So you are planning to put your home on the market. You plan on selling, but want to make sure that you generate interest, leave a lasting impression, and “wow” the potential buyers who come inside for a visit. Sounds easy enough; they come in, look around, maybe you plan on telling them the history of the house, or walking them through for a tour. You have cleaned up, but you still have clutter and boxes scattered all over the place as you try to pack up for the move into your new home. It’s alright though. The people visiting are obviously interested in this house from what they read and the pictures they saw online– who cares if the house isn’t as empty or clean as it could be? After all, this is still your house. You think that it won’t hurt if you walk through the house with the buyers or stand over them while they look in the cupboards. Maybe you even take a peak when they walk into the bedroom so that you can see what their reaction is.That won’t matter to the prospective buyer… Right? WRONG!!
Unfortunately, there are several small mistakes that sellers make that can “turn off” prospective buyers altogether. Sellers must take a step back and realize that they can become their own worst enemy if they are not careful. An article in the “Sun Sentinel” revealed five things that turn off prospective buyers.
- A cluttered house or one that smells. While one might think that prospective buyers can look past the fact that you are moving out, having too many possessions and boxes is an unappealing visual that can hurt the sellers chance of selling their home. Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home and if the current occupants have possessions that take up space, it is hard for buyers to visualize themselves in that home. Ideally, the sellers should have all their stuff moved out before putting their home up for sale (or at least put stuff in storage!). Additionally, foul odors such as cigarette smoke or nasty pet smells are a turn off to prospective buyers. Buyers will not even waste their time going through a home that smells like smoke.
- False or misleading advertising. Be honest. Many times sellers mislead or even falsely advertise certain aspects about their home. For example, just because you used that spare, windowless, closet-less room as a bedroom for the past twenty years does not make it an additional bedroom. Comparatively, sellers should not claim that their home that has a water view is a waterfront property. Sellers should not try to sell what is not really there– state the facts and remain honest!
- Sellers not committed to selling. Often times, sellers will list their home for sale just for the sake of “testing the waters.” These types of sellers will test the market, then waffle when buyers show serious interest. “Wishy-washy sellers don’t use lock boxes that give agents quick access, or they’re not accommodating when it comes to scheduling the homes for showings” (Sun Sentinel). For sellers who truly want to sell their home, the home should be available to show at almost any time. There should be only very few times when a seller cannot show their home.
- Overpricing the house. It’s understandable that sellers might get attached to the home where they’ve lived for years. However, sellers should not let their fond memories lead to overvaluation of their home. Instead, sellers should seek the agent who can best represent them. Find the agent who will provide you with the information for recent selling prices for comparable homes in the area. Even though prices are on the rise, sellers who price their property too high will not generate much interest. Sellers who list their home at market price are going to have a better chance of getting it sold.
- Sellers who stay for the showing. “This is a pet peeve of buyers and agents, who say sellers should be long gone when prospective buyers show up” (Sun Sentinel). Buyers want to tour without the owners lingering around. Buyers want to make the decision whether they should buy a piece of property– owners who “give the tour” and try to “sell” the prospective buyer on why they should buy the house are doing more harm than good. Some real estate professionals even advise sellers to not speak with buyers until a contract is signed. “By revealing their motivation, for instance, sellers can inadvertently give buyers more power in negotiations” (Sun Sentinel). Sellers beware.
If you are interested in listing your home with Suncoasteam Realty, would like buyer representation or if you have any questions regarding a particular piece of property, please contact Jim Mulligan at Suncoasteam Realty, 941-235-7474 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.