Selling a Home - 6 Huge Mistakes Sellers Make
Now that we're well into Fall with Winter approaching, it's time for current or soon to be sellers to get their game-plan together. While working with a skilled Realtor helps there are some really simple things to tackle, inexpensive and help sellers avoid costly turn-offs when the property is being viewed.
Let's start with the yard. Don't assume the buyers are capable of imaging a gorgeous lawn, yard or garden through all the dead leaves, branches, grasses and expired flower stalks. Clean it up, trim it up and keep it up. Remember curb appeal is first impression. Stow garbage cans, bicycles and tools out of sight, and consider buying some mums, great for fall color. You may want to read this post on perfect fall mums, and fall listing photography tips.
Paint. Moving to the inside of the home, now focus on paint. You have to consider whether or not your belongings will be fully moved out, but for best effect, do move your stuff out if you can and make sure the home is properly staged (buyers have a harder time seeing their life in the home when your stuff is in there).These two authors can give you some great insights on staging, Ask Amy Staging and Tamara Leach. But with painting, stay neutral. It's no time to show off your creativity, save it for your new home. Paint also helps to eradicate annoying smells. Here's some awesome neutral colors for inspiration if you need it.
Speaking of smells, have you seen any of the "nose-blind" commercials? I have to laugh, but yhat's for real. We often don't notice smells in our own home that we're used to, but others will. Heavy spices, dogs and cats, mildew are just the beginning. Baking soda, sprinkled liberally on carpets and left for a few hours before vacuuming can go a long ways towards a fresh smelling home. Easy on air fresheners and scented candles at showings too. Choose light refreshing scents with a crisp, clean aroma and not heavy perfume and spicy smells.
If you have bugs, you have put-offs ... big put-offs. Take care of any infestation, especially termites but also consider rodents and any other annoying or potentially damaging pests that will raise a buyer's eyebrow.
Do not remodel after listing a home. If you intend to place a better kitchen or bathroom in the home, or make any other sort of upgrade, do it before listing the property and don't go wild. Keep it simple, neat and clean, functional and budget for the middle ground. You'll be surprised if you calculate the difference on the rate of return on remodeling before selling how much farther neat, clean, simple but updated is compared to trying to "wow" people. Not worth it in my opinion. Such projects are better left to owner occupants with long-term intent on occupancy. On the other hand, an attractive enticement is to offer items like a carpet, kitchen or appliance allowance and creativity here can help net a better sales price. If you didn't know, move-in-condition homes are trending up.
Please don't hang out and hover during showings. Sellers should vacate the premises at showing times. Hovering and trying to point out any features just makes it look like your trying to bury and hide things. If you're home is particularly loaded with fine appointments and amenities, point them out to your Realtor and hold them accountable for representing the home in the best light.
Don't pull the foreclosure-fast-one on buyers. Sometimes a seller, envisioning trouble ahead and hot water will attempt to sell a home before it goes into foreclosure being a couple months behind in payments. Don't do that. That's grossly unethical and unfair to all involved. Handle your business, correct the situation and go forth with integrity. This route will only bring loss and disappointment to all, especially the seller. Besides, what would a buyer think with officials showing up at the house or the sudden appearance of a "final notice" or even foreclosure sticker in a window? If this is the case, sell the home as a short sale. Find a competent Realtor specializing in short sales. Hiding the fact a seller is behind on payments and trying to sell in order to avoid the missed payments will only end in grief for all parties involved. A short sale will be less damaging to your credit and provide a better outcome.
The above are just a few things to watch out for if you're considering selling a home in the near future or next spring. I highly recommend you speak with a licensed Ohio Realtor before making a move towards anything. If you need a good listing agent in your area I work with Realtors all across Ohio and happy to provide you with referrals that I would trust with my own business.