How to Avoid Preventable Problems That Kill Home Sales


Selling a home can be a complicated process, but there are common problems that sellers can avoid. Firstly, overpricing your home can lead to fewer offers and a lower likelihood of a bidding war. To avoid this, do research into market value and hire a competent agent. Secondly, bad odors such as mold, mildew, pets, or cooking smells can be off-putting to potential buyers, so eliminate the source and air out your home before showing it. Thirdly, poor presentation such as a cluttered or dark space can lose buyers' interest, so clean, declutter and stage your home to showcase its best features. Lastly, unresolved repairs can lead to buyers walking away or asking for a lower price, so fix any issues or disclose them upfront. By avoiding these problems, you can sell your home quickly and successfully.

Selling a home can be a stressful and challenging process, especially in a competitive market. You want to attract as many buyers as possible and get the best price for your property.

Watercolor image of townhomes near center of town depicting how to avoid preventable problems that kill home sales

However, there are some common and preventable problems that can ruin your chances of closing a deal and leave you frustrated and disappointed. In this blog post, we will discuss four of these problems and how to avoid them.

Preventable Problem #1: Overpricing

The most common and easily avoidable mistake that home sellers make is overpricing their homes. If you list your home for too high a price, you will scare away potential buyers who will either think you are unrealistic or not bother to look at your home at all. You will also lose the opportunity to generate multiple offers and create a bidding war that could drive up the price.

To avoid overpricing, you need to do your homework and research the market value of your home based on recent comparable sales in your area. You also need to hire a competent and experienced real estate agent who can provide you with a realistic and accurate market analysis and pricing strategy.

Don’t rely on online estimates or your own emotional attachment to your home. Remember, the true value of your home is what a willing and able buyer is ready to pay for it.

Preventable Problem #2: Bad Odors

Another problem that can kill your home sale is bad odors. Nothing turns off buyers more than a smelly home that indicates poor maintenance, lack of cleanliness, or hidden issues. Whether it’s musty smells from mold or mildew, pet odors, cigarette smoke, or cooking smells, bad odors can make buyers walk away without even looking at the rest of your home.

To avoid bad odors, you need to eliminate the source of the smell and air out your home before showing it. If you have mold or mildew problems, you need to fix them as soon as possible by hiring a professional or using water and detergent to scrub the affected areas. You also need to use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture and prevent future growth.

If you have pets, you need to keep them out of the home while it’s on the market or have regular professional cleaning done. You also need to avoid cooking foods with strong spices or frying fish before an open house. If possible, bake some bread or cookies to create a pleasant and inviting aroma.

Preventable Problem #3: Poor Presentation

Another problem that can kill your home sale is poor presentation. Buyers are looking for homes that are clean, decluttered, staged, and well-lit. They want to be able to envision themselves living in your home and see its potential. If your home is dirty, cluttered, outdated, or dark, you will lose their interest and attention.

To avoid poor presentation, you need to prepare your home properly before listing it. You need to clean every inch of your home, from the floors to the ceilings, and make sure there are no stains, dust, cobwebs, or fingerprints. You also need to declutter your home by removing excess furniture, personal items, knickknacks, and junk.

You want to create a spacious and neutral environment that allows buyers to focus on the features of your home rather than your belongings. You also need to stage your home by arranging furniture, adding accessories, and creating focal points that highlight the best aspects of your home. You also need to improve the lighting of your home by opening curtains, adding lamps, and replacing bulbs.

Preventable Problem #4: Unresolved Repairs

Another problem that can kill your home sale is unresolved repairs. Buyers are looking for homes that are in good condition and don’t require major work or expenses after they move in. If your home has visible or hidden defects that affect its functionality or safety, such as cracks in the foundation, leaks in the roof, faulty wiring, or broken appliances, buyers will either walk away or ask for a lower price or concessions.

To avoid unresolved repairs, you need to inspect your home thoroughly before listing it and fix any issues that you find or disclose them to buyers upfront. You don’t have to make cosmetic upgrades or renovations unless they add value or appeal to your home, but you do have to make sure everything works properly and meets code standards. You also need to be prepared for the buyer’s inspection and appraisal and negotiate any requests or contingencies that may arise.


By avoiding these four preventable problems that kill home sales, you can increase your chances of selling your home quickly and successfully. Remember, first impressions matter a lot when it comes to selling a home, so make sure you present your home in its best light and address any potential concerns before they become deal-breakers.

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