Real estate agents list and sell homes, so we are in quite a few homes each week. It’s pretty easy to tell which Sellers actually want to sell their homes enough to make some hard choices. One of the first things I learned about listing homes was to provide the Sellers with a list of items that needed to be completed prior to getting the home on the market. Some of the things that needed to be done were just routine housekeeping or maintenance, but others require much more work:
1) Terrible Wall Colors. You may love the purple master bedroom and your child may enjoy the black walls in his room, but most buyers don’t! It would certainly help your agent sell the property if you repainted the rooms in neutral colors, but if you’re not serious about selling, who cares what Buyers think?
2) Foul smells. This is really a turn off for Buyers, starting even at the door. Some of my clients won’t go any further. If you’re not serious about selling, who cares, right?
3) Clutter. You’re a “collector” and your compilations are stacked all over the house. You’ve collected excess furnishings (the kids may need that stuff someday), magazines (those JFK stories are gonna-be-worth-money-someday), motorcycle parts (don’t even own a motorcycle but hope to one day) and whatever else is sitting around taking up space. The collection may render a Buyer speechless or they may get lost in the maze navigating through the living area, never mind that the “stuff” is taking up space and making your home appear small or lacking ample storage. But since you’re not serious about selling your house anyway, what difference does it make?
4) A Dirty House. Feeling too tired to clean up after dinner? Never mind that you have an early morning showing scheduled. Buyers won’t appreciate the dried up food sitting on the table and in the pans, the kitchen trash can in the middle of the floor and dishes piled up in the sink and on the counters. Serious Sellers make sure they spiff up the house before showings and believe it or not, some even remove the evidence that Fido has been in the yard. But since you’re not serious about selling anyway, take a break. If you can live with it, so can the Buyers who’ll be in the dirty house just a few minutes, right?
5) Personal Items. It’s your home and you want those family pictures and all your stuff out where you can see it, so who is that agent to tell you to pack it away? The silly idea behind putting away the family pictures and souvenirs is to allow the Buyers to imagine their own family in the home and not waste time looking at your family photos. Serious Sellers want the Buyers looking at the space, imagining where the sofa goes, etc., and not thinking about how cute your kids and grandkids are in those cruise pictures. You’re right, you know. It is your house and since you’re not serious about selling your home, well hey, leave the stuff the heck alone!