You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so anything you can do to wow a buyer as they come through your home is a plus. I have put together 10 of the most common mistakes sellers do when listing a home.
1. Take down all personal photos.
While you and your family might be very photogenic (and apparently love the grateful dead) buyers want to see themselves in a home of their own, not inside YOUR home. Take down any photos of friends and family and only leave wall art that is for lack of a better term "generic".
2. Show off the best features of your home.
You probably remember walking into your house and loving a few things about it. Maybe it was a view of the staircase or it was the master bathroom, whatever it was try to find a way for buyers to hang around in that space. Maybe put up a list of all the upgrades that you have done to the home in that great master bathroom.
3. Hide your opinions.
This is a big one. Some people have unique taste. Maybe you love your Cabbage Patch Dolls (I took this photo earlier this year while touring a house with some buyers) but lets face it everyone might not think this looks nice.
Also, maybe you are a big supporter of the Republican or Democratic parties and you have pictures up with you and the politicians that you support. Totally fine but not when you are selling your house.
4. Clean Up!
This one is pretty easy, the whole time while your home is in the market you have to keep a very clean home. Get rid of all of your clutter on the mantle and most of what is on the shelves by getting a head start on your packing. A cluttered home is going to feel smaller and a smaller home feels downright claustrophobic.
5. Peace and Quiet
Many times I will go into a home and there is a TV on or maybe some music that they like playing through the house. When showing your home turn off the TV as it is very distracting to buyers. Also, if you want to play a little music play it very softly and play something very bland (think elevator music) as everyone might not like to hear your favorite Metallica song playing in the background.
If you close your eyes and smell a nice vanilla or lavender scent usually you are imagining something peaceful or maybe you smell fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and you think of home. These are the smells that you want in your home. Not last nights dinner or your pets bed. At open houses I usually bake cookies but an easy fix is some plug in air fresheners throughout the home.
This is a tricky one because you don't want to spend a lot of money trying to get your home ready to sell, but at the same time you want your home to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. So if you have some accent walls or maybe some rooms where you added some fun colors or unique wall paper think about repainting those to a more neutral color. Try to use a satin paint as it will look nice and is great for high traffic areas.
In our home we have a dog, 5 fish, and I'm sure more pets in the future. We are very diligent about keeping the dog bathed and his beds washed but when the time comes to sell, we will be adding more air fresheners and maybe even get an air purifier or two just in case anyone has any pet allergies. The best way to find out if your home has an odor is to ask a trusted friend with a good sniffer or maybe your real estate agent.
9. Sell it
Many times I have clients that are going to leave their high end refridgerator, washer and dryer, or maybe a flat screen that you have had mounted. A great way to showcase this is to have small cards printed to say this stays with the house. Keep it under 10 cards in a normal sized home but make them nice cards. It will make a difference. Also, at the same time make sure to remove all jewelry and other valuables with you. Buyers will definiately open closets and drawers.
If a buyer likes the house they will stay for 20-30 minutes, however if you are showing them around or waiting in another room the most they will stay is 5 minutes. Go for a walk around the block or run to the store but stay away until they are gone. You will have a much better chance of getting a good buyer sooner.
There are many other things that go into selling a home for top dollar in a short time but these are some tips to help you on your way. If you have any questions about selling your home please contact one of our realtors today.