Home selling don'ts in 2021


There’s always a long list of things to DO when you’re selling—but, especially in this fast-moving sellers’ market—we’re happy to fill you in on what sellers DON’T need to do in 2021. Relax, and enjoy dreaming of your new home instead!

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be wondering how to fit all the prep-for-sale tasks (repairs, cleaning, de-cluttering, paperwork…), around your already-busy life.

Yes, it’s true that, even though homes are getting snapped up like pumpkin spice cookies, there will almost certainly be some projects you’ll need to fit in. But you may be surprised at some of the things we’re finding that sellers can AVOID adding to their to-do lists. Here are our top 6:


This year’s colors and themes may be terrific, but they’re usually chosen to create a trendy new look—they’re not designed to set the stage for maximum appeal among the widest range of buyers. Even that soothing grey that’s been on designers’ radar isn’t always the best solution: colors shift depending on flooring, furniture, and seasonal lighting.

If you want to achieve the best results, ask your realtor or a staging pro for recommendations about which colors and decor will deliver the best return on investment. (Bonus: You can usually get away with simple decluttering and cleaning of secondary spaces like bedrooms, dining rooms and home office, too.)


When you start reviewing your home’s checklist of desirable features, you may be tempted to think you’ll need to upgrade features to make your home be up to snuff with others in your neighborhood. But right now, “livable” is the actionable goal. Sellers who feel they need to paint their red brick exteriors, dark cabinets, or change bathroom counters… should check with a pro first. In this market, many modifications that might easily have paid off a year or so ago, just aren’t needed. If a good return on investment is what you’re looking for, your best bet is to zero in on anything that looks damaged, deteriorating or broken. Cosmetic items, if spaces still qualify as livable, are a far lower priority.


While there’s plenty that you DON’T need to fix in this market, items that are potential red flags for inspectors aren’t among them. Get expert advice if you have any concerns about your home’s systems or major structures: e.g., electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roof, wet foundations. While some buyers are putting down big due diligence deposits, a serious inspection issue may still kill the deal—and make it more difficult for you to get your next one.


More than ever, your real estate listing photos are critical to attracting buyers and driving multiple-offer scenarios. In many cases, buyers are even closing on homes they’ve ONLY seen in photos. Snapshots—even very nice ones—can’t truly compete in today’s online home-touring environment.

Capturing eye-opening digital images of your rooms that show your home to best advantage requires expertise; often special lighting is needed, too. The hundreds you might invest in your real estate photos today are among the most likely to help you reap thousands at closing!


True, pricing isn’t exactly like the other tasks on your prep list, but determining the right price for your home is an important detail to get right. Setting too high a price (oh-so-tempting when you see what your neighbor’s house just went for!), is a sure way to dampen interest. While this is a hot market, encourage multiple buyers to want IN.

Price at a fair market value so you draw in more buyers who (if you’ve done your prep and photo work properly), will submit competing offers and drive your home above asking price.

And the top tip for what sellers don’t need to do in 2021…


You may look at the stats for home sales and decide that selling your home on your own will be a money-maker. The truth is though, buyers and their offers are not as straightforward as you may imagine—and securing the best offer with the fewest concessions is tricky. From legal headaches to juggling the flood of calls, emails, appointments, no-shows and more, being your own real estate agent is risky, and exhausting. Maybe that’s why, according to Zillow, while 36% at some point try selling on their own, only 11% ultimately close the deal.

Protect yourself from added costs and sneaky line items. Give us a ring and we’ll be happy to help streamline your home selling process, and guide you through creating your own personal list of what sellers don’t need to do in 2021.

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