You’re excited to visit a home you’ve set your sights on—until your real estate agent opens the front door and you’re hit with the unmistakable smell of stale smoke and rotting garbage. Suddenly, this doesn’t seem like your dream home after all.
Bad smells—from cigarettes, garbage, fried fish, and many other sources—can turn off a potential homebuyer faster than you can say “where’s the Fabreze?”
“Like it or not, every home has its own, distinctive fragrance, notes Inman, a real estate website. “Some have aromas that evoke a sense of peace and comfort. Others, well, not so much. While some smell of fresh paint and new carpet, signaling recent renovations, others have musty dank undertones suggesting mold and other issues lurking in dark, hidden corners.”
Ignoring smells when buyers come calling is one major mistake sellers commonly make. Others include:
Not removing clutter and personal items: “Your home is bound to be filled with mementos, photographs, kitchen magnets and all of the wonderful details that make it unique to you,” notes a recent RE/MAX blog. But clutter and personal items are distracting to buyers. Clear off tables, countertops and other surfaces to make your home feel larger and more appealing.
Not using high quality photos: In this world of digital home marketing, photos are crucial. Buyers often screen homes online before deciding which to view. Poor photo quality can eliminate buyers before they ever walk through your door.
Pricing the home too high: It might seem like a good idea to start high and then drop the price if necessary. But homes that don’t sell quickly give potential buyers the impression that something is wrong with them and can result in downward price spiral.
Leaving repairs to the buyers: A screen door that doesn’t shut easily, a stuck window, a vent that doesn’t open…such items are likely to be noted by an inspector, meaning you will pay for the repairs anyway. Make the fixes up front and you’re more likely to get top dollar for your home.
Listing it yourself: Sure, saving money on a real estate broker’s commission can be tempting, but home sales involve complicated contracts and delicate negotiations. You may save on an agent’s commission only to end up with a lower purchase price or problems down the road. Hire a professional and get the job done right.