Do you want your Windsor house to stand out so that buyers take notice? Hopefully the answer is yes, and you make it a priority to have your property shine. Surprisingly, no matter how much real estate agents preach about preparing your home for sale, many sellers just don’t pay attention.
A house really needs to be in good shape and thoroughly ready for buyers who drop in even on a moment’s notice. Serious sellers will see their home sell, while others may watch their house sit on the market if they do any of the following top offenses that send buyers running out the door.
1. A house that smells:
There is nothing like that first impression when a buyer walks into your home and is greeted with offensive odors. Smells like cigarettes, last night’s fish dinner, kitty litter, pets or a dirty home are probably the biggest issues that buyers can’t get past. Any home that smells stuffy, that hasn’t been aired out in a while is also something that should always be avoided.
I advise sellers to always be prepared for buyers, especially with those unexpected, last minute showings. So don’t cook anything that can leave a lasting odor, like the above mentioned fish, garlic, curry or heavily spiced foods. If you smoke, do it outside and certainly make sure that all references to pets are removed and furniture is cleaned of any dog or cat hair.
2. Pets that greet buyers at the door:
This was mentioned a few weeks ago in another blog. You may love your pet, but I can tell you that buyers won’t. They are not there to be greeted by your dog, but to see your home. Yes, buyers have been bit and jumped on by dogs and before you say your Fido won’t do it, the problem is we never know what are pets will do when we aren’t around.
For pet owners selling their homes, remove pets before showings so they aren’t present when the buyers show up. I know it’s inconvenient, but it’s necessary.
3. Dirty rooms, particularly bathrooms:
Dirty dishes in sink, filthy bathrooms and cluttered, messy bedrooms means that real estate agents won’t show your property. There are too many other homes available and agents don’t want to waste their client’s valuable time by showing them something that is not clean.
The best way to manage a home when showing and to keep it looking presentable is to clean as you go. When you are finished with dinner, do the dishes then. Don’t wait for the morning. Same with bathrooms. Scrub them down after using. Bedrooms? Make the beds as soon as you get up. I know of clients that had their children sleep on top of their beds in sleeping bags on mornings that they knew they had to rush out of the home.
5. Dark rooms:
Let the sun shine! Forget those dark, dreary rooms that are huge turnoffs to buyers. Dark rooms make rooms look smaller, so do the following to brighten up your space:
Remove heavy drapes
Replace dim light fixtures
Leave all lights on for showings
Update light fixtures if needed
Trim trees that create shadows
6. Busy, Bold Wallpaper:
In the 1980’s buyers plastered their walls with wallpaper. It was the fashion statement at the time, however, because it’s such a personal choice, buyers balk whenever they see a room covered in paper. Buyers rarely, if ever, like it, so remove and paint the room a neutral colour.
Well, this goes without saying. Any evidence of any creatures in a home can send buyers screaming out the door. Houses that have visible mousetraps, roaches, ants or any insect needs to be removed as quickly as possible.
8. Poor Curb Appeal:
Many buyers won’t get out of their cars if they pull up to a home that has bad curb appeal. Even if you have the most wonderful home on the inside, there are times buyers just can’t get passed that first impression. The most important thing you want to do is create a pleasing entrance. Make sure the outside of the house is tidy, weeds are pulled, landscaping looks maintained, the front door is painted and welcoming and there are pots of fresh flowers.
It’s true that sellers don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get their home ready to sell. That makes perfect sense, but there are some things that must be done. Because after all, if buyers aren’t impressed, they won’t make an offer. When that happens, the price of the home must be lowered.
Many of the above steps really take very little money and others are just plain good advice that every home seller should follow.