Thinking of selling your home? First impressions are everything. As summer visitors begin flooding the Wood River Valley, the chances of selling your home become better than ever. I have seen the same mistakes played out over and over, resulting in far too many unnecessary mistakes and blown opportunities. Let’s review the 5 biggest buyer turn-offs that can stop a sale dead in its tracks.
1.) Overpricing for the market. While the list price is ultimately the seller’s decision, if you ignore your agent's advice and list at a price higher than recommended, the only market feedback you are likely to get is silence. In this case, silence is not golden, (as sung by the Tremeloes in 1964!) Silence never brings showings or offers. It is critical to price your property in line with current market values.
2.) Deferred Maintenance. Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Regardless of size, quality or location, all homes eventually wear out or weather in some manner. Buyers want a home that has been well-maintained. Make your list and remedy those eyesores before going to market. That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen, no leaning fences and no rust-stained plumbing fixtures. Hire a handyman to buff it inside and out if necessary.
3.) Clutter. Nothing personal, but buyers don’t want to see your stuff. Too much “stuff” makes it difficult to see room proportions. Clear all those decks. Less is better. If in doubt, take it out. Store those items completely out of site. If they can't see what they need to know, out the door they will go!
4.) Dated Décor. Remember, they are looking at your home because they like your price and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want a dated-looking home. Dark colors are the enemy. Do what you can to lighten and brighten. Mauve's from the 80’s and jewel tones from the 90’s are all color-paths to disaster. Avocado green and disco accessories from the 70’s will have your prospects doing “the shuffle” right out the back door!
5.) Odors. Does your home pass the sniff test? Smell is a powerful human sense and is often a game changer. Offensive smells can come from a number of sources; improper ventilation, old fabrics, water damage, pets, appliances and more. You may not even notice it, but I guarantee a buyer will. Eliminate those odors rather than mask them. Those freshly baked cinnamon cookies might be tasty, but they aren’t fooling anyone.
In summary, people like and appreciate clean, uncluttered, simple and fair. Whether it’s a car, bicycle or home, the time you take to detail your product and price it fairly will have a directly positive affect on your level of success in not only exciting more buyers but ultimately closing that sale.
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