Selling a house is a ton of work and can be nerve-wracking. What are buyers looking for? Will they like your house? Are there things that might make them walk away? What repairs should you make? You aren’t alone in your worries!
Before you list your home, check out a few reasons why buyers might not want to make an offer.
The last thing you want potential buyers to think about is how messy your home looks. If you look around your house and notice piles of clutter everywhere, even if it makes your home more functional for day to day living, it’s time to tidy up! Sort, donate, sell, and recycle your unnecessary items. You may also want to pack away things you don’t really need right now to give your home a neat and tidy feel. Your goal is to help buyers picture themselves living in the home!
Be prepared to keep your home clean and tidy until you sell your home. Organize drawers and storage areas. Clean your house top to bottom and get rid of non-essential items throughout the home. Don’t forget countertops! Minimize the amount of clutter on any surface throughout your home.
“What’s that smell?”
That’s the last thing you want potential buyers to say when they enter your home! While you may be used to your pet smells or lingering cigarette smell, your buyers may find it incredibly off-putting. Invest in deep cleaning your carpets, draperies, and bedding before showing your home. Clean out litter boxes, wash the dog, and make your teenagers do their laundry. If you are worried you’ve become “nose blind,” invite a friend or family member over to help you root out possible offensive odors.
YOU love your pets, but in all likelihood, potential buyers won’t…even if they ARE well-behaved. Take your dogs for a walk or to a kennel while showing your home. You can also look for dog walkers in your neighborhood, or find a doggy daycare. It keeps your pets safe and out of the way and helps buyers feel more comfortable.
Indoor cats are a bit trickier but you may still want to keep them out of the way in a cat carrier or perhaps they can spend the day at a friend’s house. If you have smaller animals that live in a cage, remember to keep their cages clean to reduce the smell.
Does your house look like an abandoned lot? Curb appeal is incredibly important when selling your home so if a buyer pulls up to a house that looks like the owners forgot they had a yard, they might not even step inside! It doesn’t cost much to make immediate improvements. Take time to trim hedges and cut the grass. Depending on the time of year, you can add a splash of color with some flowers on the porch or in flower beds. During winter months, keep walkways clear of ice and snow and keep your porch clear of debris.
Bathroom or kitchen carpet
If your home is older, it’s possible you have carpet in places people hate like a bathroom, a dining room, or even a kitchen. While it may not be worth the expense to replace all that carpet, it may stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers. If you happen to have carpet hiding hardwood floors, consider removing your carpet. At the very least, make certain that your carpet is professionally cleaned.
Outdated fixtures and faucets
Remember when brass fixtures were popular? So does your buyer and it was a long time ago. Depending on the cost to replace outdated fixtures or faucets, it may be well worth it to give your home a much needed update. Choose nickel, chrome, or stainless steel which will help your home feel more modern.
Your paint colors and wallpaper
While your daughter may love her hot pink walls, it’s likely your buyers won’t. If you list your home with your current color palette or wallpaper choices and find it’s not selling as quickly as you hoped, it’s possible this is part of the problem. Potential buyers may be unable to picture how the room would look without that red accent wall or floral wallpaper. Remember, this is going to be someone else’s home and they want to put their own mark on it if they buy it. Take some time to paint over bold colors and remove outdated wallpaper and go for a more neutral palette overall.
You know it. Your potential buyers know it. Popcorn ceilings scream “outdated home.” Depending on the age of your home, you may need to test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos. It will be an additional expense, but if you want to appeal to new buyers, it’s worth it. Hire a professional for everything from the asbestos testing, to removing and refinishing the ceiling. A drywall or painting contractor should be able to help you with this messy job.
Now that your home is in tip top shape, you are ready to sell it! If you aren’t already working with a Realtor, find out the benefits of having some help selling your home.
Have some questions about listing your home? Let us help! Contact us at 801.210.0819.