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Mistakes that will Ensure Your Home DOESN’T Sell

a Messy home will have trouble selling

Just as there are many things you can do to improve your chances of selling your house at a great price, there are an equal number of things that will drive away potential buyers and leave you scratching your head. If you are working with a Realtor, he or she will be able to make suggestions on how to make your particular home easier to sell, but addressing the following problem areas is always a great place to start.

  • A smelly house is not an attractive house to potential buyers. Eliminate pet odors, smoking and/or baby diaper odors. These are an immediate “turn-off” to buyers.
  • Soiled, outdated or bold colored carpeting must also be addressed. Strongly consider installing new carpet with a neutral color.
  • Don’t try to cover odors with an air freshener without taking steps to eliminate the problem; it won’t work and your house will still be smelly and unwelcoming to potential buyers.
  • Remove dogs and cats from the premises before showings – also remove the litter box and food and water bowls.
  • Bathrooms and kitchens must sparkle.
  • An unattractive/dirty front door creates an immediate negative impression of the home.
  • Bold and offbeat color schemes may suit your tastes, but your potential buyer won’t agree. There’s virtually no chance their furnishings will match.
  • Dim lighting can create a depressing environment for prospects. Increase the wattage of the bulbs and get the drapes open.
  • Busy wallpaper is a no-no. Too many patterns can be distracting and can date your décor. Consider removing busy wallpaper, but don’t paint over it because that will look even worse.
  • Wet basements are a cause for concern as they can indicate foundation leaks. More often however, damp basements are a sign of poor ventilation, plugged drains, improperly positioned downspouts or high humidity. Remove any mold or mildew that may have appeared as a result of dampness.
  • Bugs. They’re usually harmless, but still an obstacle to home sales. Squash what you can, clear cobwebs and enlist professional help if you have an infestation.
  • Low curb appeal can discourage potential buyers from taking a closer look at your home. Spruce up your yard, entry and façade. Make sure your paint isn’t peeling and that gardens look their best, even if out of season. Bicycles, lawn mowers and tools should be neatly stored in a shed or in the garage if necessary. Trim back the shrubs and edge the walkways.
  • Plugged Gutters. Potential buyers may not notice blocked gutters during an initial showing, but they will turn up during a professional building or home inspection, which could be the difference between a conditional sale going ahead or not.
  • Leave when someone is looking at your house. Potential buyers may feel awkward looking around your house if you are hovering over their shoulder. Working with a Realtor to sell your house eliminates this problem, as they act as chaperon during the showing without intimidating your buyer.

Most of these fixes are simple and inexpensive to implement, yet can have a major impact on the potential sale of your house. Address any of these issues that are present in your home before you list it for sale.

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