We enjoy a good scary movie just as much as the next person during this spooky time of the year! Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with this real-life scenario that sends shivers down our spines: a well-intentioned seller wants to sell their home, but their wild yard, messy interior, and outdated features send would-be buyers running for the hills. Let us help you out of this nightmare scenario! Here are 10 things you might be doing to scare off potential homebuyers:
Your Online Listing Photos are Low Quality
We’ve said it before, but we’ll keep saying it because it’s just that important: first impressions matter! In this age of the internet, that means you’ll need to have your house looking sharp both in real life and in online photos if you want to catch a homebuyer’s attention. What gives buyers true goose bumps? Grainy, blurry, or otherwise low-quality photos, especially ones taken in poor lighting or unnatural angles. Do yourself a favor and ask a professional photographer to take photos of your home!
Your Landscaping is Overgrown
Does your home look like an abandoned, honest-to-goodness haunted house? If your lawn is completely unkempt in any way, buyers will more than likely feel bad vibes about the situation and will run back to their cars before they even give your home a true chance. Get your hands dirty and rake or mulch leaves, mow the lawn, and plant some flowers to give your yard a much-needed makeover. Not able to tackle it yourself? A professional landscaper can take care of it for you!
You Have Way Too Many Security Features
We admit, some security features in a home can be quite handy and can add a bit of value to your property – but too many can make homebuyers feel, well, uncomfortable. They may wonder why your house is decked out with all the latest features or several different locks on each door. Remember, sometimes less is more!
Your House Has Some Strange Odors and Smells
Every house has its own certain, shall we say, eau de cologne. But if prospective buyers are holding their noses because they smell mildew, smoke, trash, pet odors, or other questionable odors, then you might have a problem. Not sure if your home stinks? Ask your real estate agent for their objective opinion, then get to the root of the problem if you’re able. When in doubt, baking fresh cookies just before a showing works like a charm!
Your Home is Messy or Personalized
Home is where you hang your hat – or rather, where you keep your stuff, right? While that might be true, you will find that many curious buyers will hustle out of your house quickly if they see too much of your personal things, piles of clutter, or walls painted in loud or clashing colors. Buyers want to envision themselves living in your home, so do everything you can to make it easier for them. That means straightening up your house, depersonalizing your space, staging your rooms, and painting the walls neutral shades of gray.
You Really Dislike Cleaning
Let’s say you went ahead and put away all of your personal effects. Now you’ll want to break out the vacuum and dust cloth to keep your space looking beautiful and inviting. No one wants to tour a dirty house, so keep the kitchen picked up, clean the bathroom, and tidy up frequently!
You Own a Pet
Many homeowners have pets, but that doesn’t mean a prospective buyer wants to necessarily know that you do. Pets can easily scare off buyers with their barking and shedding. While you may not be able to send your furry friend off to live with a relative for the time being, do your best to clean your home thoroughly and take your pet with you during showings if at all possible!
Your Home Has Outdated Features
If a buyer isn’t shaking in their boots when they see old windows or Formica counters, then they’re more than likely outwardly groaning with dread. Why? Buyers don’t want to do any extra work after they purchase a home. If your humble abode looks like it could use a bit of a facelift and you have the time and resources available, go ahead and update some of your features. This is a great way to keep a buyer’s intrigue (and keep your price point steady).
Two Words: Popcorn Ceilings
We know that popcorn ceilings are both nostalgic and tough to replace, but they turn off quite a few homebuyers – buyers that otherwise might have put an offer on your home. These ceilings are often synonymous with not only outdated décor but also asbestos. Fortunately, replacing them usually costs under $2,000, so if you can replace them, do it. It could make all the difference!
You Hang Around During Showings
Ever get the feeling someone’s watching you? That’s what a potential homebuyer feels if you like to stick around during showings. We understand that you probably know your house best and want to present it in the best light possible, but trust us – you’re doing more harm than good. Buyers will often feel intimidated and will refrain from asking questions about the home if you’re around. Instead of haunting your temporary visitor, visit one of your favorite haunts until the showing’s over!
As frightening as buying a home can be, selling your home can also be pretty scary. So who you gonna call? Trust The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Reach us at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and check out our listings at masseyteam.realestate to get started today!