Home buying is a very intense process that involves way more than finances. Not only are you investing in what is more than likely your most valuable asset, but you’re also choosing the place you’ll call home. It’s the place where you’ll raise your family, host friends, and make memories. In other words, it’s a highly emotional process.
As the person on the other side of the equation – the seller – you have to respect how important of a decision buyers have; you should do everything you can to present your home in the best possible light.
7 Ways to Scare Off a Serious Buyer
In addition to getting all of the little things right, you need to make sure you aren’t unintentionally scaring people away. Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy to do. Here are some of the top things sellers do to frighten even the most serious buyers.
- Low Quality Listing Photos
In the age of the internet, first impressions typically start online. If you want to wow buyers, it all begins with your online listing. The opposite is true as well. If you aren’t careful, an online listing can scare off potential buyers before they even see the home in person.
One of the biggest turnoffs is low quality photos. Whether it’s low-resolution images, bad lighting, or poor angles, lousy photography isn’t going to do you any favors. Hire a professional photographer to get the job done right.
- Overgrown Landscaping
There’s nothing cute or charming about having landscaping that’s reminiscent of the Addams Family. In fact, poor/overgrown landscaping is one of the single biggest turnoffs for homebuyers; it will have them running back to their cars before they even open the front door.
The good news is that landscaping is one of the easiest and most cost-effective fixes. For a few hundred bucks, you can hire a professional landscaping crew to spend an afternoon at your house mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, and planting flowers. That’s money well spent when you consider it’ll keep you from scaring away would-be buyers.
- Excessive Security Features
Home security features are good. Not only do they make you feel safe, but they can actually add a little bit of value to your house when it comes time to sell. Unfortunately, too many security features can also have an adverse effect.
Think about it from the buyer’s perspective. If you have three different locks on each door, security cameras on the outside of the home, and a multi-factor alarm system on the inside, the buyer is naturally going to wonder why. At the very least, they’re going to feel uncomfortable.
- Strange Odors and Smells
Strange smells: you might be used to them, but rest assured potential buyers are not. Nothing makes a buyer scrunch up their nose quicker than walking into a house and smelling pets, cigarette smoke, mildew, trash, or strong food.
If you’re worried that you’ve grown accustomed to the smell of your house, ask your real estate agent for an objective opinion. When in doubt, burn a candle, diffuse essential oils, or bake cookies when you have a showing or an open house.
- Lots of Clutter and Personal Items
Clean, simple, and minimalistic – this is what buyers want to see when they walk into a home. Not only does this help them see the house for what it truly is, but it removes the risk that they’ll be turned off by your style.
If you have lots of clutter hanging around your house, go ahead and box it up and put it away. Rarely will a prospective buyer complain that a house is too empty. Less is always more in these scenarios.
- Lots of Outdated Features
Most buyers understand that they’ll have to do some basic updating and remodeling when they buy a house, but they aren’t looking for a total rehab. They expect a house to be basically move-in ready, regardless of the price point. If you have lots of outdated features, they may become overwhelmed and decide to move on to other listings.
Examples of dated features that you’ll commonly see in today’s market include popcorn ceilings, wood paneling, lots of brass fixtures, Formica countertops, and linoleum flooring. If you’ve got them, get rid of them (or at least account for them in the sale price).
- Pets in the Home
Most people have pets, but nobody loves your pet as much as you do – especially a home buyer. It’s not that they necessarily care that a pet lives in the house, but they’d just rather not see it.
One of the biggest issues with pets – dogs in particular – is the shedding. You can’t vacuum fast enough and prospective buyers won’t be thrilled to see hair on furniture, carpet, or hidden around the corners of the baseboards.
Whether it’s a dog, cat, or reptile, remove all pets from the home when it’s on the market. You can board the pet at a local place, or have a friend or family member take care of it for a few weeks. It doesn’t matter – just don’t leave it in the house where it sheds, barks, or contributes to strange odors.
Contact Green Residential Today
As intense as buying a home can be, selling your house can be equally as emotional. Whether you’re moving into a bigger house or relocating for a job, selling a house you’ve been in for a few years is like selling a little piece of yourself.
At Green Residential, we understand the financial and emotional aspects of buying and selling homes. If you’re looking for real estate professionals who know the Houston market and are able to help the process go as smoothly as possible, please don’t hesitate to contact us today! We’re one of the only flat fee real estate agencies in the city and could potentially save you thousands on the sale of your home. What are you waiting for?