Selling Sunset's Emma Hernan reveals the 'absolute worst thing' you can do when selling your home

Her advice should secure you a higher offer instead

Emma Hernan
(Image credit: Jason Kent)

Netflix's Selling Sunset has returned for a sixth season – and with it comes a chance to look around LA's most luxurious properties with the city's most renowned real estate agents. Among them is Emma Hernan: the Boston native responsible for selling some of the Oppenheim Group's most remarkable properties. 

Emma recently sat down with H&G to share some of the biggest lessons she's learned throughout her years in the industry – including selling tactics that will add value to a home. The most powerful way to achieve a higher price, however, involves going lower in your asking price.

'Coming on too high is the absolute worst thing that any seller can do. I've seen it firsthand; you always get more by asking for less,' Emma says. 

'People often think they should go higher because they want more, but no. I tell my clients they don't need to accept any offer they don't want – but going lower always tends to get you more money.'

Emma Hernan

(Image credit: GettyImages)
Emma Hernan
Emma Hernan

Selling Sunset star Emma Hernan is the go-to agent for many luxury home buyers and sellers, both across the US and internationally. Alongside her place in the real estate industry, Emma has a rich background as an entrepreneur and angel investor – simultaneously serving as the CEO of her successful food company. 

Though it may initially sound contradictory, Emma explains that, in the long run, clients often make more money by starting lower – especially when we account for carrying costs that come with having a home on the market for a more extended period.

'Most people think that going higher, you’ll get closer to the price you want – but the problem is that a house will sit on the market for too long. Then you will have to make one price reduction after another, and all that, it’s sitting on the market with a carrying cost,' she says.

'If you had gone lower from the start, they likely would've received multiple more offers in that time.'

So, going lower is one of the most impactful ways to make more money overall, but what more can we do to clinch a sale? 

While there is lots of research about which room colors sell a house the fastest, Emma recommends styling with one rule in mind: go timeless and traditional.

Emma Hernan

(Image credit: Jason Kent)

'Some people tend to lean too far into a trend or color palette – but they should stick to a more timeless and traditional decor that appeals to a wide range of buyers,' she says.

'You need to think about it like this: just because it's something you like or want, it doesn't necessarily mean everybody will want that. And regardless – even if you're going to live in a home for five or 10 years – when you sell it, you will want a buyer to be interested in the house. You have to keep the house timeless and traditional. That's the biggest piece of advice I can give.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.