her listings by visiting her agent page or check out Mirtha’s website

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