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Top 12 Ways To Stop Scaring Off Potential Home Buyers

Top 12 Ways To Stop Scaring Off Potential Home Buyers

Are you selling your home? The current real estate market is really moving. Literally. And, if you’re on the selling side of things, you'll want to take every precaution necessary to ensure that your home outshines the competition. There are many things you can do that will give your home the edge that it needs to move quickly. Check out our top 12 things to do to safeguard that you aren’t scaring away your potential home buyers. 

  1. Odors
    Smell is one of the strongest of human senses. Even the slightest scent can bring memories rushing back to the forefront of your mind. This especially holds true for potentials buyers. If you’re having to live in your home while it’s listed and being shown, try not to cook normal meals in the oven. While the end result may be a healthy dinner, the remnant odors from cooking and the waste may be an instant turn off for buyers. Secondly, lighthing a candle can provide that hint of warmth that everyone is looking for.
     
  2. Outdated Photos
    There’s nothing more irritating to a buyer than to show up at a home that doesn’t look like the photos. Some might also call this misrepresentation and can be an instant turn-off. If your home has been listed through different seasons, be sure to update the photography accordingly to provide the most relevant representation of your home.
     
  3. Poor Curb Appeal
    This is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Be sure to keep the landscaping neat and tidy, and the front porch clear of unnecessary clutter. Take a few minutes to clean out any clogged gutters and make minor repairs. If your home is painted, grab the brush and touch-up any dings or peeled paint. Most of these items are easy fixes and show buyers that you’ve taken the steps needed to keep your home neat and well kept. 
     
  4. Cluttered Spaces
    This should truly be one of the top items on your list. Removing clutter allows buyers to envision themselves in the home without your influence. If you find it difficult to remove everything, it’s all right to keep a few, simple decorations to provide that warm and inviting environment.
     
  5. Dirt & Grime
    Understandably, “living” in our homes can create dust and grime. While wiping down the baseboards might not be in your daily regimen, it should be when it comes to listing your home. You want to provide buyers the feeling that they are buying a new home, not one that just held a party of 30 this past weekend.

    You can easily hire a reputable cleaning company, or, you can handle some key areas on your own:

    • Wiping baseboards
    • Sweep, mop and dust - Everywhere!
    • Wipe down Kitchen appliances, counters, cabinets and sinks. 
    • Bathroom toilets are cleaned and tubs and showers are scrubbed
    • Windows are washed

    Ultimately, you want to convey the impression that you have maintained consistent care of your home.
     

  6. Pets
    Those of us with our furry friends might treat them like one of the family. However, not everyone may feel the same way. Be sure to remove pet-related items, such as beds, food bowls, litter boxes and crates.

    It’s also a good idea to find somewhere to keep fido or fluffy when a showing is scheduled. Your pet may be wonderful around your own family, but you can’t guarantee how they might behave around others. 
     

  7. Non-functional components
    Some of the major components to a home are the roof, air conditioning, water heater, windows and electrical systems. It may behoove you to have a pre-sale home inspection done on your home before listing it on the MLS. Buyers typically have home inspections performed during their due diligence period, so having knowledge of what may come up before hand can greatly benefit you and let the buyers know that you’re serious.
     
  8. Don’t be the Seller who linger around the house
    Just don’t. It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. You want to provide the buyer with all the time they need to look through the home, comfortably. Hanging out at the end of the driveway or even at the neighbors house can make a buyer feel rushed and uneasy. If the showing is taking a bit longer than expected, don’t feel the need to enter the home and interrupt the showing. Instead, simply find something to occupy your time for the rest of the duration of the showing. 
     
  9. Dimly lit rooms
    No-one enjoys walking into a dark space. Take the time to check all of the lightbulbs and replace any that are no longer in working order. It also can’t hurt to add a few additional light sources to brighten up a room. Be sure to open up the window drapes to allow the maximum amount of light to enter. Don’t think of lights as the only source to enhance a space, even adding a new coat of paint and brighten up even the dullest of walls.
     
  10. Wallpaper
    While there are many ways to include wallpaper in the overall interior design, busy and cluttered wallpaper might want to be removed before listing. Wallpaper can seem too personal and, therefore, turn off potential buyers. 
     
  11. Bugs
    No one, we repeat, no one likes bugs in their homes. Living here along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast can provide opportunities for coastal insects to find their ways into your home. Be sure to either spray for bugs yourself, or hire a professional pest control company to come and treat your home and yard. Also, be sure to sweep out every corner (where those pesky critters like to hide) and remove all cobwebs form ceilings and walls.


Most of these items can be resolved without spending a lot of money (if any at all), and reassures the buyer that you have taken the steps needed to provide them with the best looking home possible. Ensuring that the items on this list are handled pre-listing is important, as you don’t want your home to acquire any negative associations with it. If you should have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of our experienced Realtors®.

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