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We often discuss what buyers are looking for with sellers, and guide them in preparing their homes. We also often cover the same ground here on our blog. But there is another side that is perhaps not discussed so often that deserves a little more attention; what Waterloo region home buyers don’t want.
The problem often is that it can be tough to discuss this side of preparing a home for the market with sellers. As Realtors we all all want to present ourselves as nice folks who are always on the clients’ side. So telling a seller that there are things wrong with their home is hard. Some take it personally. Don’t take it personally. These are things that sometimes have to be said to get a home sold.
So what is it that buyers don’t want that can be hard to discuss? Here’s a look at our top three:
Buyers Don’t Want Smells
We are not talking about smelling fresh flowers, although fake fragrances and air fresheners are bad. Many people are allergic to fragrances so be careful.
The smells we are talking about are:
We understand that lots of people have pets. We do. And that’s great. But when it comes time to sell your home the last thing you want is for the evidence of that love of furry creatures to be presented to potential buyers in the form of nasty pet smells. So the number one goal should be to eliminate them. Walking into a house that smells like dog, kitty litter or anything else pet related is a total turnoff to buyers, even if they love pets themselves.
There are effective ways to create a pet odor free home without banishing Fido to the basement for the duration of the time your home is on the market. This article, authored by a vet, has some great suggestions.
If you love to cook fish that’s great. But cooking odors can be a real turn off as well. A lingering fish smell is never pleasant to walk into as well as strong spice odors. So watch what you are cooking while your home is for sale.
Buyers Don’t Want Dirt
To put it bluntly, buyers don’t want to see your dirt. When purchasing a home the buyer wants to know the house was loved and well cared for. Clean is the best way to show that it was. Even dust and cobwebs covering the furnace and water heater can signal neglect. It is proven over and over again that clean sells. Buyers may even overlook some outdated features if a home is clean and well maintained.
So, before your home goes on the market it’s time to clean clean clean. If you were going to sell your car you would have it detailed. Do the same with your house and make it sparkle.
Buyers Don’t Want to See Your Personal Items
This means your toothbrush, make up, comb, wet towel, dirty laundry, pile of mail and all your hobbies. It’s wonderful that you love to scrapbook but if it takes up an entire room you may need to put that hobby on hold until your house sells.
Make the buyer feel like they are in ‘their’ home from the moment they step into your house. Nothing screams ‘someone’s house’ more than looking into a shower filled with shampoo bottles and loofa sponges.
If you wouldn’t see it in a model home, the potential buyer shouldn’t see it in your home. There is a reason buyers love model homes, they are clean, cozy and warm but not personal. They can see themselves living there immediately. It doesn’t matter how old your home is, it can show like a model.
We get it. It is tough to smell your own house, see things you have looked at every day and may not even notice. By bringing in a third party – like your Realtor – to help you see (or smell) the things that a buyer may not want to.