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Home Sellers Discuss Their Biggest Regrets: What to Learn From Their Mistakes

By Siddharth Mariappan


In “The Biggest Regrets of Real-Life Home Sellers,” talked with a group of Sellers about what they wish they had done differently. From not making enough cosmetic changes to not using a Real Estate Agent from the get-go, here’s what they told they wish they had done differently:

Spiffed It Up More Before Listing. One Seller wished she had focused more on making cosmetic changes: “I didn’t spend enough time prepping our house for sale—purging, staging, or doing small repair projects…. And I regret not planning ahead or getting real about what had to be done, because it ended up dragging out the home-selling process—in terms of finding a buyer and negotiating repairs—costing me precious time and money.”

Not Tried So Hard to Make Their Home “Too Perfect”. Ironically, another Seller regretted spending so much energy to put her condo into pristine condition and leaving behind custom window coverings that she wanted to keep. “Our buyer was an older single woman who really just wanted to live in our neighborhood. All of our efforts had all been a waste.”

Not Stayed In Contact With Their Buyer After The Sale. A Seller who moved across the street from her old home regretted maintaining contact with her Buyer/new neighbor because she and her husband were constantly asked for information or help from the Buyer. She said the Buyer “called us for at least a year on a regular basis whenever she couldn’t figure out how something worked…. It was as though my husband became her personal handyman!”

Used A Real Estate Agent From The Beginning. One Seller tried to sell her home without an agent only to discover that the FSBO approach “wasn’t really accepted by the buyer’s Realtors®, who often questioned our price point, which made things difficult.” She ended up hiring a Realtor after a month. “I wish we had just done it right away, because instead it set us back at least a month if not more…. And in that time people moved on and the market changed. I think we might have missed out on a better sale.”

Not Caved In To Unreasonable Buyers’ Demands. This Seller had a difficult Buyer with a long list of demands that continued even into the closing itself. The sale did close, but it took an agreement between the two Real Estate Agents to make it happen, and the Seller felt “resentful that the buyer got away with that and got the house.”

Done Staging From The Start. One homeowner regretted not spending the money to hire a home stager because she felt it took longer to sell her apartment.“The money that it cost us owning the apartment longer was far more than the price it eventually cost to stage it.”

Not Taken the First Offer. Condo owners took an offer to buy their place before it even went on the market…and later regretted it. “We went for it because we thought it was quick and easy, but I can’t but help think it

would have been able to get much more if we’d just taken a breath.”

Not Chosen Their Buyer Based Only on Price. A homeowner who loved her property and was eager to see it continue as a well maintained family home, felt she should not have just accepted the best price from among multiple offers even though her gut told her that Buyer would not love the house as much as she did. The high-price Buyers did not care for the property and “now when we drive by the old house, I cringe every single time. All the work we did, the labor, the love, the hours contemplating grass seed and bushes gone to pot!” She advises others to follow their instincts when it comes to choosing a buyer.

The Brooks Team is experienced in helping Sellers prepare their home for sale, choose wisely among offers, and negotiate strongly. If you are considering selling, let us help you avoid mistakes! Call me at 904-570-1216 or send me an email at to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.


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