The saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is a Truth that should be top of mind for every home owner that is planning to list their property. As a team of realtors, I believe it is safe to say that collectively, we have quite literally walked through over one thousand properties with our clients as they searched for the perfect place to call Home. During those home showings, as they looked, we listened to what they had to say. You may be surprised by some of the items they shared with us that led them to walk away from, and not even consider, making an offer on the property they just visited. So, if you’re planning to place your home on the market, we’re happy to help by offering a little advice on how to make sure your home makes a good first impression with potential buyers.
Here is a list of the top 5 items shared with us by past clients that could potentially slow down the sale of your home, and how you can fix them.
- Plain old Dirt: Remember that drip of coffee on the carpet and the dust bunnies in the corner of the bedroom closet. Well, if you remember them, so will your potential buyers. Deep cleaning, including the nooks and crannies, using good old elbow grease and a lightly scented cleaner, will ensure your home gets the positive attention it deserves and is remembered for all the right reasons.
- Broken or worn-out items: Home maintenance both inside and outside of the home is a very important part of the selling process. Most potential buyers have an “eagle eye” for spotting items that are damaged or broken. It is important to repair or replace any items that may lead buyers to think that the home has not been well maintained or cared for. It may seem silly, but in our experience, even something as simple as burned out light bulbs can actually deter potential buyers from making an offer.
- Unsightly mildew: Most people do not distinguish a difference between mildew and mold. So, if it looks like mold, the potential buyer is likely to keep looking. Cleaning grout and caulking around the sinks, tubs and showers to remove any mildew spots will also be remove any potential for concern. There are a few good cleaners on the market specifically designed to remove mildew and are readily found at your local Hardware stores.
- Having too many personal items on display: You want to encourage potential buyers to envision the home as their own. Removing some of the décor items that are unique to your personal style and family, (your uncle Harold’s stuffed Trout for a start), will allow those viewing your home to imagine their favorite artwork or family treasures (their Aunt Martha’s decoupaged vase) on mantles and walls.
- It smells weird: You can’t deny science; the human brain is uniquely wired to trigger an emotional memory that is specifically linked to what we smell. Therefore, it is important to address any lingering scents that could be affecting (or offending) the noses of those viewing your home. You can start by simply opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to flow through the home. If the season doesn’t allow for that, running an “ozonator”, (and we are happy to borrow you the one we have), or lightly spraying a product like “Febreze” can also help to eliminate malodorous scents.
When it comes to selling your home, it’s important to put your best effort forward at the start. Having a fresh smelling, squeaky clean home that is in good repair and tastefully decorated will ensure your home makes a good first impression that leads to the offers you are hoping for.