How Not to Sell a Home

Posted by Kimberly Columbia on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 4:16pm.

So your house is listed, and you are ready for open houses, several agents, and a lot of traffic to your home. There are several things that many home sellers overlook due to the fact that they think that the home is all the potential buyers came to look at. That could not be further from the truth, as many people who visit your home will also fascinate themselves with minute details. Take a look at some of the following points that often shoo potential buyers away.

The first thing that people take note of is the home's landscaping. Many people assume that people who come to view a home for sale are just interested in the house itself. This is not the way to think if you are looking to sell a house. If the lawn and surrounding landscaping is left unkept, it already leaves a sour taste in the visitor's mouth. This is before they even enter your home! To combat this, something as simple and inexpensive as laying down fresh mulch can really spruce up a front yard. Additionally, adding landscape lighting can give your home a lively look after sunset.

Let's face it – people that own household pets think that they are the cutest things to occupy the Earth. This may be the case, however, potential buyers may not have the same view. A nagging dog or a dirty litter box are sure fire ways to leave your potential buyers unimpressed. My parents are currently in the process of selling their home in Sarasota, Florida, and my father takes our dog out of the house completely before potential buyers arrive. Even though you may have just cleaned the litter box yesterday doesn't mean that it won't emit foul odors the next day. Many people get used to the smell in their house. A fresh nose is the ultimate test. Have a neighbor or friend that does not frequent your house often come by the day potential buyers are coming and have them give your place the “sniff test.”

Something else that can lead to your home not being sold, although it may sound childish, are team loyalties. For example, let's assume that you are a proud alum of Duke University. You proudly display Duke merchandise or memorabilia. Your best prospective buyer went to the University of North Carolina. As silly as this sounds, it could pose an issue. Simply make sure that all team merchandise is stored away for showings. Remember to also carefully hide potentially embarrassing items. If you wouldn't want your mother to see it, chances are you wouldn't want potential home buyers to see it either. However, when people are looking to purchase a home, they tend to look just about everywhere. To avoid potential buyers noticing embarrassing items, these items can be given to a neighbor or friend for the day so they are completely out of sight.

The difference between drawing rapid interest or keeping your home listed for months can be just basic things like a well maintained front yard, clean kitchen, and the removing of clutter from counters. Walk around your home prior to showings. Think like a potential home buyer. Ask yourself if you were looking to purchase your house again, would you want this item visible, or that item visible? Look everywhere, and keep an eye out for things that may leave potential buyers dissatisfied. 

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