How to Avoid Leaving Money on the Table when You Sell Your Home

The phrase “leaving money on the table” is a popular saying which means not getting enough money as you could have. If you are like most sellers, you hope to sell your home at the very best possible price. No one wants to leave money on the table, after all.

There are several strategies your agent may try to fetch the highest price, approaches which have been effective for numerous sellers.

Keep in mind; there are no one-size-fits-all approaches when it comes to selling a home—what works for one may not work for another. But there are some options you should at least discuss with your agent before you list.

Over the years I have found that some sellers are reluctant to take the advice of their real estate agent when it comes to pricing. There clearly is a fear that the agent is underselling their property. This has led to the practice by agents of telling the seller what they want to her rather than the cold hard truth.

Either way, Leaving money on the table when selling a house is not a pleasant thought.

You can easily avoid leaving money on the table by following the ‘right’ home selling strategy by an agent with proven results. By following their advice, you’ll dramatically increase your odds of getting multiple offers over the asking price. Sound like something you would be interested in? Who wouldn’t right?

Avoid pressuring the agent to overprice your home.

Wanting to price your home higher than your agent recommends is commonplace, but in many instances, misguided all the same. Of course, you want to set the price high. The higher you set the price, the more money you make, right? Wrong!

Overpricing a house will backfire, making it harder or impossible to sell the home. When you finally do lower the price, you will probably have to lower it to the point where you make less money than you would have if you’d priced it reasonably in the first place. Homes priced correctly from day one always sell for more money.

Homes that are overpriced languish on the market. Ramping up the days on the market is a sure fire way to take less money on your home. Pricing a home accurately is how you’ll end up with more money in your pocket.

Overpricing in real estate sales often comes from some popular pricing misconceptions including the following:

  • We need to price our home with a certain amount of negotiating room.
  • If we wait a bit longer a higher offer will appear.
  • A quick offer means we priced our home too low.
  • We just need the right buyer who will pay more.
  • The internet says my house is worth more.


Think about deferring the first Viewing of your home.

How ‘Deferred Viewings’ work.

Getting your first interested buyer through the door can be incredibly exciting. Maybe they will make an offer. Perhaps it will sell right away! Well, it may. Especially if you are in a strong seller’s market then there is a good chance a buyer will take a look at the home and make an offer that works for you.

When this happens, it can be challenging to say no. You have an offer, and you are on the cusp of having the whole situation—all the stress of the sales process—over with.

But by taking that first offer, you may be missing out on a better offer that could come after. Remember that fear of leaving money on the table?

Deferred Viewings provide an alternative to the standard sales process. Instead of listing and showing the house as buyers trickle in, you put up the listing on the internet and then wait a certain period before showings can happen.

What you’re doing is letting a significant amount of people salivate at the chance to purchase your home. But they can’t see it just yet.

What I like to do is list my properties on a Monday and not let anyone in the door until Saturday. There are five full days of buyers being able to see a home on the various websites before they can view the property. In a healthy seller’s market, your home should be flooded with buyers that first weekend.

When you follow this Deferred Viewing strategy, the odds that you will get multiple offers for your property skyrocket! If you do get multiple offers, you may begin a bidding war that will result in a significantly higher offer for your home. A bidding war is especially likely if you are selling in a price point with limited inventory.

Deferred Viewings do not need to be drawn out excessively, either. Most deferred showings only wait 5 – 7 days before showing the property. By stalling showings by no more than a week, you can often get far more money for your home.

A side perk of deferred viewings is you can do any of those last-minute things you would like to attend to before the first official home open.

Remember that selling an overpriced home is next to impossible.

Overpriced homes do not sell regardless of what you do. Deferring showings is a powerful strategy in many instances, but it will not make a difference if you price the home too high.

Buyers are well-aware of the current market and are not going to be taken in by an overpriced property. Even if you somehow managed to get an offer for your overpriced home, the buyer’s lender will not loan money on a home that is priced too high. You’ll end up fighting the valuer and that’s a fight you probably won’t win. There is no way to trick or cheat the system here. The home must be competitively priced to sell.

Hire an Agent You Trust and follow their advice.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of hiring a good real estate agent. No matter how much you research real estate advice, it is essential to recognize that every strategy has its weaknesses. The person best qualified to decide your approach is your agent.

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not all the same. We all offer very different strategies, approaches, advertising and levels of service. So, do your research. Websites such as and all offer you the ability to research agents in your area and also, to view their profiles. Recommendations of friends who have also sold within the area can also be valuable.

One of the best ways to interview agents is to visit home opens in your area. This will give you a good (anonymous) insight into how they run a home open, their style and their team. Some agents are great at listing a lot of homes but then unable to attend all the home opens. In this case you will get a junior team member. If its important to you that the agent you choose is actually the one doing the home open and speaking to the buyers then make sure you do your research.

Make Sure The Marketing of Your Home is Exceptional.

When selling a home, there are some things that are an absolute must if you want to get top dollar for your property. Make sure you do all of these things to maximize your net proceeds.

Your real estate agent will design a strategy specifically for you. Some tips to improve your chances of success are:

  • Have the home looking it’s absolute best both inside and out. It goes without saying that selling a home starts with curb appeal and ends with an interior that sparkles.
  • Make sure the photography on your home is outstanding. Remember this – 90 percent of all buyers find their home from an online search. Photography is of the utmost importance.
  • The description for your home should be well thought out and detailed. Lots of real estate agents don’t take the time to craft compelling real estate descriptions.
  • Listing details should be enhanced on key websites.
  • Provide a professional video tour or slideshow presentation.
  • Provide drone photography if warranted.
  • 3D walkthroughs can increase enquiry from interstate and overseas buyers
  • Have good quality colour brochures a buyer can take with them that show off all the best features of your property both inside and out.
  • Make sure the real estate agent is following up with all inquiries and you are given showing feedback.

Final Thoughts

How and when you open your home to prospective buyers will be all for naught if you pick a lousy real estate agent who overprices your home and provides little to no marketing. Don’t make the same mistake, so many other sellers do all the time. Take the time and conduct a thorough interview process of a least three real estate agents.

A common mistake is to choose the cheapest agent. The reality is that marketing costs all of us the same, so a cheap campaign is not going to be a quality campaign and will more than likely end up compromising the final sales price.

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