As the year begins to wind down, it’s been an interesting year to review. We started in a heavily dominated sellers market and have no turned into a bit of a buyers market (which is true usually of any Winter, but it’s even more true this year). Looking back, here are the top buyer turn offs of 2015.
- Poorly staged, cluttered, dirty or smelly homes. I recall one sunny Tuesday morning when I was about to show a well-photographed townhouse in Fairfax and as we optimistically approached the front door – a cockroach stared me in the face right next to the lockbox. Upon entering the house, it was dirty and FILTHY from the tenants, even the walls were gross. We didn’t even bother going upstairs. First impressions are everything – keep your house clean while it’s on the market!
- Overpricing. It’s been an interesting shift here on the buyer side – if a house is overpriced, many buyers won’t even bother with an offer until the seller becomes “more realistic.” From an agent point of view, waiting to do so takes away some of your leverage if you end up in a pool with other people who were waiting for the same price drop. However, as a seller or sellers agent, you want to find that price that excites multiple buyers to make an offer. Overpricing and testing the market, doesn’t get you as much as you hope it will.
- No photos. In a time where nearly everyone’s home search begins online, it is still mind boggling to me that an agent wouldn’t include photos, or worse, use a cell phone to take a picture. Take professional photographs of the house. Most people assume no pictures = something wrong with the house.
- Interfering sellers/Difficult to schedule showings. I was showing a house where the seller was home and while he tried to stay out of our way, my client did want to ask him a quick question since he was there afterall. He was SO rude to my client, we both wanted to get out of there as fast as possible, like we were disturbing him by being there. You’re trying to sell your house. You don’t need to do the realtors job (in fact, you shouldn’t!), but being friendly can only help you sell your house. Better yet, make sure you’re gone for the showing. Try to be as flexible as possible with showings.
- Bad upgrades. Before you decide to remodel a bathroom or kitchen, paint a bright red, or install new shag carpet, consult a Realtor(R) to make sure you’re wisely spending money. Not every improvement will give you a return, and I would hate for you to spend money for nothing.
Please contact me if you’re looking for guidance on where to start if you’re thinking of selling.