Most home sellers make the mistake of believing that buyers can see past the flaws of their home. Unfortunately this is simply not true. Only a small percent of prospective buyers can visualize the potential in a home. Most buyers see more of the flaws than the seller does. The majority of buyers will more often make a mental list of what all the things they would want to do to the home will cost. Then they tend to quickly rule out the home and move on. They don't really have a good idea of costs so they use figures higher than the actual costs would be in most cases.
Today we will address how sellers fail to properly showcase their home:
1. Failing to properly showcase the home: There are many areas that fall into this category:
First- buyers cannot see past dirt and clutter. It is extremely important that the interior and exterior of the home be neat and clean. When your Realtor comes to take pictures for the MLS have the home ready; neat, clean, staged, no dirty anything sitting around, and all clutter removed! I can't believe some of the photos I see in the MLS such as kitchen counters full of dirty dishes and rooms with dirty clothes on the floor...
Second- You may love the bright orange paint in your dining room, but 99% of the buyers coming through won't. Paint is a cheap fix for many problems. It can make a home look bigger, brighter and cleaner. If you have some different colors it would be wise to paint the home a nice neutral color so that prospective buyers can picture the home with their things easier.
Third- Dirty or worn carpet (or floors); Floors should be in good condition and be clean. If carpets are old, stained or just outdated they should be replaced. Always with a neutral color. If the floors are hardwood and in bad condition have them refinished. You don't want the buyers to add this to their mental checklist of repairs. If they make an offer you can be sure they will lower their price to compensate for this.
Fourth- Your personalized decor; Remove family photos, and personal items such as trophies, children's artwork, collections of any kind. These can be a distraction. You want buyers to focus on the home not on the things in it, and you also want them to picture the home as if it was theirs so personal photos do not help. Builders spend a lot of money staging their model homes. If you haven't ever seen how they do it, visit one or better yet hire a Staging company. It does make a world of difference and you will usually sell you home quicker and for a higher amount. We as Realtors can help you with some minor staging of your vacant home or advise you on the home you are living in.
Fifth- Dated or worn hardware and fixtures- Outdated or tarnished door handles on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and outdated lighting fixtures and faucets turn off buyers. Replacing these update the look of the home and are not very expensive. A freshly painted front door with new updated door hardware will make a great first impression.
Sixth- Get rid of any dated window treatments. You want the buyers to get a fresh updated feel while they are in the home. If necessary, the white 2" blinds you can get from the big hardware stores are much better than dated curtains. And make sure the windows are clean and not blocked by overgrown bushes outside.
Seventh- Make sure your furniture placement enhances the room and doesn't block the flow of traffic. If there is too much furniture then de-clutter! You don't want a buyer feeling like there is not enough room for their furniture. Less is more.
When you go to sell your home, get it ready using the suggestions I have given you and it will go along way to help sell your home for more money and much quicker. In my next blog I will address some additional mistakes sellers make.
If you are getting ready to sell your home in the Phoenix Metro Area give us a call, we would love to help! We will get your home to the first page of Google!
Ron & Brenda Cunningham
WEST USA REALTY
1640 S Stapley #124
Mesa, AZ 85204
*Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as One of The Top 50 Realtors in the Valley