It never fails. Whenever we’re showing houses to clients, there are repetitive faux pas that sellers continue to commit. They can be major turn-offs, and, in the past, have completely killed the interest of a prospective Buyer. Although some of these items are laughable, they can be quite a nuisance, not to mention distasteful. Believe it or not, we have experienced all of these blunders firsthand! If you have further feedback, we’d love to hear from you… hopefully with a little more educating, we can eliminate some of these tendencies… and maybe even help sell a home or two!
1. Unplug your “Glade plug-in’s” and any other scented air freshener that is wafting through your house. Overpowering scents can be offensive, individual preference can vary greatly, and allergies/sensitives ought to be considered.
2. Resist the urge to bake cookies prior to every showing. If you think appealing to our senses will give us a ‘warm fuzzy’ and send us falling head over heels for your home, it likely won’t.
3. Open windows and keep the air fresh! This is especially true in bathrooms and bedrooms.
4. Further to the point above, if you aren’t one to change your linens regularly, you might wish to do so while your home is listed. Granted – we aren’t testing out the comfort of your bed. However, there are few things worse than smelling stale sheets that are reminiscent of a month’s worth of B-O when entering your bedroom space.
5. Flush your toilets, and put the seat down. Please!
6. Baby Gates. Remove them, unlock them, and at the very least, tie them open! With such an array of gates on the market these days, don’t leave a prospective Buyer stranded at the top of the stairs!
7. Keep your lawn cut, and entry swept. First impressions are important. Pride of ownership speaks volumes. If your property looks shabby, sloppy, or dirty, a prospective Buyer could draw the conclusion that you have not been inclined to maintain the place. This isn’t a helpful attitude when sizing up value and drafting offers accordingly!
8. LEAVE! Viewing a home while the seller is home can be uncomfortable. Let us look, chat and discuss privately. If you feel so inclined to share the details of every update, reno, and project you’ve completed, you can leave a note.
9. Take down the boudoir photos that your wife presented to you on your last anniversary. They are for your eyes only. Not ours.
10. Tuck your dishes INTO the dishwasher rather than leaving them littered across the counter. If at all possible, keep the sinks clear and clean.
11. Avoid sterilizing your home of its personal presence. There is a time and a place for staging, but your home can still look livable, and doesn’t need to be completely void of your personality.
12. If showings are scheduled for the evenings, please do not allow us to enter in complete darkness. Leave a porch light on, and make the place look a little inviting!
13. Replace your rickety, finicky, difficult or temperamental door lock. If we can’t figure out the idiosyncrasies of entering your home, we can’t possibly enjoy what’s in store behind the door!
14. If you use an answering machine that records a message out loud, consider unplugging it during showings. Do you really want the Buyers to hear your Aunt Edith’s one-sided discussion about the upcoming family reunion?
15. Leave keys and access instructions for any out-buildings – detached garages, sheds, etc. This is important space that Buyers will want to check out.
16. If your animals aren’t friendly, remove them. If they are friendly, remove them. Pets can trigger allergies, some people are fearful, and we shouldn’t have to chase your cat down the street when she escapes.
17. De-clutter your closets and avoid using them as a catch-all. Yes, people will look inside (storage space is important!) and an avalanche of your stuff should be dodged at all costs.
18. Don’t leave the kids’ toys littered over the stairs. They’re a hazard for your family when you’re used to them there; a practical death sentence for an unassuming Buyer!
19. In the dead of winter after the season’s worst dump of snow: shovel! Trudging through 3 feet of drifted snow is not a great way to welcome your guests. While you’re at it, be sure to de-ice your step and entryway.
20. Last, but not least… Put your laundry AWAY. We don’t want to see your unmentionables – whether they’re clean… or otherwise.