I’ve been in a lot of houses. Each house is completely different and each buyer has their own set of needs and criteria. However, there are a few things that I regularly see and experience that completely kill a home’s chance of being the right one for my clients. These aren’t necessarily things that bother me, who cares what bothers me – these are the things that bother your target audience, my buyers. Follow these six rules and I promise that the entire process will go much smoother for you and ultimately net you more money.
1. Light it up
I really don’t mind running around the house turning the lights on for my clients, but studies have shown it takes only seconds for a buyer to decide mentally whether or not your home is even a consideration. This means first impressions are everything and I can tell you that nothing makes a house look better than having it look bright and open when someone walks in.
2. Go easy on the smell good
This may seem obvious but I’ve been in enough houses to know that a lot of people leave the house looking like a séance just ended and smelling like a bath and bodyworks exploded. Trust me, I really appreciate when a house doesn’t smell like animal urine and old cabbage but neutral is better than overwhelming. In this case (much) less is more.
3. Make it a model home
Nothing is more frustrating then when I walk in a great house that the buyers were excited about and we have to stumble over your piles of laundry. I know how frustrating it can be during the selling process having to keep the house spotless and with our busy schedules these days it’s hard to find time/energy to constantly be cleaning. Trust me though, taking a few minutes to put those toys, laundry and dirty dishes away will save you thousands of dollars and tons of negative feedback.
4. Make me want to come in
Again this may seem obvious but with it only taking seconds for buyers to determine whether or not to buy a house the curb appeal is extremely important. It’s not uncommon for me to pull up to a house with buyers and they tell me to keep going if it doesn’t look like something they even want to go inside. Don’t run out and spend $20,000 on landscaping, just keeping the yard and exterior clean and free of debris is all you have to do. A modest amount of brightly colored flowers that draw your eye towards the door will go a long, long way.
5. Don’t let the dogs out
I’m a dog lover so when I say this I only mean it with the best of intentions. Please lock your dog up or take it on a walk while people are looking at the house. I really don’t mind a dog jumping and barking at me the entire time but it makes the buyers uncomfortable and rush through your home. Not to mention that I’ve had clients with really bad allergies who wouldn’t be able to walk through if an animal is rubbing up against them.
6. Don’t hang out
This is quite possibly the most important and frustrating part of showing homes. I can understand you wanting to be there for feedback and to tell us about all the memories and upgrades and “how this is the nicest house on the block,” but it’s extremely hard for buyers to picture a property as their new home when there’s someone else there. Again, the buyers get really uncomfortable when the seller decides to stick around and follow them around the house explaining every little thing.
Give yourself the best shot at selling your home for top dollar. Follow these six, simple rules and your feedback will be much better and it will increase the likelihood of someone wanting to purchase your home.