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Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Selling Your Home
4 min. read

image: LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Selling your home can be tricky. There are a lot of things you need to keep on top of, like stiff competition from other home sellers and last minute viewings. It’s especially important that you keep alert when you show your home to potential buyers. Buyers are looking for their dream home and, unfortunately, there are many ways you can quickly shatter the impression that your property might be the one! 

You’ll never please everyone, but the following 10 things should be avoided at all costs. Making any of these 10 mistakes will turn buyers off quicker than you can stutter an apology!

An Excessive Price Tag

Even in a seller’s market, many buyers will skip past an overpriced property. They have a lot to think about, and the idea of leaving their comfort zone and negotiating an extortionate price down is unpalatable to many. It’s far better to do your market research, or consult with an agent and price to sell from the off-set.

Zero Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is incredibly important, and if your home is lacking in this area, you might find that potential buyers are driving on by. Keep your front lawn tidy and attractive, cut back overgrown vegetation and add potted plants. Repair any broken fences, walls or frames, and clean, or paint them so that they’re looking as good as new. Make sure your front door looks inviting, but secure, and pressure-wash your driveways and paths.

Showing a Dirty Home

This is a huge no-no and can have buyers running for the door never to return. Your home must be looking the best it can all the time it’s on the market, so that buyers can envision living in it without distractions. Dust, grease and grime have got to be cleaned thoroughly, throughout your home. Leave no stone unturned and if it’s too much for you to handle alone, get the pros in. Once cleaned throughout, be sure to keep on top of the smaller things, like dishes, laundry and dust.

Image: aSuruwataRi / Shutterstock.com

Too Much Clutter

Going hand in hand with a dirty home, clutter is another instant turn off. After all, many buyers have outgrown their previous home, so they want to be sure there’s more than enough space to fit all their stuff into yours. You need to more or less empty your cabinets, closets, shelves and drawers, leaving only the essentials behind, allowing visitors to see the potential storage space your place offers.

Showing a Smelly Home

Clutter and dirt are bad enough, but if your home pongs, buyers are going to be left with a bad impression. All too often, homeowners are ‘nose blind’ and don’t realize just how potent the cat’s litter box actually is! Odours from pets, smoking and cooking—especially fried foods—should be removed entirely if possible. Rather than simply masking smells with chemical air fresheners, remove odours from curtains, carpets and furniture by giving them a good clean.

Keeping Your Old Wallpaper

While wallpaper might be making a comeback, chances are your 1970s-era wallpapered living room isn’t all that desirable. Many buyers see wallpaper as extra work that they’re unwilling to do when they’ve just moved home. It’s easy enough to remove it yourself, and affordable enough to get the professionals in, and it gives you a chance to breathe new life into the room with a splash of paint.

Popcorn Ceilings

Even worse than wallpaper, this throwback to the bad old days doesn’t just look bad, but it’s difficult to clean, gets dirty quickly, and it can even contain asbestos. For any homes that are pre-1980 (roughly the time when asbestos started to be banned), it’s essential that you have it tested, by sending a sample to the relevant lab. Once you have the all clear, you can try to remove it yourself, which is a messy task, or get a decorator in, which is normally pretty affordable.

Bold Colour Schemes

Image: Blaz Kure / Shutterstock.com

A general rule of thumb that’s worth following as a seller is this: bold colours are for living, neutral colours are for selling. If you have bold feature walls or other elements in your home, the chances are slim that you’ll find a buyer with the exact same taste. Instead, go neutral and allow their imaginations to run wild.

Keeping It Too Personal

When a buyer walks into your home, they want to imagine their life there. That’s difficult when they see your family photos everywhere and other things that shout ‘you.’ Pack these away in advance, ready to move into your next place, and replace them with more neutral decorations.

Being a Space Invader

When buyers come knocking, that should be your cue to head out for a coffee and leave them to it. Unfortunately, many sellers tend to stick around, offering unwanted opinions or eavesdropping, which can make for an uncomfortable viewing for the buyer.

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