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Most home sellers research what they need to do to raise the value of their home, but they often forget to find out what things will lower the value of their home. 

The following list showcases what home sellers do wrong. Avoid these deal breakers and get your home sold quicker and for more money.

Dirty and Cluttered Home

I feel like the primary reasons home sellers leave their homes cluttered and/or dirty are laziness, the belief they can do the work once they accept an offer or sheer ignorance. 

That lazy attitude can literally cost you thousands of dollars! 

Imagine if a car dealership tried to sell a used car and they didn’t even clean it up. They would get far less money than the same car that had been detailed, right? The same goes for houses.

Homebuyers are finicky, to say the least. At a minimum, they want to be able to see the space they are purchasing and not think about how much clean-up work they are going to need to do before moving in. 

As a home seller, the goal is to move. So why not start by sorting through belongings and packing? It accomplishes two things. You’re prepped to move, and the house will show better. 

The Home Smells Bad

Have you seen those air freshener commercials where people are nose blind? They can’t smell their own house smells because they live in it. 

Unfortunately, everyone else can smell it! People are always concerned that they won’t be able to remove smelly odors. And stink is not what people want to purchase or live with.

Ask your real estate agent if there are any smells you need to get rid of before you list. Then do the work they suggest.

Even if you don’t have any cat litter, dog, or trash smells, it is worth your while to get a couple of air fresheners for the home. Crisp and fresh scents work best – like fresh linen or lavender. Simple and not too flowery. Just fresh.

Too Many Types of Flooring

Yep, this is a real thing. It used to be the trend that every room had a different theme and, therefore, another type or color of flooring. Or sometimes, through the years, various sections of the home needed new flooring, but an exact match couldn’t be found, so the house ended up with all types of flooring.

Visually this is difficult for the eye. And it also makes it challenging to decorate a home. Thus the trend has become to have consistent flooring throughout the house.

Anytime a home buyer believes that they will need to do a project on their new home, they start imagining inflated dollar signs. Almost always, they overestimate the cost of the project. And where do they take that money from? The sales price of the home, of course.

The good news is that new flooring is a great value add. You don’t need to pick a top-of-the-line flooring to get the most bang for your buck—quite the opposite, and consistency matters more than quality. 

A common trend is to have carpet in the bedrooms and wood or wood-look flooring throughout the rest of the home. There are many options, so consult your realtor about what they think.

Dark or Bold Paint Colors

I love unique and personalized homes! However, most home buyers aren’t imaginative and have an inflated version of what projects cost.

If you have dark or bold paint choices, you may want to consider repainting those spaces with a lighter, more neutral palette. 

Paint is one of the least expensive, most effective changes a homeowner can make to their home. You’ll appeal to more home buyers by neutralizing your home, which ultimately gets you more offers and more money.

Bad Pictures

One of my biggest pet peeves is real estate agents who don’t hire professional photographers! You, my friend, are paying big bucks to hire an expert to help you sell your home. Don’t be fooled by the real estate agent who takes the pictures themselves. 

There is no way you can take the same quality pictures on an iPhone as you can with actual photography equipment.

I’ve seen many homes being marketed with dark photos, bad angles, too few photos, people in reflections, and more. Ugh. So bad!!

The worst part is that most of the time, the home sellers have worked so hard to get their home ready for sale. The house is perfect – but the pictures aren’t.

Almost all home buyers are shopping online, and the first thing they see are the pictures. If the photos are bad, they zoom right past the home and are on to the next one in less than 20 seconds. If the photos are appealing, they study them. You want to be the home that is studied, not passed! 

Being passed up means few showings. Fewer showings mean fewer (or no) offers.

Short or Vague Description

How many homebuyers do you think this description attracts?

3 bedrooms, 2 baths in established neighborhood.

Not many…

Believe it or not, I see many descriptions just like this. Or worse. And I don’t understand how a home seller believes this is acceptable or worthy. 

The description is an opportunity to evoke feelings in a home buyer. Feelings that make them want to view the home and own the home. 

It’s a chance to describe things about the home and neighborhood that they might not know just by looking at the pictures. Maybe there is an excellent spot for a home office. Or there is the best restaurant in town within a 5-minute walk. Perhaps the backyard deck offers fantastic sunsets every night. These are the types of things that home buyers want to know. 

Rather than losing out on home buyers and money, sit down with your realtor and brainstorm ideas about what attracted you to this home and what may attract future owners. 

Need More Help?

Knowing what not to do is just the beginning. If you are considering selling your property, please consider giving me a call. We can discuss your plans, your particular scenario, address your concerns, and the best options for you and your family. 


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