A lot of sellers don’t listen to their real estate agents, so we’ll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can’t say to you and this is it — your agent can’t get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.
That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following “turn-offs,” your home won’t sell.
Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:
Overpricing your home
Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership! If you ignored your agent’s advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you’re going to get negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence, meaning no showings and no offers. The problem with overpricing your home is that buyers who are qualified to buy your home won’t see it because they’re shopping in a lower price range and buyers who do see it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.
Smells can come from a number of sources — pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.
If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, etc., buyers’ attention is going too be focused on your things and not your home. Too much furniture confuses buyers making it difficult for them to see the proportions of rooms. If they can’t see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.
Deferred maintenance is a polite way to say your home is falling apart. Just like people age and weather so does your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it’s your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.
Your buyers really want a home that’s been well-maintained. They don’t want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.
The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it’s from a different era. When you’re behind the times, buyers don’t want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.
In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. If you’re guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it’s an investment that others should pay you to profit, you’re in for a rude awakening. You’ll be stuck with an asset that isn’t selling.
Eileen Schamber is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org