For BuyersFor HomeownersFor SellersReal Estate October 15, 2012

Top Ten Ways to Turn a Buyer Off To Your Home


You've decided to sell your home.  Now buyers will be coming by to see your home. These buyers will decide if your house can be their home.

It feels strange to have people walking through your home.  It also feels strange to have photos of your home online for all the world to see.  Selling a home is not like living in a home.  When you live in your home, it's your private retreat where you can keep you home as clean or as messy as you want.  But now your home is "on the market" with online photos and buyers coming by.  It's a very different experience, which means you will need to live differently.

Here are ten things you should not do while your home is for sale. 

1. Be home during the showing.  Leave when buyers are coming so they feel comfortable looking through all the rooms, cabinets, and closets.  Buyers will feel free to discuss whether a home works for them. 

Offer to show buyers around.  Often sellers focus on what they think is important and what they love, but it may it may not be what a buyer loves.  Imagine you had a gorgeous jacuzzi style tub and showed it off to buyers.  If the buyers prefer showers, the jacuzzi tub may mean nothing.   When sellers show buyers around, it makes the buyer feel you're still too tied to your home and not ready to sell. 

3. Draw blinds and leave lights off.  A house that feels dark doesn't feel warm and comfortable.

4. Have an unmade bed.  Need I say more about this?

5. Leave dishes in the sink and on the counters.  Again, pretty self explanatory, but buyers really don't want to see your mess.

6. Leave personal items out in the bathroom.   No one wants to know you brush your teeth or blow your nose.  Buyers want to feel the bathroom is pristine and ready for them.

7. Your PJ's on the floor.   Oh, please.

8. Smoke smell.  Buyers worry it will take a professional cleaning to eliminate smoke smell or the smell cannot be eliminated at all.

9. Cooking odors.   Many people love to cook, but they don't want to smell food when they look at homes.

10.Unsecured pets.  Make sure your pets, who think they need to protect your home, are secured and don't interfere with buyers who are looking at your home.

There are many other things you should not do that will detract from the buyer's experience when viewing your home.  Remember, the buyer needs to feel good about your home if they plan to buy it.  If they think the house is unkempt or you make them feel like they're intruding, more than likely they'll go buy another home.  Show buyers you're ready to sell.  Give them a positive picture and the "space' to buy your home.