Whether you’ve had your house on the market for awhile or you're getting ready to list it, avoid these problems if you want to sell your home quickly. Some sellers do these things without even realizing they're sabotaging the sale of their home. By avoiding or correcting these things, you’ll have the best chance of selling your house.
Let’s start with pricing your home. When you meet with your real estate agent, you will be presented with comps from the neighborhood. These are houses which are similar to yours and have recently sold in your area (some might be on the market, pending, or older sales). Knowing how much buyers are willing to spend on a home, gives you and your agent a better idea of how to price your home. Setting your price based off of these comps will make a big difference in the amount of interest you get from buyers.
If you ignore the comps, decide that the price your agent suggests doesn’t match your expectations, and push for an exorbitant price, you could sabotage the sale of your home. Overpricing can lead to fewer showings, a lot of disappointment when you receive lower-than-list-price offers, and too many days on the market. Trust your agent’s advice when it comes to pricing your home -- you'll have a better chance of getting an offer.
Every home will need some sort of repair before going on the market. Something as small as touch up paint or as big as replacing the roof. When preparing to list your home, your agent will make recommendations for repairs and, if you get the home inspected, encourage you to address those repairs as well.
If you don’t take the advice of your agent to fix existing problems, declutter, clean up the yard, etc., your home will not show well and will sit on the market longer. If there are large, expensive items on your repair list that you aren’t willing to tackle, like replacing an old furnace, you can disclose these on the contract and adjust the price to accommodate the buyer’s terms.
Odors from pets, shoes, carpets, cigarette smoke, kitchen, etc., can turn off potential buyers the minute they walk into your home. Although you might not think your home smells, trust your agent and friends when they tell you stinky odors permeating from your home. Make a good first impression on buyers by making time to killing bad odors.
- Have carpets and draperies professionally cleaned
- Replace worn or dirty area rugs
- Wash laundry throughout the week
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Scrub floors and walls
- Deep clean bathrooms
- Clean litter boxes and replace the litter frequently
- Wash all bedding including comforters/duvets
- Wash smelly shoes or add odor-absorbing inserts
- Bathe stinky pets
To improve the smell of your home, focus on heavy duty cleaning and getting rid of anything that harbors odors. Wash laundry throughout the week vs. leaving dirty laundry lying around. Scrub floors, wipe down walls and surfaces. Clean and disinfect the litter box and replace the litter frequently. Then, invite friends over to see if your home passes the sniff test. Potential buyers will be glad you tackled the odors before putting your house on the market.
4. Subpar Listing Photos
Listing photos can make or break the sale of a house. If your agent uses subpar cell phone photos as your listing photos, you’ve got a problem. Talk to your agent about having a professional take photos of your house. Share examples of photos you’ve seen online so that your agent gets a better idea of your vision. Great photos sell houses.
5. Attending Showings
When you’re trying to sell your house, do NOT attend the showings -- let your agent handle them. Homeowners tend to hover over buyers, following them from room to room, sharing details about the house that may overwhelm or even discourage them. An unbiased, experienced agent is the best person to show buyers around your home. Make plans to be away from the house before the showing. Head to the park, grab a coffee with a friend, take the car to the car wash, anything to give the buyers space. Remember, your agent is the one who should be handling the showings, not you.
There are a lot of factors that can stifle the sale of your home, most of which can be avoided. Whether you’re asking your agent to overprice your home, ignoring repairs and odors, dealing with unprofessional photos, or attending the showings, you’re reducing the chance of selling your home. Take care of these issues before putting your house on the market or be faced with the likelihood of your home sitting on the market without an offer.