I think most have a good idea as to the basic things to do when preparing their home for sale. Things like clean, organize, touch up paint, and carpet cleaning; all seemingly simple and typically fail proof.
Of course, that isn’t always the case. Staging to sell your home can go very wrong, and ultimately affect the sales price.
Let’s look at some of the deal breakers to avoid.
1. Pet Urine – Trying to fix excessive pet urine with shampooing or steam cleaning does not help. It may get rid of some of the stains, but it will also make it smell worse!
Quite often the urine is in one or two areas of the house. If this is the case, dry shampoo those areas/rooms. Dry shampooing may not be as effective for the stains, but at least it won’t prevent buyers from walking through home. Then offer a credit to the buyer at closing for the carpet that needs to be replaced. This creates value by allowing the buyers to select the flooring they want vs having the price raised for carpet they don’t like.
There are also certain conditions such as price point, area, or the market itself when replacing the carpet may be the recommended route. This is where guidance from your real estate agent is recommended before making any decisions. It’s all about maximizing your dollar!
2. Painting Over Water Damage – Attempting to freshen up by painting over water damage creates more red flags. To be clear, I am referring to water damage that has caused rippling, peeling or deterioration. This makes buyers wonder what else is trying to be covered up, and then out come the inspector gadget spectacles.
Your best options are having it inspected for mold, repaired, and painted or leaving it alone and disclosing it to potential buyers.
3. Personal & Religious Photos and Décor – Please, please take down the hunting picture of Uncle Bob and buck or any other personal pictures, including religious items or pictures. You want buyers focused on the awesome features in your home, not distracted by what kind of people own the home. Especially if something you have on display offends them.
4. Not changing air filters and cleaning grates – When a buyer looks up and sees a brown air filter and dust caked on the metal grate, they immediately wonder how many other things in the home have deferred maintenance.
5. Leaving dogs loose in the house – You never know if a potential buyer has a fear or prior experience that would prevent them from entering the home because of an uncreated dog. Additionally, don’t leave them locked in the backyard or a room. You want buyers to walk through freely and imagine themselves living there. This also means, don’t leave a dog in a crate that does nothing but bark while buyers are viewing. This is extremely distracting and let’s face it, just outright annoying.
These are some of the top deal breakers I’ve come across, but there are many other things that can turn a buyer away as well. For this reason, it is important to ask your Realtor what needs to be done to best showcase your house.