Don’t make these 3 home selling mistakes

Rick Sheppard
Published on July 29, 2020

Don’t make these 3 home selling mistakes

It’s not hard to make home selling mistakes. After all, selling a home isn’t something you do every day (or even every decade!). So, learn from others’ mistakes. Take a look at three of the biggies we see in our real estate practice.

1. Don’t disregard the value of curb appeal

There aren’t a lot of studies on just how much or how little value “curb appeal” adds to a home. The most widely-read is a decade old and published by professor Alex X. Niemiera with the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

What his study found is that landscaping can boost the value of a home in various ways. The sophistication of the design gives the most bang for the homeowner’s buck – up to 42 percent in additional value.

Larger plants add up to 36 percent to the value and a diversity of “plant material type” is worth 22 percent.

Another study during that time period found that large plants were the hot button with homebuyers, rather than sophisticated landscaping.

The simple fact: curb appeal adds value to a home.

It may also determine how quickly a home sells, as well. If your landscaping can use a makeover, go online for inspiration. offers amazing before and after photos and we can always rely on Pinterest for inspirational photos. Go to and enter “curb appeal” in the search box.

2. Don’t make expensive improvements for the wrong reason

Naturally you’ll want to make the repairs necessary to get top dollar for your home. The mistake we frequently see, however, is homeowners who feel they need to make expensive cosmetic upgrades to justify a higher selling price.

A good rule of thumb is to make “repairs” to items not operating as designed – a leaking faucet, a door that would close quite right, a missing or damaged handrail, etc. But for more expensive “improvements”, think twice before spending $20,000 on finishing a basement that may only add $5000 to your home’s value.  Let the new owners do the improvements and price the home accordingly.

3. Don’t hire the first real estate agent you speak with

According to National Association of REALTORS studies, most real estate consumers employ the services of the first real estate agent they speak with. Americans apparently spend more time researching their purchases or on deciding where to have dinner on date night.

It’s amazing when one considers that selling or buying a home is many people’s largest financial transaction in their lifetime.

Not all real estate agents are alike. Just as some hair stylists, attorneys and plumbers are more experienced, more skilled and offer better services, the same is true with real estate agents.

It’s important that you interview at least three agents before hiring one to help you sell your home.

The author, Rick Sheppard, is a licensed real estate broker with RE/MAX Achievers, Inc in Pennsylvania and a 32+ year veteran of the real estate trenches.  He knows a lot because he’s seen a lot.  If you have any questions about this or any real estate related topic, feel free to contact Rick a[email protected] and he’ll do his best to answer your questions.

label_importantlabel_importantHow much is your home really worth?
Show Me