After avoiding listing presentation mistakes and landing a client, it’s time to get their home sold. Any real estate agent will tell you this is often easier said than done, especially if the home isn’t in show condition.
A seasoned agent will see the home showing deal-breakers the moment they walk through the door. They’re the big red flags that stop a buyer in their tracks. You can’t control every aspect of the neighborhood, but you can take steps to make your client’s home more appealing and avoid these home showing deal-breakers.
Signs of Insects
Whether they’re alive or dead, the experts at Moxie Pest Control in Utah say signs of insects will cause most buyers to walk right back out the door. Their team regularly works with sellers that are preparing to put their home on the market. An initial inspection can spot pest problems both indoors and out in the yard.
Getting a custom pest control treatment is an upfront investment worth making. Just keep in mind that during the spring and summer when insects are most active you may need to have regular treatments while the home is on the market.
Getting a termite inspection is also a good idea. It can be used as a selling point since it reassures buyers the home isn’t infested with wood-destroying insects, and it’s one less thing they have to worry about covering during the contingency period.
Something else that’s immediately off-putting is a foul odor. Many people can get past imperfections, however, inescapable bad odor that infiltrate the indoors is something few people are willing to work around.
Bad odors can be extremely hard to get rid of, which is one reason they’re a deal-breaker. It’s going to take some work, but homeowners should do what they can to eliminate any bad smells. That could include replacing the carpet, repainting the walls and airing out the home so fresh air can circulate through the home.
In general, homes that are cluttered or unkempt aren’t going to show well. For starters, the clutter and debris distracts from the selling points of the home. Secondly, uncleanliness makes buyers question how well the home has been maintained.
Before the home goes on the market, have a discussion with your client about the importance of keeping the home in show condition at all times. Give the home a thorough cleaning before taking pictures for the listing, and if needed, use a storage unit to hold excess clutter.
Signs of Damage
The home inspection will reveal underlying damage, but sometimes a professional isn’t needed to spot damage. Things like water spots on the ceiling, cracks on the wall and buckling floorboards can be big red flags for buyers. There may be no actual damage or the repair may have already been made, but that’s not what the buyer sees. They only see a potentially expensive problem.
It’s always best to spend the money to fix visible signs of past damage. If not, buyers will likely low-ball the offer, or worse, move on to the next home that looks like it’s in better condition.
Another common home showing deal-breaker is obvious repairs. Anything that is clearly broken or doesn’t work properly is a turn off for buyers and gives them a reason to negotiate the price down if they do actually put in an offer. Buyers may also request that the fixes be made after the inspection.
Go through each room in the home and note repairs that need to be made, regardless of how large or small they are. Do as many fixes as fit in the seller’s budget, focusing or obvious repairs first, like non-functional fixtures.
Zero Curb Appeal
It’s often been said that curb appeal can sell a home. The curb appeal is the first impression a potential buyer gets when they pull up to a home. If they’re less than impressed that can set the tone for the entire showing. Buyers that are driving around scoping out neighborhoods may choose to bypass the home entirely if they don’t like what they see from outside.
Power washing the exterior siding and sidewalks is one of the easiest ways to increase the curb appeal of a home and add thousands in value. Replacing the front door, adding colorful plants near the entry and keeping the lawn mowed are a few more easy ways to make the home more appealing from the outside.