When you are selling your house any potential buyers are looking for their own dream home. It is important that you don’t make any mistakes that could result in those buyers being put off. Here are ten common mistakes to avoid that could result in buyers offering either less than you want or, even worse, being put off completely.
Before any people come around to view the house make sure that personal belongings and clutter have been tidied away. Viewers are looking for their dream house, not yours, and family photographs, memorabilia and personal clutter can detract from their view of the house. The odd item out can be okay, as it gives the impression the house is lived in, but many potential purchasers cannot see past a lot of clutter to the house itself.
It is essential that any bathrooms have been thoroughly cleaned and that everything works. A lack of cleanliness in the bathroom can result in viewers getting the same impression of the rest of the house; the bathroom is the room people use to get clean themselves, and a dirty bathroom conveys the wrong impression.
If there are any pest control devices, such as poison or traps, around the house remove them before anyone comes round. Even if there aren’t any pests, perhaps because they have all been successfully disposed of, seeing the devices suggests that there are and is likely to put a potential buyer off.
It’s important that the house doesn’t smell. The smell of cigarettes and pets can put buyers off. Such smells are often not noticeable to those that live in a house, but can be easily detected by visitors. If you are uncertain, ask a friend for an honest answer. If the house has a basement or cellar check them to see if they are damp. Houses should smell clean or neutral; houses with bad smells often don’t sell, as smells are associated with dirt, and people, unless they are investors, don’t won’t to buy a dirty house – and investors don’t offer as much money.
Any storage spaces in the house, such as attics, lofts, garages, cellars and basements, should be tidied. Potential buyers will want to look in them. Any items stored should be put away neatly and boxed up so that the area doesn’t appear cluttered.
If you have children or pets, keep them out of the way when the house is being viewed. Potential buyers should be able to concentrate on the house whilst viewing it. Children can easily damage concentration simply by being children.
The first impression any buyer gets of a house is the outside view, the “kerb appeal.” The exterior of the house and any lawn or garden should be tidy and well maintained. Consider touching up any exterior paintwork if it looks shabby.
Check the house for water stains. These can indicate leaks from pipes or the roof. If the problem that caused the stain hasn’t been fixed, fix it, and then repair any damage that was caused.
Check all the floor coverings for signs of wear. Replace worn out carpets, damaged or missing floor or carpet tiles and clean any stains, and repair any damage to laminate or solid wood floors. Buyers who are willing to purchase a house that needs extensive work doing are unlikely to make a decent offer; normal buyers will probably not offer at all.
Make sure the price of the house is competitive. Buyers will be comparing the price of your house with others in the area, so it is important not to price yourself out of the market. See what other houses are going for.
Avoiding this list of mistakes can greatly improve your chances of both selling your house and getting the sort of offers that you want for it.