I spent an entire day this week with a potential West Bank home buyer. He had a particular area in mind for his new home and we scheduled appointments to see all of the available listings in one of the subdivisions he is interested in. There are 10 homes for sale in the area we were touring, all priced within a few thousand dollars of each other. At the end of the day, one listing made the short list…that’s right, only one.
There are still other areas that my client wants to look in, but if he decides on the first subdivision for his new home, we already know which house he will buy. It was the one that stood head and shoulders above the rest, even though it wasn’t the lowest priced home.
After we left each other for the day, I reviewed the listing sheets for the homes we had toured in preparation for providing feedback to the listing agents. There were some definite home seller dos and don’ts that jumped out at me that could be the reason these homes are still on the market. If your home is currently for sale or you are considering selling, please keep these things in mind.
DON’T leave your dishes in the sink, your beds unmade and your laundry piled on the sofa. It reflects badly on how you may have maintained your home while you were living there. Also, it is distracting to the buyer. You want them to see your home at its best and imagine themselves living there. No one visualizes living in a dirty, messy home.
DON’T let your pet run around while your house is being shown. Little Sparky may be the friendliest dog to you and your family, but he nipped at my ankle and made my buyers nervous. Please either crate your pet or make arrangements for them to be somewhere else during showings.
DON’T turn off all of the utilities to your home when you move out. The quickest showing was at a home with no lights. On a rainy and overcast day, your home looks dark and depressing. Again, not where a buyer wants to picture themselves living.
DON’T follow the buyers and their agent through the house during a showing. Buyers feel pressured to walk through quickly when you are following them. You may have the best house for sale in the neighborhood, but if the buyer doesn’t feel at ease enough to look at their leisure, they will never appreciate the beauty of your home.
DO check out your home listing on the internet. Are there multiple photos? Is all of the information accurate? My buyer carried a handful of flyers with misspellings, incorrect information (laminate and wood floors are 2 different things), inaccurate directions and incorrect school district information.
DO provide a place for potential buyers to wipe their feet. It was wet outside, and most of the homes had no front mat to wipe our wet and muddy shoes on. Not everyone feels comfortable taking off their shoes, so please make it easy for buyers to help keep your house clean and free of dirty footprints.
DO provide keys to all of the doors, including the garage. Would you be interested in buying a home if you couldn’t view all of it?
DO make sure that your house is ready to show. Curtains open, everything neat and clean. Leave a light or two on and leave all of the interior doors open.
DO arrange for lawn and pool care for your vacant home. No one wants to feel like they are trekking through the jungle to get to your front door or into the back yard. And that green pool? Yuck! If you are relocating and leaving a vacant home on the market, your agent should be able to help you make arrangements for reliable lawn and pool service.
Buyers are in the driver’s seat in most areas of the country today and will stay there as long as there are more houses for sale than there are qualified buyers to purchase them. To rise above the competition, sellers need to be sure that their house is a DO instead of a DON’T.