BAM Key Details

  • According to a study by Clever Real Estate, many home sellers are unhappy with the speed at which their homes were sold this year.
  • Sellers also expressed dissatisfaction with the profit they made from selling their homes.
  • Agent support plays a crucial role in sellers’ satisfaction, with sellers regretting high commission rates, offering concessions, and not properly preparing the home for sale. 

Homeowners have been hearing stories of how fast and easy (not to mention profitable) it is to sell a home since the end of 2020, making many believe it to be an easy process. But, selling a home is a significant transaction—and if sellers aren’t fully prepared, they’ll wind up with regrets.

A recent survey from Zillow found 84% of first-time home sellers wish they had done something differently regarding the timing, pricing or marketing of the transaction. And a survey from Clever Real Estate revealed that 95% of all sellers regret some aspect of their home sale. 

To dive deeper into the seller mindset, here are two aspects of the process sellers are dissatisfied with, followed by the top 12 regrets of home sellers.

Length of Time on Market

In today’s market, high mortgage rates and increases in home prices have caused some buyers to pull back. This means, in many areas, there aren’t as many contingency-free bids as soon as a property hits the market. Many sellers are not ready (or aware) of this shift in the market. Because of this, Clever reports 44% of sellers weren’t satisfied with how quickly their homes sold. 

In addition, 40% of sellers say home selling was more difficult than expected, which is up from 31% who said the same in 2022. 

The percentage of homes sold within a month decreased by half, down from 55% in 2022 to 28% in 2023. Homes selling in less than one day also decreased by half— from 8% to 4%—while homes that took three or more months to sell increased from 22% in 2022 to 40% in 2023.

Home Sale Profit

In addition to expecting a fast sale, many sellers today also expect an exorbitant profit. But affordability issues mean many buyers are unable to overbid on homes (at least not to the level they were the past two years). Sellers who want to sell quickly must set their initial asking price in line with the buyers’ projections. 

After all the negotiations occur and the sale closes, more than 1 in 3 sellers (38%) were not satisfied with the profit they made when selling their home. The report shows that more than half (58%) of sellers made under $50,000 in profit, with 6% reporting they lost money and 2% reporting they broke even on the deal.  

Top 12 Regrets of Home Sellers

Just as Clever found the majority of buyers are feeling remorseful about their home purchase in 2023, 95% of sellers surveyed also had regrets about at least one aspect of their home sale. 

Here are the top 12 regrets of home sellers, according to Clever:

  1. Realtor commission was too high – 28%
  2. Too many concessions – 26%
  3. Home sat on market for too long – 21%
  4. Wished they made repairs before listing – 20%
  5. Home didn’t sell for enough money – 19%
  6. Wished they waited to list the home – 19%
  7. Waited too long to list the home – 19%
  8. Wished they sold with a Realtor – 19%
  9. Wished they sold FSBO – 18%
  10. Miss the home after selling – 17%
  11. Wished they staged the home – 17%
  12. Felt pressured to accept an offer – 17%

It is up to agents to educate sellers about the difficulties of selling a home. All of these problems can easily be avoided if the home sellers are dealing with an agent who prioritizes their best interests and understands the business. 

Agents should emphasize the importance of setting realistic expectations regarding commission rates, time on market, negotiating concessions effectively, and pricing the home appropriately to minimize regrets related to financial aspects. Educating sellers about the significance of marketing the home and preparing it to sell—including making necessary repairs and staging the home—can potentially lead to quicker sales and higher selling prices.

Ultimately, real estate agents play a pivotal role in helping sellers navigate the complexities of the home selling journey. By providing comprehensive market knowledge and offering sound advice, agents can significantly reduce the likelihood of their clients experiencing regrets and help them achieve successful and satisfying home sales.