Sellers Can Become House Blind
If you have lived in your house for a year or so, it’s already happening to you. You are becoming house blind. Oh, you can see alright, but you no longer are able to see your house through a fresh set of eyes. You no longer have that initial gut reaction or emotional response that a potential buyer will have when touring your house for the first time. You have become de-sensitized to your environment… not only in sight, but also smell and sound. This is just one more reason why an objective third party such as a Realtor (or a brutally honest friend) is a valuable asset to a seller. Let’s take a look at some of the more frequent offenders.
1.) Smell – When a buyer walks into your house for the first time, the first thing (and I mean the very first thing) they’ll notice is the smell. Negative comments include smoke, pet odors, an old musty smell, cooking odors (exotic spices, fish, etc.), and garbage can odors. I’ve even had buyers say that the house smelled like feet. Yes, feet. Not good. It is very hard to detect a smell you are used to, so get a third party to help you with this.
2.) The Lived-in Look – This happens to almost everyone’s house, and it gets away from you quickly. It’s all about staging to present your house in the best possible way. Get rid of, or at least hide the following: stacks of mail, newspapers & magazines, half-empty beverages, 5 different remotes, video games, accessories & extension cords, half-finished projects, dishes, and bathroom bottles & containers. Less is more. You are getting ready for the most important visitor to your house… a buyer!
3.) The Yikes Factor – These are the things you are used to that hit buyers right between the eyes. Remember that loud wallpaper you didn’t like to begin with? It’s still there, and will be a problem. That dark blue carpet will be a problem. That neon purple bedroom will be a problem. That old, dirty lime green recliner with the duct tape will be a problem. Any questions?
4.) Family Ties – One issue that is often overlooked is family photos. Sometimes we see a huge number of them displayed all over the house. Your goal here is allowing a buyer to envision the home being theirs. We know you love your kids (& your grandkids, friends & vacations), but please don’t make buyers feel like they are invading someone else’s space. Oh yes, and box up all of that stuff stuck to the refrigerator.
5.) Personal Themes – Is your house heavily adorned with sports memorabilia, pictures of pets, racecars, or super heroes? If you are compelled to display your themed collection, you may want to limit it to one room. You may also want to talk to your teen about the heavy metal posters & pin-up models. I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’.
6.) Forgotten repairs – I remember having a seller of a very nice home with a very obvious, large broken window. When I pointed it out, they realized that they let that defect go for so long, that they didn’t even notice it any more. Nuff said.
My two cents…
~ Allen Robison