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5 Most Common Mistakes When Selling a House

5 Most Common Mistakes When Selling a House

Having trouble selling your house? There are a multitude of reasons for why buyers could be passing on your home, but here are five of the most common reasons that home buyers give for not making an offer.

1. Dirt

There’s no greater turn-off to a buyer than a dirty home. According to Chad Goldwasser of Goldwasser Real Estate in Austin, Texas, “The No. 1 biggest mistake is not getting the home in the best possible condition. That’s huge…I won’t even represent sellers at this point unless they are fully aware of how important it is to get their home in the absolute best condition that they’ve ever had it in.”

He strongly encourages sellers to be as thorough as possible when it comes to cleaning their homes, pulling out all the stops as expensive as that may be. Could the tile need some steam cleaning? Do it. Could the carpets be replaced? Make it happen, no matter how labor intensive it can be. Concerning carpets, Goldwasser states, “If the carpets are old and smelly, you should put in new, if they’re relatively new, you should at least have them shampooed.”

If you’re a seller, always remember that dirt and grime can turn a promising showing into a disaster.

2. Odors

It’s a cliché, but it’s true – buyers’ first impressions are made with their noses. Your home has to smell fresh and welcoming. According Julie Dana, the New York-based “home stylist” and co-author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell”, “Odors are a big one, especially kitchen odors…I advise my clients not to cook fried food, fish or greasy food while the house is on the market.”

While this may ruin your dinner menus, it’s well worth it if you intend on selling fast.

What about pets? You’ve got your work cut out for you if you’re a pet owner. You may be a dog person, but the buyer walking into the showing might very well hate them. Your 13 cats that are so cuddly and cute? The allergic buyer won’t even make it through the door.

If you have pets, fumigate, clean excessively and even decontaminate profusely. Pet odors can be extremely off-putting. Once you have removed all pet odors, it’s a good idea to get the pets out of the house and remove any pet-associated items.

Similarly, if you’re a smoker, make sure that odor is completely gone and that all ashtrays are removed before even thinking about showing the home. There is no seller that wants to deal with smoking-related odors.

3. Bizarre Fixtures

If you want to alienate a buyer, keep those cabinets from 1979 in the kitchen. According to Goldwasser, “You need to change out old fixtures in your house. “New cabinet hardware and doorknobs will probably cost all of $400 or $500, but it makes a huge difference.”

This is also true for old ceiling fans, microwaves, lights, ovens, and dishwashers and ranges. These things will repel most buyers. Yes, you’re going to have to shell out some dough to make these renovations, but it’ll be an investment that will pay off in terms of your home’s resale value.

4. Wallpaper

In today’s market, wallpaper is a total no-no. It may have been popular in years past, but it’s a total turn-off for buyers today.

Wallpaper is a real pain to get rid of, and purchasers will see it as nothing more than another chore that will take up precious time. Also, wallpaper is an extremely personal choice on a homeowner’s part. The odds of a buyer sharing your taste in wall coverings are incredibly slim.

5. Acoustic Popcorn ceilings

These types of ceilings were very popular in the 60’s and 70’s, but now, they’re totally out of style. According to Goldwasser, “The popcorn acoustic ceiling is a major, major turnoff to buyers these days”.

If you want to sell your home, it’s going to take a fair amount of work. Should your home have any of the above issues, you’re going to need to invest some time and money to rectify them so that your home will appeal to buyers.

One alternative to all this is to sell your home to an investor like We Buy Ugly Houses. Unlike most buyers, we always expect to do some work on the homes we purchase. If you think any of the above deal breakers are preventing the sale of your home, give us a call to see how we can help.