10 Things You’re Doing That Could Be Scaring off Buyers

things you're doing that scare off buyers

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shivers down our spines: a well-intentioned seller wants to sell their home, but their wild yard, messy interior, and outdated features send would-be buyers running for the hills.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!


9 Handy Tips to Keep Pesky Bugs Away in the Fall and Winter

tips to keep bugs out of your house for fall

Fall is the perfect time of the year to indulge in your favorite autumnal treats, break out those luxurious blankets, and cozy up by the fireplace. If you just heaved a dreamy sigh of content, you’re not alone. Plenty of insects and pests have this very thought on their minds and are all about finding a nice, warm spot to snuggle up and get through the impending winter. If you’re not careful, they could find their way into your home and right up alongside you.

Take control now and tell those creepy crawlies to bug off by following these 9 easy preventative measures!

Seal Up Cracks and Openings

Even the tiniest of cracks or holes pose as a miniature “WELCOME!” sign to insects and other pests. Strike while the weather is still temperate to inspect your home’s perimeter and seal up any openings you find with caulking and weather-stripping. Check the doors, windows, near the gutters, and around the foundation, electrical lines, and pipes for any air leaks and holes. Insulation can also be a huge help in keeping those pesky bugs outside where they belong!

Keep the Kitchen Tidy

Insects and humans might be more alike than we’d want to admit. After all, who doesn’t love lumbering into the kitchen in search of a tasty late-night snack? Bugs certainly do, which is why it’s imperative to keep your kitchen picked up and clean. Wipe the counters every day to avoid leaving a miniature smorgasbord for insects to feast on at night. If you’re not doing so already, make it a rule to always put food away and clean your dirty dishes every evening. This will leave insects hungry and discourage them from taking up residence in your kitchen!

Minimize Moisture

Have you checked your faucets and pipes recently? You’ll want to ensure that you dry up the damp areas in your home as much as possible – otherwise insects like silverfish, springtails, and house centipedes might make them their new watering hole. Fix any leaky drains, pipes, or faucets in your home, and absorb excess moisture by running a dehumidifier. Doing so won’t just deter bugs, but it will also help prevent mold from forming!

Clean the House Regularly

We know, cleaning is exactly zero fun, but it’s important if you want to keep your home pest-free! Clean and run the vacuum once a week, empty out the trash cans regularly, spruce up the bathroom, and work on removing clutter and stacks of papers from your rooms and closets (bugs love hiding in them!).

Check What You Bring Inside

Insects are highly-skilled hitchhikers. Give them a heavy jacket or some firewood lying outdoors for a while and they will find a way to sneak in and become your newest roommates. Beat them at their own game and evict them before you even bring them inside by thoroughly checking everything first. Homeowner: 1, insects: 0.

Trim Trees and Bushes

Branches and limbs that extend over your roof or brush up against your house are never a good idea. Not only will they act as natural bridges for inquisitive critters and insects hoping to gain entry into your home, but they can also pose as a safety issue whenever the next storm rolls through town. Take action now while the weather is still warm enough and prune the plants on your property!

Clean Up Your Yard and Garage

In medieval times, castles were often surrounded by moats as a way to keep intruders out. You can effectively construct your own type of moat, no shovel or errant crocodiles required! Just clean up the leaves, mulch, wet soil, and other common fall materials in the yard. This will give insects and other pests fewer hiding places, which will force them to seek shelter elsewhere!

Protect Your Chimney

Here’s a terrifying scenario for you: you’re downstairs in the basement watching TV when all of a sudden you notice a few wasps wandering around aimlessly and bumping into the lights overhead. After you get rid of the invaders, you’re probably wondering how the heck those pests found their way into your home, let alone the basement. As odd as it might sound, you’ll want to check your chimney. If it doesn’t have a cap and screen, birds, mice, and the aforementioned nightmare fuel can sneak into your home and wreak havoc.

Store Food in Tightly-Sealed Containers

Say “sayonara” to clothespins and bags – if you want to really keep bugs out, you should start storing your food in sealed storage containers. Not only do they help keep hungry bugs like weevils out, but they also make organization a breeze! If you have a pet or enjoy feeding the birds, you’ll also want to store their food in their own sealed containers.

Did we miss any tips? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!