Now for the downersReal Estate Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Last issue we took on the positives that make a home inviting and desired. This week, we turn to the turn-offs, and this is something every prospective seller should want to know. Remember that buyers spend an average of fifteen minutes in your home, at least the first time around, and when these baddies jump out at them, they’re not likely to return.
The negatives are pretty obvious, but nonetheless, crucial. So here they are:
1. Noise. Nobody likes it. If your home is near a train, a main commercial street, an airport runway or any noise-generating facility, better get those double and triple noise-blocking windows. Otherwise, that fifteen minute tour could turn into five.
2. Clutter. With lots of doodads, trinkets, ornaments and objects of all kind, your house is confusing to look at, and the visitors might think you have no closets at all. Stash, and better than that, minimize and purge before you show.
3. Dirt. Yuk, nobody likes it. Sinks, floors, walls – scrub ‘em all. Dirt makes your house look old and mighty uninviting.
4. Smells. This goes with dirt, but may even surpass it in negativity. The nose is a powerful perceptual tool, and bad smells make people want to leave, beat it, get out and fast. Give your house the sniff test, and bake some cookies before the open house.
5. Weird colors. Not critical, but neutral colors are usually preferred. If people choose colors, frankly, they like to pick their own. So shy away from hot pink, purple and polka dots if you can.
6. Weird layouts. Folks like their houses to flow. If your dining room is on the other side of the house from the kitchen, buyers are sure to notice. Telling and showing how you’ve worked around that, may help sway the buyer, especially if the rest of the house is spot-on gorgeous and clean as can be.
7. Animals. People love their pets, but not necessarily living in a house they’re thinking of buying; lots of cats in particular. Thinning out the animal population or keeping them scarce is probably a good idea.
8. Untended shrubbery. If your exterior looks neglected, sorry and pathetic, it’s the first thing they’ll notice. Invest in some pretty geraniums, mow and weed. It’s going to help.
9. That nobody has lived here for years look. People resonate to houses that look lived in, with lights on, and cooking smells and flowers. A bare, dark house makes the buyer think someone has died and that is a big, big turn-off. Make it look alive and they will smile.
10. Things you can’t do anything about. Many Asian buyers make associations with numbers, and they won’t buy a house with the number four in the address. Nothing you can do about that one. You can’t move the place, if the location is bad and you can’t make the place bigger than it is, etc.
But what you can do is to present it with its best foot forward: clean, bright and smelling wonderful. Your house is going out on a date, and you want that suitor to be impressed. And if you’re lucky, he might just propose.
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