That is the ugliest paint color I have ever seen! Oh my gosh, look at all that dog hair! What’s that smell? Did they make cookies? They are never going to get that price for this house!
I’m talking specifically to you sellers.
Have you ever wondered what buyers really think of you home? Well, I’m about to dish out the secrets. Over my real estate career, I have shown hundreds of homes. And one of the things I’ve noticed is, buyers will make an opinion of your home as soon as they walk through the door. Not all of them are nice. Buyers need to feel comfortable in your home in order to want to buy it. Here are the top four things that I hear buyers say as they’re walking through homes. And they can be brutally honest!
The first thing is smells. The biggest ones are pet smells, cigarette smells, food smells, and overly-strong air fresheners. I suggest, first of all, inviting some neighbors over, or friends, and have them do a smell test. Just ask them, do they smell anything when they walk in your home? And then if they do, do your best to correct that, and listen to your real estate agents. They are going to do their best to help you attract buyers and sell your home.
If you do have unpleasant smells in your home, you’re going to need to go to the source of the smells to get rid of them. That could mean replacing some carpets, painting walls, or putting in a new air filter, or cleaning out some air ducts. Maybe removing some furniture, especially pieces that your pets like to sit on or lay on.
Remember, smells personalize a home. And we all associate smells with certain things, whether good or bad. So it’s best to have your home smelling as neutral as possible. At a minimum, I would suggest making sure the dog is clean, the litter box is empty, and that your teenage boy has brought his dirty clothes basket down to the laundry room. And emptying the trash just a little bit more often.
Number two is your personal interests. The last thing you want to do is distract, offend, or provoke the buyers. So pack up your weapons, special sports memorabilia collections, or things resembling your religious faith or political interests, especially in an election year. And also, dump all those casual photos. And it’s okay to have maybe one wedding photo up, but I wouldn’t have a wall full of wedding photos, that might be very attractive to some newlywed or recently married buyers, but to a newly divorcee, they’re not going to be so attractive, and may bring up bad memories.
DIRT & CLUTTER
Number three is clutter and dirt. You don’t want buyers wondering, how do they live like this? Instead, you want them to be imagining living in your home. Some cleaning no-nos, make sure you have clean baseboards, no pet hair around the house and in the corners. Check your showers, no moldy showers. And if you can, change that air filter so it smells clean and fresh.
Dirty homes can be a major turnoff to buyers. It’s well worth the time to do a super-deep clean before listing and then get on a regular cleaning schedule. And if you really need to, go ahead and hire a cleaner to come and clean regularly. The amount that a buyer will devalue your home because it’s dirty as well worth the cost of having a regular cleaner come in.
AND FOURTH, IS IT WORTH THE PRICE?
Buyers are going to make a decision within minutes of walking into your home, what they think your house is worth based on the perceived amount of “work” that they think needs to be done on the home. Buyers who don’t like your cosmetic finishes will almost always overestimate how much it’s going to cost to replace them.
Now, it’s impossible to appeal to every buyer’s taste. But a few cosmetic changes that don’t cost too much money, but will make a big difference in how buyers see your house are, interior and exterior paint. Update it to give your home a more modern look. Take down that old wallpaper that you put up 15 years ago. Trust me, they don’t want it.
New lighting and plumbing fixtures can be inexpensive, and they can give a room a whole new look. Replacing worn carpet can be pretty inexpensive and easy, and it makes a really big difference.
Follow your realtor’s advice and make those small updates. You’ll be really glad you did. If you have thought about selling this year and would like a seller consultation to see what you house might need, let’s connect.
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