When you show your home to prospective buyers, there is probably a long list of things you’re hoping they’ll notice. For example, the beautiful chandelier in the foyer, or the spacious backyard and large deck, or the kitchen with the island big enough for a family to sit down for breakfast.
But what about those things you’re hoping buyers will not zero in on?
Every home has some features that are less than enticing to the typical buyer. You may not be able to do much about an unfinished basement or a home backing onto a noisy main street. However, there are several things buyers don’t want to see that you can change.
Here are five of the most common:
Clutter: Back rooms in basements filled with boxes and other items. Closets stuffed full of clothes. Rooms crammed with too much furniture. Clutter of any kind makes buyers feel uneasy – and gets in the way of showcasing the wonderful features of your home. It also can make your home seem smaller than it really is.
Maintenance issues: Buyers definitely don’t want to see a lot of things needing repairs or replacement. Dripping faucets, faded or chipped walls, or overgrown lawns and shrubbery can make a buyer think twice about putting an offer on your property.
Smells: You can’t see smells,but it really does affect the experience of a buyer when they view a listing. Smells like exotic cooking aromas, cigarette smoke, and pets can be quite a turn off. As mentioned in a previous blog post on Talk 21, smell is the only one of our five senses that is directly hardwired to our brains and connected to our memories and emotions.
Personal items: Buyers will, of course, understand that a family is living in the home they’re viewing. However, constant reminders – in the form of vacation pictures, bowling trophies, or scattered children’s toys – can make a buyer feel like an intruder. Don't forget to put away your laundry! The site of laundry hanging in a basement makes your home look cluttered and messy.
You: It’s nothing personal, but buyers prefer to view your home without you in it.
The goal is to get buyers to imagine themselves living in the space and making it their own. The good news is, all these things can easily be dealt with before you show your home.
Jorge Branca is with CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc. in Scarborough, ON.