As a realtor I often see clients completely remove homes from their short list for reasons that could have easily been avoided. I’ve seen people walk away from great homes for reasons that could have been solved for a few dollars before the buyers ever walked in.
I’ve put together a collection of 5 easy things any homeowner can address before their next home showing to prevent buyers from being immediately turned off.
Buyers Are Turned Off By Your Collections.
You don’t want to remind your buyers of the TLC show Hoarders. Remove any significant clusters of antiques or decorations, or memorabilia.
All that clutter can make the home feel dirty, smaller, and less appealing. It may be a good idea to rent a storage unit or move everything to the attic (you gotta pack everything up after you sell your home anyway). Plus, it is an advantage to show off the overabundance of space and storage – a quality most buyers are attracted to. When you have too much stuff, you are showing buyers that this home can’t even fit your stuff, much less theirs.
Buyers May Not Like Your Personal Style
I have an aunt who loves CocaCola, in fact, she loved it so much she even had CocaCola wallpaper installed. It was probably made just for her ( sorry Nanny ; ) )…
However, just because you love something, doesn’t mean the buyers will. The key is to neutralize the decor completely. We want the buyers to be able to imagine their own decor, almost like an artist looking at a BLANK canvas. However, I wouldn’t suggest getting rid of everything. We want to leave just enough to portray this is an inviting and happy home. Leave the one best family photo instead of 10.
Buyers Can’t See Past You Living Like A Slob
Besides terrible paint jobs, odors and uncleanliness can drastically affect the value of your home. The first thing the buyer thinks is If these people can live with this, no telling what else is being neglected. Also, they will be wondering how to get rid of the smells once they buy it.
We want them to feel warm and fuzzy inside. We want buyers to say “I’ll take this place as is and move in tomorrow!!” It’s a good idea to get someone that you know will be honest (maybe an in-law) with you and walk through the house to point out things that should be addressed. The truth is sometimes we get accustomed to odors, junk, broken doorknobs, etc.. and may not be aware of them.
Buyers are Afraid of the Dark
There’s no such thing as too much lighting. A dimly lit house can have a dramatic impact on the perception of value for buyers. For years, before I would meet buyers at homes, I would always show up early to turn all the lights on, open the blinds and let as much natural light in as possible. Look, architects get paid big bucks to put windows in certain places because they know how the sun will shine in throughout each season of the year (seriously, they do). Let’s not hide those windows. You will also want to go through each light fixture and make sure you have no bulbs that are out.
Buyers Don’t Like A Honey Do List
I feel your pain, no one wants to spend another Saturday knocking out chores around the house. But buyers don’t want to buy a house that’s going to take work before they can move in. More and more buyers are shopping for low-maintenance homes. Who wants to go to a restaurant and have to fix their own food? Or go to a hotel where you have to adjust the “about to fall off, kill me while I sleep” ceiling fan? Let’s put on the big boy tool belt, fix the holes in the wall, change the light bulbs and at least look like we are not trying to offload a bag of problems.