When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. Most buyers decide in mere seconds whether or not they are interested in a home for sale. This means every little thing counts. Many of us make fancy upgrades without addressing seemingly simple issues that can be a major turnoff for buyers. The following are some common reasons why someone might pass on your home, and easy ways to fix them.
1. Loud Accent Walls
Most people are looking for a home that is move-in ready. A wall that has been painted a color that is not universally appealing can be a deal breaker. Try to remain objective when it comes to painting over accent walls. You may like neon green, but your buyers will likely be looking for something more neutral.
Remember: the most important thing for potential buyers is that they are able to visualize themselves living in the home. Fresh and neutral paint will help to accomplish this. Paint over bright colors with a color that matches the rest of the room (apply a coat of primer first to make it easier on yourself). Be sure to patch up any holes beforehand as well. If you do not feel you can do a neat and professional job, it will be worth it to hire a contractor to do this for you.
2. Overgrown Yard
Professional landscaping is not in the cards for many sellers who are on a budget and strapped for time. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a little elbow grease into tidying up the grounds. An untended yard filled with weeds, leaves, and other debris can feel unwelcome.
Luckily, some simple yard work is all that is needed to freshen up your yard and give your home’s curb appeal a boost. Before a showing, rake up leaves and needles and mow the grass. Sweep the pathway, driveway, deck and patio. Trim hedges and pull up large weeds.
3. Dirty Entrance
In addition to the front yard, the front entrance is going to form a large part of a buyer’s first impression. A muddy welcome mat or a dirty front door are, needless to say, not ideal.
Wash the outside of your door so it is bright and clean. If you have a storm door, be sure to clean it as well (including the glass). Replace any broken screens or rusted hardware. If you do not have a welcome mat or yours is in bad shape, replace it with a clean one with a simple design.
Certain smells are to be expected in a home, especially one that is still being lived in. Some odors, however, can have a negative impact on your home’s perceived cleanliness. Try to mitigate the following as best as you can before trying to sell your home:
- Pet odors (cat litter and wet dog smells, especially)
- Strong cooking smells
- Musty or moldy odors (old carpet is usually the culprit)
The best way to freshen the home overall is to have carpets professionally cleaned or replaced. If you have curtains, wash them as well, since they tend to trap a fair amount of dust and particles.
If you have cooked a meal that accidentally burned or released strong smells, open all the windows and place a bowl of white vinegar in the kitchen. The vinegar will help absorb the odor overnight. Discard the bowl the next morning and brew a fresh pot of coffee to help get rid of the smell.
When showing your home, the best course of action is to remove all evidence of pets, including litter pans, beds, and scratching posts. If this is not possible, the pet area should be as spotless as possible. Make sure to clean the litter box frequently and use enzyme cleaners to neutralize strong urine smells.
5. Personal Touches
You may be tempted to leave your favorite artwork on the wall or keep family pictures on a desk. But, once again, overly personal touches can prevent a home buyer from visualizing themselves within the space. If a home feels like it is occupied by someone, it will be difficult to imagine living there with your own things.
Clear away as much clutter as possible and remove all personal effects, especially photographs. Keep artwork subdued, even generic. If you are unsure about an item, ask your realtor or a professional stager. And remember that this process is not some kind of commentary on your personal taste or your history in the home. It is just another way to help buyers see the potential of a space.
Ready to List Your Colorado Home?
Colorado continues to be a thriving market for sellers, despite reason shifts in inventory and interest rates. If you are ready to sell your home in Colorado, contact Brenda Kellogg Meyer. Brenda is a highly experienced Realtor who works with an entire team of professionals to help sell your home. From staging to professional photography, Brenda and her team are here to help. Call or go online today to get started.