Realtor Secrets 🏠 What Buyers REALLY Think of Your House
"Is that bacon? Did they have bacon for breakfast?"
"Look at that dirt and dog hair on the baseboards!"
"Wow, these people REALLY like tequila!"
"That is the ugliest paint color I have ever seen."
"They're never going to get that price for this house."
Those are just some of the things buyers could be thinking as they walk around your house that's for sale.
During my real estate career I've shown thousands of houses, and there's one thing that's true for almost all buyers: they make observations on your home as soon as they walk in and some of them are not so nice.
I wanted to share what I've observed - buyers need to connect with your home in a personal way in order to want to purchase it. They use all five of their senses and will often verbalize what they're thinking. Here are some of the most common (brutally honest) observations that I hear.
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Whether it's food, cigarettes, or even overly aggressive air fresheners - nothing turns off a buyer faster than a smell that they don't like. Don't try and mask or cover up unpleasant odors - you need to get to the source and fix it. You may need to replace carpet, paint walls, clean out air ducts, or remove furniture - especially pieces that pets love to sit on. Don't cook any foods with pungent odors. It's very important that your house doesn't have any lingering smells - they negatively personalize a house very quickly.
I actually like when homes have a few pictures, despite what every real estate article and video recommends. Personally, I've never seen a buyer get turned off by a few lovely family photos. What you want to avoid are casual snapshots. You don't want buyers taking away too much of their time checking out your 2002 Spring Break photo collage. And lets talk about wedding photos - take down almost all of them. They could dredge up negative emotions for newly divorced buyers.
Your house will definitely get a nickname - every buyer does it. They come in, look at your house, remember one or two things about it and then give each house a nickname. Just the other day, I had a buyer refer to the "zebra house" because it had a cool picture of that animal above the couch. You want buyers to have a positive or neutral nickname, and not a strange personal item like tequila. I have found that buyers are much more likely to purchase homes with a positive nickname.
Pro Tip: Kids love to look at house photos online with their parents. A perfectly stuffed dog or bear can go a long way in getting that child to like your house. Why not be the "teddy bear house"?
DIRT, DUST, HAIR
It's really hard to keep a house clean with a family and pets living in it, but it's so important for the home to exude cleanliness. No dirty baseboards, dog hair on the floor, mold in the shower, or a dusty air filter. Buyers notice all of these things right away and it's a huge turn off. Do a deep cleaning before you list your home, and then spend the money to have someone come weekly for upkeep while you are showing it. The amount that a buyer devalues your house far exceeds the cost of having it professionally cleaned, so make that investment.
IS THIS HOUSE WORTH THE PRICE?
Almost immediately, a buyer will make an assessment of what they think your house is worth - much of this is based on how much work they think it needs. Buyers tend to overestimate how much it will cost to make cosmetic changes. While it's impossible to appeal to everyone's taste, some easy changes you can make that will make a big impact are interior and exterior painting in modern colors that works with the house, removing wallpaper, updating light and plumbing fixtures, and replacing worn carpet. Follow your Realtor's advice and take care of those inexpensive cosmetic fixes.
Considering all of these aspects and taking action will put you in a much stronger position when selling your house. Anyone in the Tampa Bay area looking for help buying / selling - feel free to contact me!
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Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. She can be reached at 813-368-6084 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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