Are you selling your home soon? If so, we hope everything goes well, and that the sale goes through quickly. You do need to get on top of your house, however. When you’re showing the prospective buyer around, there are a few things that are guaranteed to turn them off your property. You may not need us to point out some of these things – what we are going to suggest may have turned you away from properties you have viewed – but we are going to list a few examples anyway, just in case you haven’t yet considered them.
Common Buyer Turnoffs
Bad first impressions
And by first impressions, we mean the curb appeal. If your lawn has turned into a jungle, if your driveway is a death trap to traverse (broken tiles, kids toys), and if the walls, doors, and windows are drab and unclean, then you are in danger of turning away the buyer before they set through the front door. Read our advice on curb appeal, and give the buyer an incentive to step into your home, rather than causing them to flee in the opposite direction.
Your home smells
Sorry to be so rude, but it could be true. Every house has its own smell, of course, but some odors are stronger than others. There will be the smell of cigarettes if you smoke. If you have pets, there may be odors from damp fur, unclean cages, or whiffy kitty litter. There may be the smell of damp if you have mold growing anywhere. You can read this article on that matter to discover more. If you have just cooked a particularly pungent meal before the buyers arrive (we are thinking egg or garlicky dishes), then you may turn the buyer’s stomach, rather than add to their hunger pangs. These are just some of the reasons why your house smells, so get on top of this nuisance whiffs. Put the pets outside, and clean up their mess in and out of the house. Don’t eat until after the buyers have gone, and bake cookies in your oven instead to add a homely smell to your home. Enlist a second nose from a friend or neighbor to sniff out any other smells around your house.
There is clutter everywhere
If you ever intended to declutter your home, now is the time to do it. If your home is a health and safety nightmare because there is stuff everywhere, then it’s time to have a tidy up, purchase new storage, or have a clearout. The buyer needs to view your home without risking life and limb. Traversing an obstacle course is only going to frustrate them. And remember. The buyer needs to imagine themselves living in the property. If they can’t see floor and wall space because of the amount of stuff you have accumulated, you are going to block their thinking, as well as their view.
Your home is badly maintained
Imagine the scene. Your front door creaks as you open it to welcome the buyer. They step inside and notice the crumbling paintwork and peeling wallpaper on your walls. Stepping from room to room, the floorboards creak beneath them. They shiver, not at the sight of your money pit, but because of the drafts seeping in through badly fitted doors and windows. Before they even get into your bathroom they are treated to an impromptu shower from your leaky roof. Your home has issues, both big and small, and unless you have marketed your home as a fixer-upper, you are going to send the buyer scurrying away. Our advice: get on top of any repair jobs before you show the house to anybody. There are some things you can do yourself, but for larger problems, bring in the professionals.
Your property is dimly lit
You may have spent an age getting your home ready for the prospective buyer, but if they can barely see anything, what’s the point? We are exaggerating, but you do need to find ways to brighten up your home if lighting is an issue. Replace heavy drapes with lighter curtains. Clean any dirty windows. Install extra light fixtures in the most dimly lit rooms. Change your lightbulbs. Repaint offending rooms with colors that reflect light. Trim any external bushes or trees that are blocking natural light from entering your home. Do anything you can, brightening up your home to give the buyer a brighter outlook when considering your property as a viable place to purchase.
Your home isn’t clean
Before the buyer arrives, you must get on top of the housework. If there are dishes piled up in the sink, if countertops are stained with food, if there are damp towels strewn across the bathroom floor, and if the buyer has a coughing fit because of the high dust build up, then you are going to offend the buyer’s sensibilities. Cleaning your home before a house showing is the least you can do, so get on top of things in good time. And if you come home after a hard days work and discover your family hasn’t stuck to the cleaning rota? Then here’s a helpful guide to help you get your house clean within an hour. The buyer may never realize how messy your home had been previously!
You are the problem
Rather than showing your home to buyers yourself, you may be better off leaving it in the hands of the realtor. Especially if you are a) prone to crying every five minutes because you don’t want to let your home go, or b) you talk at length about the history of the house, the memories you have formed, and your life in general, or c) you have no tolerance for the many questions the buyer may have, then know that you aren’t the best person for the job! Leave it to the experts instead, and busy yourself elsewhere until they have gone.
So, if you are selling your home soon, or if you have been struggling to sell, consider the above and make all the necessary changes. You will be knocking down that ‘for sale’ sign in no time if you do!