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Sellers Beware! How to Lose a Buyer in 10 Ways

Sellers Beware! How to Lose a Buyer in 10 Ways

In today’s real estate market, often times, the seller has an instant edge over the buyer. Let’s face it; in many areas, home prices are rising at an astronomical rate. Frankly, today’s market is something of a seller’s dream that features more eager buyers than available homes.

But, sellers, let’s not get cocky. While the market may be in your favor right now, you can’t make a sale with no effort. Yes, in this market, it is possible to turn off even the most eager of home buyers. How?

Here are 10 ways to send a potentially-qualified buyer packing long before they reach the home inspection or appraisal:

1. Curb Appeal… or Lack Of

Buyers want to see freshly manicured lawns, clear sidewalks and finely-trimmed hedges. What they do not want to see are your oversized inflatable holiday decorations, your collection of yard gnomes or other “personal choices” you’ve made for the front of your home.

When it comes to attracting buyers from the time they approach your home, keeping it clean and simple is a great way to welcome future home owners.

2. Showcasing Indoor Clutter

Just as buyers do not want to see personal clutter outside, they certainly do not want to see it inside, either. How can they picture themselves in your home, if all they can see are your classic figurines or countless family photos on the walls?

Instead of showing off Grandma’s pearly whites, try placing a few decorative mirrors around your home. Then, potential buyers will literally be able to “see” themselves in your home!

3. An Unkempt House

Not only is clutter a great way to scare away potential buyers, but so is a messy house. Unmade beds, dirty floors, filthy counters and grimy bathrooms are all things you never want anyone to see, particularly during a showing. In fact, if you have pets, don’t assume every potential buyer is a pet lover, because they’re not.

The bottom line is clean your home before any showing. If your carpets are particularly dirty, it may be wise to steam clean them before listing your home.

4. Ew… What’s that Smell?

Speaking of Fido, Fluffy or any feathered family members you may have, you may be accustomed to their scents, but potential buyers may not. In fact, they may not even want to see any traces of your four-legged family members. And, if you’re a smoker, the same goes for your little habit. Buyers may be immediately turned off by ashtrays or other smoking remnants.

Your best bet with scents in your home is to try to make sure that you don’t have any, including the delicious smells of any greasy food. Buyers want to walk into a crisp, clean home. They’ll add their own scents later.

5. Poor Color Choices

What you consider to be bright and beautiful or a tasteful accent, may just look like additional work for a potential buyer. This absolutely goes for any area of your home that may include wallpaper. It is most definitely a personal choice that many potential buyers will see as an immediate project.

Keeping colors neutral is a great way to encourage buyers to envision themselves in your home. No matter what their current décor looks like, it is safe to bet that it will match neutral colors.

6. Outdated Anything!

If you’ve recently remodeled your kitchen, but have ancient appliances or light fixtures, buyers may be immediately puzzled and turned off. Why go to the trouble of upgrading if you’re not going to address the little (or large) things?

If you’re willing to put a little money into replacing outdated items in your home, you may reap the reward when you receive an offer.

7. Major Repairs

Realistically, this item probably shouldn’t even be on this list, because if you are putting your home on the market, you likely have already addressed a leaky roof, plumbing issue or any foundation problems you may have. But, if you don’t do a little preliminary checking, you may have issues that you are unaware of.

A pre-inspection will help you discover any minor or major repairs that you should address before putting your home on the market. Whether you find something major or minor, understand that, if you do not address it, it may be a bone of contention or, at least, negotiation.

8. A Seller Who Stays Put

Contrary to what you might think, although you may know the most about your own home, most buyers do not want you around to tell them all about it. In fact, they probably do not even want you there at all. A nosy seller, who follows buyers through the house, will make a great home look bad in a hurry.

When you find out that you have a showing, take a walk, take a drive or just go to a trusted neighbor or friend’s house until the area is clear. It is much easier for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home if you are not there.

9. A Misleading Listing

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” as long as those pictures show a true portrayal of your home. Too few photos or photos that don’t adequately show your home are an immediate turn off. Another way to deter a potential buyer is to write a flowery description that, plainly, isn’t true.

Bright, clear pictures of your home will help potential buyers see the beauty that it has to offer. Truthful descriptions will further paint a realistic picture of what they will see when they decide to tour through.

10. The Price is Wrong!

Finally, whether your listing brings potential buyers to your home or not, an inflated price will certainly deter them or influence them to offer you much less than you’re asking. Seek an agent who can help you prepare your home for the best listing, showing and sale possible. Find a Prudential Preferred agent here.