Selling your home is hard enough. You do not want to make a simple staging mistake and send buyers fleeing. You do not have to stage your home like a pro to make it sell; simply avoiding common blunders can make the property more attractive and boost the odds of finding a willing buyer.
Knowing what turns off buyers is a good start. No matter how attractive your home, some things tend to turn buyers away and make them rethink the purchase. Simply avoiding these common no-no’s can make your home more attractive and more valuable to potential buyers.
Some homes are purchased within days of being listed for sale. Others can linger for what seems like an eternity. If you’re having trouble selling your house, there might be some steps you can take to speed up the process. Here is a look at some common reasons why houses don’t sell.
It is a good idea to send the pets away when a showing is scheduled. Some buyers are simply turned off by the idea of pets, and they will look more closely at every discoloration on the carpets and hardwood floors. Even if your home and carpets are scrupulously clean, some buyers may not be able to get past the fact you have pets.
Also be sure to put away the doggie beds, toys, litter boxes and other evidence of pets in the home. Even if the buyers know you have pets, it is a good idea to stow the evidence until after the showing is over.
Most of the evidence is anecdotal, but real estate agents report that a home with at least one resident smoker sells for 10 to 30 percent less than a comparable home with no evidence of smoking. It’s not just cigarette smoke either; mildew, cat urine and cooking odors will also hinder your sale. If in doubt, ask an outsider to put your home through the sniff test and hire a crack cleaning team to neutralize odors before you sell.
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Leaving the kids’ toys, bikes and other items scattered around the home can also be a turnoff for some buyers. Leaving toys laying around will make the house look more cluttered, and it could cause some people to look for hidden damage to floors, carpets and walls.
Stowing the bike in the garage until after the showing and putting the toys away will eliminate the cluttered look and make the home more attractive to would-be buyers. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it could make your home more attractive to potential home buyers.
15 Second Instant “How Much Is My House Worth” Estimate
Potential buyers know you own a coffee maker and a blender, but they do not need to see those items on your kitchen counter. Leaving appliances out on the counter can make the space look smaller than it actually is and inadvertently turn off buyers. Putting your counter-dwelling appliances away before the showing will make the space look bigger, brighter and more appealing.
The same applies to the bathroom. Buyers are looking for bright airy spaces. Leaving the shampoos, soaps and lotions on the bathroom sink will make it look crowded and unappealing. Taking a few minutes to stow those unsightly items can make the space more appealing to would-be buyers.
It will not take that much time to weed that overgrown flower bed or trim back that unruly bush, but those simple changes can enhance the curb appeal of the property and make it more attractive to buyers.
Take a drive past your home and look critically at the exterior. Take notes on where the exterior could be approved and then get to work. You will end up with a more attractive, and more valuable, home to show buyers at the next open house.
The most common reason why a house doesn’t sell is that it is simply too expensive. Although it is disappointing to find out that your home isn’t worth what you thought it is, sometimes you have to accept reality and drop your asking price. If your home is overpriced because its condition doesn’t match the price that you’re asking, there might be some inexpensive renovations you can do to boost its value. However, if the location of your house is simply not that desirable, there is little you can do to improve the situation.
Some homeowners do not update the decor in their homes as the process can be time-consuming and expensive. However, many people will not buy a house with an interior that looks like it came out of the 1970s. Tastes change, and if you want to sell your home quickly, it is important that you update your interior to match the tastes of the times.
Galvanized pipes were used extensively in homes built before 1970. They’re pretty good at carrying your water supply when they’re new, but after a few years the pipes corrode and get clogged up with sediment causing the water pressure to drop. Because galvanized pipes are no longer specified for residential use, your buyer’s home inspector likely will flag them at inspection. The worst case scenario? You’ll have to replace all the plumbing in your home before you close.
Too Fancy for the Neighborhood
The best house in the world can be an eyesore if it is in a neighborhood that doesn’t match. Many people pour a lot of time and money into renovations thinking that they will be able to get a much higher amount of money for their home when they sell it. However, if they are in a neighborhood with homes that aren’t up to the same standard, they often find that their house doesn’t sell. Before you pour effort and money into costly renovations, consider the standard that is set by your neighborhood.
Sometimes the only thing keeping your home from selling is your presentation. When you’re trying to sell your home, you need to make it look as appealing as possible to potential buyers. A picture of a messy room shot on a smartphone camera will do you no favors. Before you take pictures for your listing, clean up. Once you’ve cleaned up, have someone with a high-quality camera take pictures.
Neighborhoods change, and sometimes these changes can greatly reduce the value of your home. Constructions such as freeways and power plants can make your house much less valuable to a prospective buyer. Rising crime rates can scare buyers away from even the most beautiful homes. If you live in a neighborhood that is declining, expect to take a loss on the sale of your house.
Deadly, Invisible Gas
No joke. Radioactive radon gas is found all over the United States and the property market is rife with radon-soaked homes. No matter how your home is constructed, radon can seep into your home from the soil. Breathe enough of this invisible gas over the years and it can increase your risk of lung cancer. How many home buyers do you think are prepared to put their family at risk? Not to worry though; a professional test will show if there are deadly levels of radon at your home. Then, if there are, you can hire a contractor to seal off any cracks in the foundation, install an exhaust to expel excess radon and fit a radon mitigation system.
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There’s one major problem with condos — the FHA doesn’t like them. In fact, the FHA is so wary of condos it will only finance those that meet strict criteria. Some of these include:
- No more than one-half of the units in the building may be rented to tenants
- Fewer than 15 percent of home owners may be delinquent on their association fees
- The condo association must be squeaky clean, with no litigation against it and at least one years’ worth of cash reserves.
With the FHA funding over 50 percent of all loans, FHA approval makes a big difference in terms of your ability to sell your home. If your condo does not meet FHA approval, you can only sell to a buyer who qualifies for a conventional loan with stricter down payment, credit score and debt-to-income ratios.
Related Article: Sell Your House 38 Days Faster!
Street Name Can Play A Part
Home buying is an emotional process, and nothing pushes buyers’ buttons like the name of your street. Grand-sounding suffixes like Boulevard, Avenue, Place and Way sell at an average of 36% higher than everyday street names like Alley or Street, according to property web portal Trulia.
Obviously, there’s not a lot you can do about your street’s name or the state of your condo association. When selling your home, focus on the things you can control and stay positive — there’s a buyer out there for every property in the majority of cases.
When you are ready to sell your house, anywhere in the nation, contact us at 1-800-805-8354. Let’s at least discuss your home value. It might be worth more than you think!
Before you Sell, Depersonalize
Selling your home can be a tricky experience. Sometimes, getting the price you want is just a simple matter of waiting for the right buyer to come along. Other times, you have to make adjustments in order to attract interest. If your home isn’t selling, take the time to figure out why.