November 6th, 2020
Think about the process of selling your home like that of a 3 legged stool. Knock one of those legs out and you’re going to fall straight on your backside. The “jaded” part of being a real estate broker now for over 38 years is that when asked this question by buyers who are considering offering on a home that I just showed them is that there’s really only one reason …. PRICE … after all, any home will sell at the right price. But that ignores the fact there really are things you can do to help yourself around the margins to eek out a little bit more money from the sale and/or get your home sold before your competition sells. That’s what I’m going to address here … the top 10 reasons that keep your home from selling
If you’re an investor and the house your selling has been a rental, ideally it’s best to wait until the tenant has moved out before marketing the home. It will give you chance to inspect the home (what about pre-sale inspections? Are they a good idea?) and analyze critically what damage needs to be repaired to make the house presentable. A lot of times, if you’ve been in your home a long while and you’ve just let some things go. You know how it is. Sometimes we just “live with it” and the damage or defect doesn’t seem so bad. Ask a friend you trust or a real estate agent you don’t know to come over and walk the property to give you an honest assessment of what might be offensive to a Buyer.
Carpet in the Bathroom
Can we officially declare the 60s and 70s dead? Please? You may like the warmth of a carpet when you get out of the shower, but that’s not what a Buyer thinks. They think one of two or both of these things “How much mold is under the carpet?” and “I wonder how much pee this carpet has collected around the toilet?” Don’t mean to gross you out, but that’s the truth of it. Get rid of stupid bathroom carpet now!
Big Bad Nasty Stains
A buyer doesn’t need to reminded where you dog peed, or where your kid spilled a bowl of punch. Get the carpet cleaned. Maybe you’re used to it; your buyer won’t be.
Top 10 Reasons That Keep Your Home From Selling
Look, we love our pets. They are part of our family. Especially dogs. And I love my German Shepherd. She’s our 6th GSD in my marriage to my wonderful wife (our 35th anniversary this year). A true dog lover knows these are pack animals and they should be inside with you as part of the pack otherwise, screws come loose in their heads. So I get it. But you’ve got to deep clean carpets and upholstery, get some air fresheners but don’t over do it to the point where the air freshener is suspiciously perceived by a Buyer as you hiding dead bodies in the walls.
Loud dog barks every time someone approaches the house
Have a talk with your neighbor. Try to work something out, especially on open house days. Maybe you could pay for the dog to be taken on a pack walk on open house days. But be careful here. If you’re tempted to have the neighbor’s dog carted off for the open house, you should mention this on the disclosure forms
Your dead lawn
This one is obvious as first impressions are so critical and the term “curb appeal” has been around for a long long long time. Landscaping can make or break a deal and the front landscaping will set the stage for the Buyer’s attitude as they walk through your home. If your landscaping is clean, manicured, well groomed has a bit of color, you’re well on your way to assuring your Buyer doesn’t automatically go “on guard” looking for issues. If your lawn is dead, there are weeds sprouting up, bushes are not manicured, you’re just asking for trouble and for the Buyer to have the mind set of “…what else have they not taken care of…”
A bad agent
I direct you to the three legged stool above
Buyers open closets, drawers and cabinets. They want to see if they will have room to fit their stuff and everybody has stuff. So if you just crammed and jammed your stuff into a closet, what do you think the Buyer is going to conclude? That’s right … “wow, they don’t have room for their own stuff, I bet we won’t have room for ours either honey, let’s move on…”
Unreasonable sellers when negotiating the results of the Buyer’s inspection
Tell me again why you didn’t want to invest a few hundred dollars before you listed your home for sale to get a pre-listing home inspection Look, in all likelihood your going to have to make some type of concession; nearly every transaction has this second round of negotiations. So be reasonable and calm, take it in stride and understand their are significant steps you can take to minimize the impact of this process.
We know the Buyer isn’t buying your pink and black polka dot wall paper you put up in your dining room, but gee whiz folks, don’t expect keeping that wall paper up to be a “free lunch” to the extent that it doesn’t hurt your resale value. Milton Friedman, God rest his soul, was right … there IS NO such thing as a free lunch. Some of us “decorating challenged” folks might not have a clue where to start getting some cost effective ideas to create value in the minds of Buyers, so start here “15 Updates That Pay Off” and HGTV’s article on the “10 Best Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home”
I hope you enjoyed this article. Would love to hear your comments.