Selling Your House? 4 Things You Should Never Do

'Million Dollar Listing' real estate agent offers his advice to sellers.

ByABC News
February 4, 2014, 1:53 PM

Feb. 4, 2014— -- intro: Most people know that patching holes in the walls or upgrading bathroom fixtures can make a home more appealing to buyers, but there are some simple mistakes that can keep a house from selling.

Josh Altman, most recognized for his role on Bravo's reality series, "Million Dollar Listing," is one of the top realtors in the country as part of his brokerage, The Altman Brothers. As someone who has seen the good, the bad and the very ugly of home listings across the country, Altman said sellers can forget to make a home less personal.

"[Buyers] want to picture themselves in the house, not you in the house," Altman said. "The truth of the matter is there's a house for everybody. It may not be to your liking, but there's somebody out there at the right price who is going to buy the house."

Altman went house hunting with "Nightline" and pointed out the pitfalls people made when they listed homes for sale. Here are just some of his suggestions for things sellers should never do.

quicklist:1title: DON'T Hang on to Your Personal Touchestext: To prepare a house for sale, Altman suggests making room decor and paint color, both on the interior and exterior of the house, as neutral and general as possible. In short, sellers need to "de-personalize" the home.

"You've got to get all your personal stuff out of your house," he said. "When a buyer is walking through a house, you want them to be able to visualize that house as theirs as much as possible. If there are pictures of you and your family, take those down."

quicklist:2title: DON'T Get Wild with Architecture or Stylestext: "When you're building a house or trying to sell it, you want to appeal to the masses," Altman said, so don't cram different types of architecture and styles into one home or it will look like a mess.

"Keep a house one particular style. If you're going to modern, stick to it the whole way through the house," he continued. "If you're going to do one thing, keep to that. Don't change it up and have a half Mediterranean house and half modern house and half fraternity house."

quicklist:3title: DON'T Ignore Clutter or Bad Smellstext: Aside from making the obvious updates and fixes to the home, one of the most important things you can do when selling, Altman said, is making sure the house looks and smells clean.

"Trust me, I've walked through houses everywhere and I have to take my tie, cover it around my face because it smelled so bad due to mold, pets," he said. "I've walked through the worst of the worst."

quicklist:4title: DON'T Forget Curb Appealtext: When it comes to buying homes, there is such a thing as judging a book by its cover. Altman said another top tip for sellers is to work on curb appeal.

"Grass, flowers, freshen it up a bit, maybe a new paint job, as well as the inside, go with neutral colors," he said. "Get rid of the junk in front of the house, get some nice landscaping."

And that includes making sure the pictures of the house being used in the listing make the home shine.

"I spend a lot of money on pictures in houses," Altman said. "If the pictures don't look good, no one's going to see your house."