Homesellers: Learn from the mistakes of others…please

My wife is at least 78% smarter than I am. While that’s not necessarily backed by so-called scientific data, I feel good about that number. How do I know she is smarter than me? First, because most people tell me she is, but second, because she has a knack for learning from the mistakes of others. It’s impressive. 

We both took the Kolbe A profile a few months ago. Tammie and I have been together for many years, so the results were not at all surprising. Let me sum up. 

  • My wife: Attacks problems by doing research on the best way to approach a solution and usually gets it right the first time. 
  • Me: Starts pushing buttons, breaking things, and trying lots of random stuff to “see what works.” I usually get there, but it’s painful to watch–expensive too.

I already know this about myself, and yet I don’t change my evil ways. See what I mean? She’s smarter. Don’t be like me. In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes,

“Learn from the mistakes of others …You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”  

In the past two decades, I’ve helped thousands of home sellers list and sell their properties and had the benefit of seeing countless seller mistakes firsthand. What puzzles me is that thanks to the interwebs, there is no shortage of information available on the topic of selling a home. There’s just no excuse for not doing any research. 

ohio mls flat fee realtor selles making classic blundersSo, you may ask yourself, why do people continue to make the same mistakes? Because they are stubborn and refuse to look for or take any advice. People like us are the reason the phrase “classic blunder” exists. But…I digress.

Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from other’s mistakes as well.  Learning from others who came before you is one of the quickest ways to speed up your level of proficiency. It universally beats learning from trial and error alone. So my advice is to, well…get some advice. Do some research. Watch some videos. Read a book. Hire a consultant. Do not go it alone. 

“The Hungry DIY Barber”

I realize this advice is 100% self-serving. One of my favorite sayings is, “never ask a hungry barber if you need a haircut.” But just because I write books and give advice for a living and I’m telling you to read a book and get advice–that doesn’t make me wrong.

Hire someone else. Read other books. I’m just asking you not to dive head-first into selling your home without doing a little research. I meet so many sellers who firmly believe they have a handle on the process. I love them, but some of them can be pretty stubborn at times (much like myself). 

Since I know most of them will ignore this counsel, I’m throwing a heartfelt plea out to the friends and family of my fellow thick-headed, leap before they look, caution to the wind, never read the instructions, hold my beer, and “what’s the worst that could happen” brothers and sisters. You know who you are. 

Even if you save yourself one hour (time is non-renewable) or a few headaches, it will be worth it. I realize it goes against the grain for anyone remotely like me, but you can trust this advice because it came from my wife–who we all know is at least 78% smarter than I am. 

ohio mls flat fee realtor broker book you can sell it book for helping people sell their home how toNow that I’ve bared my soul, please share with me. What are the biggest mistakes you’ve “heard about” when it comes to selling a home? Tell me everything, and I promise not to let my wife give you the old, “When are you going to learn?” or my personal favorite, “I knew this would happen.” 

In the meantime, if you want my entire collection of lessons learned on how to sell your house, check out my latest book, “You Can Sell It: How to Advertise, Negotiate, and Close Your Home in Today’s Real Estate Market.”  It’s available in paperback, Kindle, and Audible/iTunes.

It’s a comprehensive guide for anyone selling a home. As a bonus, you also get over 50 pages of forms, checklists, templates, and scripts to help you crush it. Consider it a running narrative of all the lessons learned from a lifetime of selling real estate. Either way, I hope you enjoy it, and I would love to get your feedback. 

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Was this helpful? Do you have other questions? Do you want to confess your biggest learning experiences, aka horrible mistakes?  Hit me up HERE with your thoughts and comments. I read and respond to every email…eventually.

Best of luck,


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