I have heard it said that it take 45 seconds for a prospective buyer to either FALL in LOVE or FALL IN HATE with a house…and after that – it is difficult to change their minds either way – no matter what they see.
NOW THAT OUR HOUSE HAS BEEN ON THE MARKET FOR A YEAR…I have had ample time to reflect and weigh the varying reasons why prospective buyers get turned off by a house. Some things are what they are – like Location and Age and little can be done to change those things. But there are things that can be addressed and it ASTOUNDS ME how often I will look at a house and some of these things have not been tended too. It really makes me wonder what kind of advice realtors are giving home sellers, if any..
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO MAXIMIZE THOSE FIRST 45 SECONDS AND MAKE YOUR HOME AS ATTRACTIVE AS POSSIBLE TO PROSPECTIVE BUYERS
- YOUR PETS
- BEAn- hard to believe but not everyone thinks he is a cute as i do!
I love animals but not everyone else does and some people have allergies and/or small children that get frightened by dogs. When possible it is always best to have pets, especially dogs, crated or better yet, not there. This is easier said than done…people work, realtors arrive early and sometimes it is impossible to corral all the dogs and get them tucked away. Generally speaking cats hide anyway…and if I tried to put one of our cats in a crate, he would make such a ruckus that the buyers would HATE THAT more…but I do try to move all the litter boxes out of site….Unless I am in a mood and don’t want my house to sell – then I leave then out and forget to scoop the poo.
2. SMELLY HOMES
Nobody wants to walk into a house that they are considering buying and have it welcome them with a stink handshake. Last nights dinner. The wet dog. A mildewed carpet. It is just a big fat negative first impression. Smells make the buyer wonder how much they DON’T see.
There are some great tactics for managing odors and the one that has changed my life is the DIFFUSER. there are hundreds on the market…but this everyone is my favorite – as well as being one of the lowest priced. My favorite essential oil combo is 1/2 Rosemary and 1/2 Mint. A diffuser is so much safer and I find them better smelling than candles…and I can safely leave them on when I leave the house!!!! I discovered them last fall and gave them to everyone for Christmas.
BONUS for College kids – Most dorms do not allow candles but will allow a diffuser and my kids love them!
3. MESSY HOMES
- MY MESS OF A DESK
After foul odors – there is no bigger turn-off to a prospective buyer than walking into a messy, sloppy house. Piles of clothes and dishes in the sink may not bother you…but they make it hard for the prospective buyer to see beyond and notice the GOOD things about your house. One thing that has helped me stay on top of the messes is that I have big baskets situated all over the house where I stash the blankets, hide the dog toys and put away the laundry. Maybe the messes won’t stop a sale but I think a tidy home shows better.
4. DIRTY HOMES
- a CLEAN BATHROOM WILL SHOW BETTER EVERY TIME!
COMPLETE common sense, a clean house is going to show better. I keep wipes under each bathroom cabinet for quick wipe downs and always do a quick vacuüm and mop if necessary before a showing. Some days are much harder like, Mondays after the weekend when everyone is home LIVING and LOVING the place and so I have told my realtor no showings on Mondays – to give me a chance to catch up!!
5. SHABBY YARD
Palatial gardens are not necessary but a clean freshly mowed lawn and tidy landscaping, even if there is not much to landscape – just shows better. Sometimes an open clear yard can even get a buyer excited about the possibilities at hand but Lawns and shrubbery that look raggy and untended like no one lives there – is a turn off…
- Tim Barber Limited – I LOVE this – and I will take that dog with the house !
6. DARK HOMES
People love light. Sunshine streaming in a window. But some days are not as sunny as others and it helps to have lots of light – via table lamps, pendants and ceiling light fixtures to show off your space! Keep extra bulbs on hand. Rooms just look better when they are well-lit!
my OLD COUNTRY HOUSE LIVING ROOM
7. CRAZY BRIGHT WALL COLORS AND WILD WALLPAPER
I love wallpaper and I love color, but what I don’t want is to look at a house and think “ugh first thing we gotta do is get all that dreadful dated faded ugly wallpaper down!” Beautiful wallpaper is a bonus though.
Now, if I am looking at an old house that needs a complete update that is one thing, and the need for the update will likely be reflected in the pricing, but if I am looking at “move in ready” home – it is more appealing if the colors flow and make sense and if there is wallpaper that it be current and enhances the look and feel of the house.
8. JUST TOO MUCH STUFF
Whether you have read Marie Kondo’s book -“The Life changing magic of tidying up” or not…it is a widely known fact that the less STUFF you have cluttering up your house and distracting buyers – the BETTER. We actually rented a storage shed when we first put our house on the market – and the more I get rid of the happier I am! I continue to purge and get rid of things that are just taking up space and I love the freedom and lightness..and our house looks bigger and brighter!!!
9. OLD CARPETING
Carpet in general is a IFFY thing…IF it is good looking and IF it is fresh and new and of a current style – (like the carpet pictured above) that can be a PLUS – but IF is is old, dated, dirty, worn, stained carpet that s JUST not good- EVER. If your floors need to be carpeted and your carpet has seen better days then it may be worth considering investing is some new neutral carpet to improve the overall look and improve the possibility of a sale. You can even put down paper runners if they need be to protected from the high traffic or you can ask people to take off their shoes.
Buyers need to feel like YOUR HOUSE could be THEIR HOME. And you might be the nicest person in the world with the cutest kids…but that will not help buyers bond with your home. At the advice of our realtor we thinned out the Family Photo gallery walls but I did not remove all evidence that a family lives here because that would just be silly. BUT YOU/I in person – definitely need to not be there…that just makes it hard for the buyer.
Selling your home is just a big fat pain. But it is a necessary pain if you need to move so it is wise to take steps to ease the process. Our home is doubt difficult because old homes are not what people want these days…but someone out there LOVES old houses like I do and hopefully will find their way here…and if not…we will get a few more years here…and there are a million worse things I can think of than a few more years in My Old Country House!!!!
If you have any other TIPS for improving those first 45 seconds please share them with us!
Thanks for reading!!!