It’s tough to tell a seller reasons why their home isn’t perfect. We all decorate and renovate our homes to suit our needs and our wants. Sadly, that often negatively impacts your re-sale value. Since most of my clients are buyers, I am going to share with you the things that send them running every time. Here are the Top 10 things owners do that make potential home buyers cringe.
1) The smell of smoke.
Be it cigarettes, a kitchen fire, or the newly legal Mary Jane, buyers are instantly put off by the smell. Years of smoking inside can not be erased with a few sprays of Febreeze or opening the windows. If you smoke in the house and are thinking of selling anytime in the next 18 months, STOP smoking inside. NOW.
2) A Pool.
Both above-ground and below ground pools are almost always a turn-off here in Seattle. A pool is perceived as more of a liability and a maintenance hassle than a benefit.
3) Loud Paint Colors or Wallpaper.
White walls never impress anyone, but they don’t put anyone off either. The more neutral the space, the easier the potential buyer can see themselves living in the space.
4) Your Dog or Cat.
And all their stuff. And smells. As dog friendly as Seattle is, buyers still don’t want to notice your pets over your home.
5) Wall to Wall Carpeting.
It’s the hard truth that buyers like hardwoods. Even if they are in rough shape, they will still be more desirable to potential buyers than brand-new carpet.
6) A Dirty House.
Since this is the largest purchase most buyers will ever make, they do not like dirt. It may seem unreasonable to expect to have a spotless home 24 hours a day, but when your home is on the market, it needs to be clean as a whistle at all times in order to get the best price and not put off buyers.
7) A Room With a Wrong Purpose.
Turning the third bedroom into a theater room or the turning the garage into a mother-in-law unit may have been exactly what you wanted to do with the space. But buyers just see a bad use of space and a lot of work to turn the area back into it’s original state. Buyers still want to park a car in a garage, and to have a guest room.
8) A Poorly Maintained Yard.
Often times a buyer won’t even go into a house if the yard or front porch are in bad shape. Mow your lawn, plant a few flowers, and keep the porch swept and clean.
9) An Outdated Kitchen.
Even buyers who will likely use a kitchen as much as Carrie Bradshaw, everyone wants an updated, clean and well laid out kitchen. If you are going to spend any money fixing up the house before the sale, new counter-tops and appliances will have the most impact on your resale value.
Buyers don’t want to meet you. They don’t want to talk to you about the house. They don’t want to see your family photos or the kids artwork on the fridge. The less of you that is visible in the home, the more the buyer can see themselves living in the home.