What Are the Worst Things About Selling Your Home?

This month, we couldn’t spotlight a local business so we thought it might be a good opportunity to provide a little more information from our own industry. Here at 5Market Realty, we work very hard to keep ourselves and our clients informed on the local market.  To do that, we have to tell the truth about what is happening in the market, whether the news is good or bad.  With that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to discuss the negative parts of selling a home because let’s be honest; selling your home can be a real pain in the rear. 


Before you let anyone view your home or even know your home is for sale, it is a good idea to get your home ready for the market and for showings. This can be an expensive and time-consuming task.  Some people in this world can keep their home in immaculate condition most of the time, but your typical homeowner has a hard time keeping up a house every day of the week.  Normal wear and tear are just part of homeownership.  For example, walls will get scuffed, junk will accumulate wherever it can, appliances will break, and your children and pets can cause plenty of cosmetic damage.  No one wants to hear that their home looks cluttered or has a pet odor, but it really helps to ask your realtor or even a friend for honest feedback. Constructive criticism is not always fun, but it is the first part of the preparation stage. 


Once your property hits the market, it is time to let people inside your home which can be another stressful part of the process.  Most people try to keep their home in show condition at all times while it is on the market but this can be difficult, especially for people with young children. Personally, I know how hard it can be to keep your house clean with young children because we have a two year old that can wreak havoc in a matter of minutes.  One way to manage this is to set up certain days of the week for showings and have a good video ready for virtual showings before anyone comes inside.  A good walk-through video can weed out the looky loo buyers and find the people with serious interest in your home. Nowadays, many companies or people advertise that they will guarantee an offer or buy your house sight unseen without any showings at all.  These companies are smart to try and market around the idea of no showings.  However, for the most part, these are attempts to buy your house significantly under value or get their foot in the door for a listing appointment.  Even in the strongest sellers’ market, listing your home for sale is the best way to get market price for your home. 


Over the past several years, negotiations have mostly favored sellers. Since interest rates have risen so sharply, we are seeing more and more negotiations at higher price points. Not on every home, but more than we have seen over the past two or three years.  Keep in mind that the contract price is sometimes just the beginning. After the initial contract is signed, there can be more negotiations on repairs or even the appraisal price. In my experience, homeowners and home buyers usually have different opinions about the home inspection and an appraisal that comes in below the contract price.  Despite what you hear, there is no universal rule or tactic to negotiating.  Each person and situation are different. The best overall advice is to try to avoid getting overly emotional which can be difficult to do when it comes to your home.  I once had a colleague tell me you haven’t earned your stripes in real estate until you’ve had to buy a fridge to solve a dispute between a buyer and seller. I’m not saying they are right, but creativity never hurts in a negotiation. 

Timing and Moving

Moving from house to house isn’t such a daunting task when you are younger, but as you get older it can become the worst part of the whole process.  I recall one story several years ago where the buyers showed up for a final walk through only to find the seller sitting at the breakfast table eating a bowl of cereal in a house where not one box was packed.  The owner told the buyers that she decided the move was “just too much” and she didn’t want to sell the house anymore.  As you can imagine, that story gets worse before it gets better.  Thankfully for the buyers, real estate contracts are enforceable. 

The last difficult part of selling is figuring out the timing.  This can be very hard depending on the situation.  In an ideal world, a home seller knows where they are moving before they place a sign in the yard, but sometimes they don’t.  Most homeowners need the money from their current home sale to move and that can be scary.  There are many ways to manage the timing for the seller with loan products, seller occupancy after closing, and contracts that are contingent on your home sale. Nevertheless, getting the move completed and the timing right are the two final and usually most trying parts of a home sale. 

Selling any property can be a time-consuming task, but it can be even more personal and taxing when it is your own home.  There are plenty of positives to selling your home, but we find it is important to discuss the difficulties and challenges as well.  Being prepared for both the good and the bad helps the entire process go more smoothly.