What Americans Have Spent So Far This Year In Commissions:

When selling your home, you are in a unique position to hold highly effective open houses. When done right, it’s one of your most powerful home seller marketing tools. When done wrong, it can be a fruitless, all consuming emotional drain. I want to share some strategies that can help you avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve seen over the years.

Whenever I’m helping home sellers set up a do-it-yourself (DIY) marketing plan, I make three key points.

Hovering over your potential home buyer

Don’t hover. It makes me uncomfortable. And if you have to, just give me some space. Whenever I walk into a For Sale By Owner’s home, this is one of the most common pitfalls sellers get into. You’re telling me you don’t trust me. If you’re worried about a stranger walking through your home, be subtle by being non-intrusively hospitable. Check on them after they’ve walked into a room and make sure they don’t have any questions, ask them if I’d like a cup of water or coffee, hell even a beer. Just don’t follow them around like they’re a criminal. It’s just not going to get you more offers.

Step-by-step seller commentating

Related to hovering, play-by-play commenting on every little detail about the house as they walk through is a bad sign. It’s a symptom of both the nervously over-eager seller and the prideful homeowner. We call this type of seller the “announcer” or “commentator.” You, the DIY marketing home seller with your play-by-play commenting, have shifted walkthrough homebuyers’ attention from themselves and the home to you. Additionally, if you did not mention something that you later disclose in the seller disclosure, that incongruity can hurt how buyer’s see your integrity.

Consciously or not, the buyer is now paying attention to your personality and your personal relationship with the home you want to sell. If they want to know something, believe me, they will ask you. When a buyer prospect, either in a walkthrough or seller hosted open house, comes through your home, you need to be doing one thing: helping them ask themselves, “how can I make this home my own?” and, “what would it be like for me and my family to live here?”

Revealing too much of your seller personality

Maybe being a likeable house seller might work to your advantage in some cases or at some point. But it probably won’t. The vast majority of the time, getting your prospect to know you off the bat you will not help you. It won’t increase your chances of getting an offer and it can be harmful. Think about it, if I don’t like you, I might not want to deal with you. If I really like you, I might not want to deal with you. It’s much better if I think you seem like a decent person that wouldn’t be hard to deal with. So let me have a chance to like your home, imagine myself in it, and not focus on you, your opinions, or your irrelevant life style.

Reader Interactions


  1. Daniel says

    That would be based on whether the bank wants to accpet those terms. You would put in your offer that they would pay for such and such amount of selling costs, and they would make a decision whether they wanted to or not. This is a good way to get your offer rejected. Basically, short sales are a big enough pain as is, and you want to add as little b.s. as you possibly can. Asking for things like paying closing costs, repairing things, contigency on selling your house all make your offer much less attractive to them. Your best bet is a cash offer with no frilly clauses. Just past that, an offer with a pre-approved mortgage and no frilly clauses stands a decent chance.If you love the house, and you can’t afford to pay closing costs, make the offer, and see what happens. However, if you can’t afford that, you may want to rethink how much you can afford to buy a house altogether.Remember that, while buying a short sale, you can expect to wait very long periods of time for anything to get done. Anything less would be a big surprise. It’s also entirely possible that the short sale will never close, and the house will move to foreclosure. Unless getting that house is a necessity (rather than a nice find), it may be worth looking at your other options.


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