Do you know the Top 10 Mistakes home sellers make about how they present their homes to prospective buyers? And most home sellers also make the overriding mistake of believing that buyers “can see past this”.
Well, it’s simply not true. Only 10% of prospective buyers can visualize the potential of your home.
This week I focus on the first Top 5 Mistakes. I will share the remaining five with you next week. And as you will see, ameliorating these mistakes costs little or none.
1. Paint Problems – too often prospective buyers can’t get past the ugly shade of green that the house is painted or the purple in the bedroom. For both the exterior and interior it is best to stick to neutral colors, EXCEPT 1) you can use a bright contrasting color like red for a front door, and 2) DON’T use white on the interior walls as it’s stark and cold (it’s fine for trim and ceilings). Paint issues involve both color and the condition of the paint. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to freshen up any space. Walls and floors are the “bones” of any interior space and both should be in good condition.
2. Dirty or worn carpet and/or floors – .as just stated, walls and floors are the “bones” of the house or apartment and should be in good condition. If carpets are old, outdated and badly stained, it’s best to remove them. Sometimes a beautiful hardwood floor awaits underneath. If not, replace with inexpensive wall to wall carpeting. Hardwood floors in bad condition should be refinished. You don’t want to give your buyer a mental checklist of repairs they need to do so that they either walk away or bid lower.
3. Pets and their “accoutrement” – you may love your pets, but not every buyer will. Leaving your pets in the house while it’s being shown is a BIG mistake. Removing them but leaving behind pet bowls, kitty litter boxes, leashes and dog cages is also a BIG mistake. Remove all traces of your pets including hair and odor.
4. Personalized Decor – displaying family photos, children’s artwork, trophies, awards, collections and your prized deer head on the wall does NOT allow the buyer to imagine living in your space. Plus these items are also a distraction. You want the buyers to look at your house, not your children’s baby photos.
5. Dated or worn hardware and fixtures – if floors and walls are the bones of the house, then hardware and fixtures are the “jewelry”. Outdated or tarnished door handles on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and outdated lighting fixtures and faucets are a turn-off to prospective buyers. Replacing these can update the look of a bathroom or kitchen very inexpensively. And don’t forget to replace scratched doorknobs on doors and broken or non-matching lightswitch plates.
Stay tuned next week for the remaining five mistakes home sellers make when presenting their homes.
Also, check out HGTV’s top 25 Real Estate Mistakes when buying and selling a home.