So your home is on the market. Now all that’s left is to sit back and wait for the right buyer, because it will sell in no time, right? Well… if you want a buyer to bite, you might want to look at it from his or her perspective. What seems like an organized desk to you might look like a chaotic eyesore to someone walking into your house for the first time.
It can be hard to be objective when selling your home. But concentrate on these areas, and you’ll be off to a good start.
1. Scheduling Difficulties
Try to be flexible and accommodating when you receive a request for a showing. Potential buyers may not come at the most convenient times, and you may not always get as much notice as you’d prefer. But keep in mind that buyers are busy too. You want them looking at your home when they’re in the most receptive frame of mind possible, and catering to their schedules is one of the easiest methods to get them there.
2. Bad Listing Photos
Potential buyers make a lot of decisions based on how the listing photos look, so if your photos aren’t presenting your home in its best light, consider re-taking them. Listing photos are supposed to show empty rooms. Clutter or pets in a photo become the focus and detract from what the room looks like. Blurry or dark photos make your home look unappealing. Exterior shots with snow during any season without snow is a big no-no. And it’s OK to exclude the toilet from the bathroom pictures - or at least put the lid down.
3. Bad Smells
Over time, you become immune to the smells in your home. Even particularly bad odors such as wet dogs, cat boxes, cigarette smoke and trash may not be noticeable to the home owner. But to a potential buyer walking in the door for the first time, these smells can be overwhelming. The rule for selling a house is, “if you can smell it, you can’t sell it.” Ask a friend or your agent to give your house the sniff test.
4. Poor Phrasing
Don’t use phrases like "price is firm" or "non-negotiable" in your listing. You might have a perfectly rational reason for not wanting to go lower than the listed price, but these terms put potential buyers on the defensive before they even set foot in your home. Leave the hard negotiating tactics to after they’ve made an offer.
5. Clutter and Personal Items
Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re probably going to be living in your house while it’s on the market. Make every effort to keep it clutter-free during this time. You want potential buyers to project themselves into your living space rather than see how you live. Put your collections in temporary storage, and live with only minimal belongings.
Home buyers can be a finicky lot. Sometimes you just can’t guess what’s going to turn someone away from considering your home as an option. But if you follow these rules and try to look at your house from the perspective of a potential buyer, you’ll be in a much better position to attract a serious offer. Ask a representative from Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson, Realtors for help with these and other tips for selling your home.