Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are some things that a seller does that can really repel potential buyers. In today’s market, a traditional seller has to compete against some pretty tough competition: banks and short sales. Both are below market type of listings but a traditional or what I call a “regular” seller does have some advantages.  A normal closing time and a relatively well maintained property are two of those advantages. But there are also ways that a seller can kill a deal. Tara -Nicholle Nelson of Trulia gave several reasons that I will share with you below along with my take on it.

1.-Stalker-ish Sellers. This one made me smile! I have shown houses where the seller insists on giving the tour. After all, they know their property best! Problem is most buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home. Having the seller there in the same space makes that process very difficult. The buyer will no longer be paying attention to what they could like about the home because the seller is distracting them with little pieces of nostalgia that the buyer does not need or want to know.

Sellers, go for a walk or go to the store but whatever you do, just do not make your presence known while the buyer is looking at your home. If there is a lack of chemistry (kind of like dating) between you and the buyer, you could kill the deal before it even makes it to paper.

2. Keep it Clean – Sellers will be told this a dozen times but it really does make a difference. When buyers have seen the trashed bank owned and short sale properties it is such a relief to see a well cared for home.  So clear the clutter, straighten items up (laundry, dirty dishes, toys, etc.) and try not to have any offensive odors lingering in the home (cigarette smoke, stinky food, dirty cat boxes,  wet dog,etc.).

3. Pricing – It used to be location, location, location that sold a home. Today it is pricing, pricing, pricing! It is hard when your home is in better condition than the distressed property but pricing your home like it is 2006, regardless of the superior condition, will not get you a buyer. Actually, overpricing indicates to the buyers that you are either testing the market or will be unreasonable to negotiate with.  Have your realtor do the comps with and without the distressed properties and then figure on a price that meets in the middle.

4. Bad Home Improvements– If you are going to take the time and money to do an improvement, do it to sell and not for your personal liking. Use neutral or warm toned colors that will appeal to a majority of buyers, not your favorite shade of pink “because you still have to live there until it sells”! I am always amazed at what some sellers consider improvements (which makes me wonder how bad did it look before?).  If you know you are going to sell soon and are going to update or upgrade, get a professional opinion from either a home decorating store, paint store or your favorite realtor (most realtors actually do know what the current trends are!). You want to make sure that you will get a return on your money so choose wisely. Remember, any job worth doing is worth doing well and doing smart!

5. Listing Photos– Listing photos are so important and yet are so over looked! The internet is generally where most buyers view the homes that they would like to see before they ever get in the car. A bad photo will have them clicking the “next” button to see a different home. If your realtor does not have a decent camera, they should be hiring a professional to take the pictures. And make sure that you the seller see and approve the pictures first and have the realtor show you what your listing looks like on the MLS and internet.

One more item that is also overlooked and that is showing availability. Many buyers have a limited time when they are out looking so don’t make it difficult to schedule a showing. Most buyers are understanding but if they have to arrange the entire schedule of properties to see around yours, they may just skip you all together.

If you would like additional tips for selling your home in the Boise Idaho real estate market please see my other posts under home selling tips or go to my website (no sign up required): http://www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

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