When selling your home you want to make the biggest profit.
It’s important to consider what turns off buyers so you can honestly consider your real profit. Seeing a house for the first time is like meeting a person for the first time: Appearance counts.
Whether you’re preparing to sell your home, or you’re a home buyer who wants to be able to sell their house down the road, here are five home features and characteristics that are major turn-offs for today’s home buyers.
Buyers want to view a home that is a blank canvas where they can imagine their furnishings. Rule number one is to depersonalize your home. This means removing most or all of the personalized touches that reflect your tastes. This includes eliminating ALL photos, clutter, knickknacks, awards and memorabilia. Just box everything but the most basic daily essentials and get them ready to move.
Your closets should be half-full, with nothing on the floor. Many buyers have outgrown their previous house. Showing them that you’ve still got room to grow gives them a reason to buy.
Kitchens and bookshelves should showcase spaciousness by following the rule of three. For kitchens, no more than three countertop appliances. Bookshelves should be divided into thirds: one-third books, one-third vases and pictures, and one-third empty. The home office should be generic so any type of professional can imagine living there. Pack away extraneous toys.
Carpeting and Wallpaper
This generation of home buyers has a distaste for any carpeting. Concerns about difficulty and expense of cleaning carpets and the cost of replacing them are a huge negative. Most home buyers express a desire to have hardwood floors, bamboo, tile, concrete or even cork instead of carpet.
Sellers should make an extra effort to steam-clean tile and grout and replace carpets. If you were thinking about replacing your carpets before putting your home on the market –reconsider! Replace living areas with hard wood. All wallpaper has to go. Paint walls a neutral color. Whether you love the color red on your walls, buyers don’t.
Kitchens and Baths
Gold and crystal bath and kitchen fixtures are a huge part of a larger of buyer turn-offs. They’re outdated. Kitchen appliances in stainless steel, chrome, black or white are preferred. Buyers love upgraded bathrooms and kitchens. By just replacing your faucets and fixtures with sleek matte finishes, brushed chrome or stainless steel you can transform your bath and kitchen into a buyers “AAH moment!” New cabinet and door handles make a huge difference in your kitchen and bath for a small investment. Your home should be in the best possible condition.
Odors are a big one, especially kitchen odors. Don’t cook fried food, fish or greasy food while the house is on the market.
Eliminate all traces of pets, not just pet odors. It’s important to get rid of pet paraphernalia and have a “pet plan” to make sure the animals are not around when the house is shown.
The same rules hold true for smokers: Remove all ashtrays, clean all curtains and upholstery, and consider smoking outdoors while your home is on the market.
And consider those popcorn ceilings. They are out. If the mess or cost of removing it is not for you, then consider crediting a buyer in order to close the sale. Make sure windows are cleaned.
When showing your home to a prospective buyer – you should not be there. Hopefully you’ve hired a broker, whose job it is to sell your home and who can save you many headaches. It is also their job to show your home. If you haven’t hired a broker, consider having a friend or hiring someone to show your home instead.
Keep in mind that the best appearance will bring the best profit!
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Ross Ellis is also the Examiner for:
National Parenting Examiner
NY Real Estate