Thursday, December 24, 2015

Your Home is Too Bright - 10 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

My wife and I sold our second home in 2005.  Given we were ‘experienced’ home sellers, I attempted to sell our home on my own.  We prepped our home to what we thought was PERFECT, listed it online on a Thursday and put out Open House signs that Saturday.  We did multiple Open Houses where I spent Saturday and Sunday sitting in the home waiting for buyers/agents to come through.  We did get some traffic, but no offers.  After 3 months, my wife and I were frustrated and decided to hire one of the top real estate agents in our area.  The first thing our agent did was coach us on how to eliminate buyer turn-offs and make our home appealing to the masses, not the perfect buyer.  Homebuyers are a notorious picky bunch.

What’s keeping your perfect home from selling? As the homeowner, you may be overlooking some obvious buyer turn-offs such as these:
1. Pet water bowls in sight
Your house might not smell of dog, but if a potential buyer spots Fido’sbowl, you might ending up feeling sick as a dog when you lose the sale. Even a hint of a canine resident can send fraidy-cats running.
2. Hot tub time machine
Although you might think that groovy backyard hot tub will impress, potential buyers might view it as a huge hassle — just think about the expense and aggravation of removing it to expand the deck!
3. Too much light
No one wants to live in a cave, but the flip side also can be true: sometimes a room is just too bright.  When a buyer walks into your home, you don’t want them to say, “Wow … too much light. I feel like I’m on display.”
4. Dated hardware
The hardware and fixtures you installed in the ’90s might be off your radar, but potential buyers may find them dated.  A quick and easy fix is to switch the brass lighting, cabinet hardware, and door hardware to brushed nickel.
5. Visible signs of mold or mildew
You already know this one isn’t good, but having mold and mildew in the house is even worse than you might think. Buyers see it and imagine spacesuits, masks, and thousands upon thousands of dollars in repairs running out of their bank accounts.
6. Personal artifacts
You might cherish those years of enjoyment gazing at your child’s artwork, the prize fish you caught, or your creepy-cute doll collection, but those are all turnoffs to buyers.
7. Dirty laundry
You’ve probably heard the expression “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.” (If not? Bless your heart. It means don’t discuss private issues in public.)
But in the case of showing your home, you can take the phrase literally. If buyers see your dirty laundry, they’ll flee before they look at the rest of the house.
8. Odd use of space
Buyers want to visualize themselves living in the home. Why make things difficult for them by showing your space in an unconventional way?  When buyers see four tables in the same room or a loveseat in the dining room, it can be quite confusing.
9. Dirty windows
We know it’s a pain to clean the windows (inside and out), but it can make a world of difference to buyers when they can actually see the world around them.
10. Unfriendly reading material
Any object in the home can make an impression on a potential buyer. I remember an attorney’s condo that was filled with books on litigation.  Yikes. The last thing a buyer wants to think about is getting sued by a seller.
At the end of the day, as you prep your home for sale, put yourself in the shoes of the mass buyer.  As the seller, your goal is to appeal to most buyers as possible so in many cases, the more neutral the colors, the pictures, the magazines on the coffee table, etc, the better your chances of capturing the most buyers.  These recommendations are not that expensive, but do take a little bit of time and thought to put yourself in the shoes of the mass buyer.
What are some of your experiences with buyer turnoffs, either as the seller or the buyer? We would love to hear about them!