When your home goes up for sale, your Realtor® will be working hard to find and attract buyers to your home. Once these buyers arrive there to view your property, you want to make sure that your home is ready, everything is in place and tidy and that the buyer will want to continue through your doors and eventually decide this is going to be “their” new home. But if certain items are not addressed, this will not happen as planned.
Your home will have professional photos taken and even the best photographer can not remove the clutter. The top three things that will stop a buyer in their tracks are:
- Pet Odors…Many owners do not realize that there are odors present, either because they have become accustomed to them, or they just are not sensitive to odors. There is nothing like walking through the door and being knocked out with pet odors and the worst are usually cat odors.
But dog odors can be just as bad, depending on the type of dogs or if the owner breeds them. If you have cats or dogs ask one of your friends to be honest about the odors, and actually kids are most likely to tell you the truth.
With cat odors you will want to wash everything down with a neutralizing solution (visit your local hardware store for their recommendation), set out odor capturing containers and thoroughly clean out the litter boxes. If the cats have sprayed on the furniture, you will have to remove it. Do not just put out fragrance containers or candles, they do not remove the odors, and sometimes those odors can be just as overpowering. The best fragrance in a home, is something very mild.
For dogs, make sure their bedding is kept clean. If your dogs are used to getting up on the furniture, you may want to keep covers on them. These covers can then be removed when showing the home.
- Curb Appeal…When a Realtor® drives up to your home with the clients in the car, the last thing your agent wants to hear is “No, we do not want to see this house.” because at that point, there is no forcing them inside.
Make sure your entry way is clean and inviting. Windows on doors should be clean and sparkling, doors should be freshly painted and all trim work painted as well. Any toys or gardening implements need to be put away, leaves and or snow should be removed and it does not hurt to have a nice seasonal item such as a planter or wreath to welcome you. The lawn should be cut and trimmed and trash containers put out of view.
I had one client that insisted on leaving a burn barrel in the side yard, and you would not believe how many buyers questioned the burn barrel being there. The burn barrel detracted from the beauty of this million dollar home.
Many times we enter our homes through side doors or back doors and forget about the attraction or lack of, of our front door. Take a fresh look at your entry way today.
- Smoking Odors…Gone are the days of smoking being acceptable. Non-smokers will notice the odors much more than smokers. Smoke will work it’s way into all of your material items such as sofas, chairs and drapes. It will also yellow your walls and fixtures. So if you are a smoker or someone in your house smokes, you will have to address the behavior and thoroughly clean everything in your home, including your ceilings. This may be the opportunity to encourage the end of the smoking habit.
When meeting with prospective sellers, I have the talk with them. The bad pet odor talk, the smoke in the house or the curb appeal talk and sometimes the conversation includes all of the topics. If I am not honest with them, I am not doing my job. I know what it takes to get buyers into your home. Some buyers have pet allergies and just knowing there are odors , sets the stage for them, the one that says this home just will not do, even if the odors are minimal. And non-smokers will pick up the slightest hint of tobacco smoke. Becoming mad at the potential buyers will not sell your home, but addressing the issues will.
Let me know if I can be of assistance to you, to help you prepare your home for sale.