Not Priced Right for the Market- Overpricing the home for the market is the number one reason homes don’t sell. Rule #1: Be realistic. What you think your home is worth is not necessarily what you should list it for. Your asking price should reflect a realistic value of the home based on market comparisons. At the time the home is ready to be listed, have a realtor or an appraiser present the true market value and ask a reasonable price within the appraised price range. Overpricing your home will ultimately delay the sale of your home. You will risk losing potential buyers who see the house as being over priced, thus extending the listing time. Often, overpriced homes become stagnant and can be a red flag for buyers who may conclude the home has something wrong with it. Even the ugliest house sells if the price is right.
Home is Not Properly Staged- When buyers enter a home, they want to be able to envision themselves living there. This is difficult to do if the home is cluttered with personal items and photographs. It is essential for sellers to de-personalize their home of family photos, religious artifacts and ornamental collections. It is also important to present a clean palette. Walls and carpets should be a neutral color and be limited in art. This presentation makes it easier for buyers to envision the home with their own decorative style. Finally, rooms should be clutter-free. Your furniture arrangement should maximize the room space. You may need to remove furniture pieces such as extra dining room chairs, side tables and book shelves and arrange to keep them at a storage unit or family member’s home. Touring a builder's model home can give you an idea of what a “staged” home looks like.
Home is Dirty- Filth is never appealing. Dishes in the sink or dishwasher, smelly trash, dirty baseboards, rings in the toilets, carpet stains, cluttered garages or closets, and fogged windows are all turnoffs. The home must be spotless every time the home is shown. If needed, hire a cleaning company to thoroughly clean the home. The home should have a pleasant smell, but not be overwhelmed by potpourri. Air fresheners should be strategically placed. A clever trick is to bake cookies or a pie an hour or so before the home is shown. This fills the home with a warm, welcoming scent. Burning a pie scented candle in the kitchen can also achieve the same effect.
In Need of Repair- If your home is in need of repairs that you are unwilling to complete, be ready to sell at a discount. Typically, buyers are interested in homes requiring only light cosmetic repairs. Unless they are intentionally looking for a fixer-upper, most buyers are turned of by the thought of incurring deferred maintenance projects. If buyers walk through the home and see trim that needs caulked, drywall cracking, stains in carpet, or creaky floors, they are only going to wonder what else is wrong with the home. Make the home look as appealing and updated as possible.
You or Your Pets Don’t Leave – Touring a home when the homeowners are present is awkward and uncomfortable. Buyers prefer that neither you nor your pets are there. Buyers are not interested in hearing you go on about what additions or repairs you made. When a Realtor is going to show your home, get out and do something. If you have pets, take them with you.
By: Damien Baden