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3 mistakes that can kill a home sale

Over the last 25 years as a Realtor, I have had the good fortune to be involved in close to 5,000 home sales.

I have walked through just about every home in this county at one time or another. I have seen it all: nude self-portraits, 16 pet snakes, and mold growing on dirty plates in the sink.

I counsel home sellers every day on the importance of presenting a clean, well-maintained home to the prospective buyer. I am baffled, however, by the money some sellers leave on the table by making costly mistakes.

These are what I consider the three biggest equity drainers home sellers can make.

Dirty Carpets

This will kill a home’s value and salability like no other. Even if everything else about the home is clean and tidy, the homebuyer cannot visually get past the nasty carpets. So if your carpets are too far gone to professionally clean, borrow the money and replace the carpet. Typically a $3,000 investment can mean another $10,000 to $15,000 in sale price on an average sized home.

We actually have a preferred flooring company that has a plan where the seller can pay them at closing!

Offensive Odors

smokeI have had buyers literally get a whiff of an offensive odor and walk right out.

If you have pets, have someone you trust be honest with you about your home’s scent. Homeowners get acclimated to the odors and do not know their home smells bad.

If you smoke in your home stop now and go outside. Smoke filled homes literally have to be completely repainted and have all carpets replaced to have a shot at top dollar.


A cluttered home hurts a seller in a couple of ways.

It makes your home look dirty and gives the buyer the impression that you have not maintained your home well.

Secondly, clutter tends to clutter the buyer’s brain and takes away their ability to see the home in an objective way.

It also makes rooms look darker and smaller which is not a positive for the seller.



All of these things can be corrected with a good strong Realtor who has the guts to be honest with the homeowner.

There is no doubt that it’s awkward to tell homeowners some of these things but if an agent is not upfront with the seller they are only hurting them and taking money out of their pocket.

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John Jones

During his 30 years in real estate, John has helped more than 7,500 families handle their real estate needs. Nobody has sold more homes in Rutherford County than John and there is not even a close second. Before opening his own brokerage, John Jones was a perennial top producer for Coldwell Banker from 1998 to 2008, consistently ranking among the top 1% of agents in the nation. In October of 2008, John realized his vision of a small boutique real estate firm that offers the best in customer service, market knowledge, wealth building opportunities, and innovative techniques that get homes sold. Offering several revolutionary programs to his clients such as the Guaranteed Sale Program, Instant Offer, and the Fixer-Upper program, John and his team continue to perennially set production records, with 560 units sold and over $185,000,000 in volume in 2020. Those numbers again put the company's agent average at the top of both the Rutherford County and greater Nashville rankings.

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