From People Who’ve Been There: Home Sellers’ Top 5 Regrets

published Jul 13, 2017
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(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

The saying “hindsight is 20/20” can apply to most major decisions in life—you often don’t know how you could’ve done something better until it’s already been done. And in the case of selling your home, it definitely rings true. So what is it that home sellers wish they could’ve done differently, knowing what they know now?

A recent Zillow report asked home sellers (both first-time and repeat sellers) to share their biggest regrets about the process. The number one response? Thirty-percent of sellers said they wish they had given themselves more time to prepare their home to be sold.

As for their other selling regrets:

  • 21 percent of sellers said they wished they’d taken more time to find a new home
  • 20 percent said they wished they’d moved into their new home faster
  • 19 percent said they wished they’d used an agent instead of selling their homes on their own
  • 16 percent said they wished they’d chosen a different agent to sell their home.

A little more than half of first-time sellers and repeat home sellers both agreed that the home-selling process can be a bit of a struggle. Fifty-two percent of first-time sellers, and 57 percent of repeat sellers said that putting their home on the market was challenging (54 percent overall). On the other hand, 46 percent of sellers said the process was both exciting and enjoyable.

It’s worth noting that despite their regrets and challenges, the majority—73 percent—of sellers said they were happy with the overall outcome of their sale.

A note for people looking to sell their homes: the report noted that what worked best for sellers was planning ahead, using an agent they trusted, making updates on their home, sharing quality images and videos, and not being afraid to regroup and rethink things if offers didn’t come through right away.