Not Using Experts. This tip really applies not only to selling a home but also to financial investing, building a business, or anything else that requires expertise. Of course, you can sell your own home and some people do; but many times the headaches that go along with it far outweigh the benefits. Frequently, I hear stories from homeowners who attempt to do this, but months later that those same sellers are trying to locate a qualified real estate expert. Their self efforts effectively slowed their sales process and lost time on the market.

Getting Emotionally Attached.  You’ve had history with your home—the memories cause you to have an emotional attachment with it. But now, you have to detach and recognize that your emotional attachment will likely not transfer to the buyer—at least not right away.

Buyers will come into your home looking to find out what’s wrong hoping to thereby negotiate the price down. They’ll be skeptical—checking all around the house to make sure that they’re not going to buy the home and end up having to deal with burdens of many flaws later. They won’t have the memories of the kids taking their first steps in the living room or the big celebration you had for grandma. Buyers will possibly think about the parties and how their lives can fit into this house if you’ve removed the items that make it look and feel too much like your home.

When you get emotionally unattached you’re allowing yourself to see the home you’re listing for sale the way a potential buyer might.

Holding Your Own Open House. This one really goes hand-in-hand with the first “don’t do” tip. Some sellers like to be around when their home is on the market. However, I suspect you have better things to do than sit at home while potential buyers explore your house.

Making fish and other smelly foods. Okay, so we are not saying that you can’t cook what you want in your home. The issue is actually not just about food but also things like pet odors and incense or anything else that might have an offensive odor to a potential buyer.

Generally, a pleasant odor is appreciated but there are different types of people and “pleasant” is relative to the individual. So, basically some of the mistakes that you can make are to fry up some fish, let the pets do the wrong thing in the house and then not deodorize, and leave the pets loose to “welcome” the guests in their own ways. For certain, most people won’t appreciate those smells.

As for using other fragrances, my personal opinion is that if the smell is subtle and not overwhelming, it probably won’t cause any issues with buyers unless they happen to have a particular allergy. However, if there’s a repugnant smell, it will get a huge reaction and buyers will flee the home like scurrying ants seeking food and water on a hot summer day.

Watch out for these mistakes and you’ll be ahead of the sellers who are wasting time (and possibly losing buyers) by not seeking expert help, not detaching from the home, showing their own home, and forgetting to deodorize.