Massachusetts Real Estate

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5 Surefire Ways to Turn Off a Buyer

 

As a Hopkinton Realtor representing home sellers in and around Metrowest Massachusetts, it is very important to give my clients proper advice as to what is really vital to improve their chances of getting a timely sale in a challenging market.

Besides a proper list price and marketing the heck out of their home, another top consideration is making sure the seller knows we need to make a good 1st impression on the buyer.

Most buyers today have the option of looking at lots of homes. As a seller you want to make sure your home stands out and I don't mean in a bad way! Here is some good advice on what NOT to do when selling your home:

 

Remember when you prepared to go out on a first date?  You made darn sure your clothes were ironed, your shoes polished, your teeth brushed and flossed (maybe twice), and perhaps you dabbed on a bit of cologne or perfume.  In the middle of dinner, you might have even snuck into the bathroom for a spray of Binaca (do they still sell that?)

All of this was done in an attempt to impress your date, or at the very least to not turn them off.  First impressions matter.

They matter when you are selling your home too.  Not everyone owns the most beautiful move-in ready home with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, a perfect paintjob, and clean, stain-free carpets.  So, while you may not be able to sweep every potential buyer off their feet, at a minimum, you can most certainly avoid the following

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO TURN OFF A BUYER:

 

REALTOR-Eating DogFerocious Dogs:  Nothing against pets.  To many people, their dogs and cats are a part of the family.  However, when you're trying to sell your home, Mr. Pit Bull or Mr. Rottweiler may make potential buyers skip your home.  There have been times that I've been with clients who wouldn't even allow me to open the door when they heard loud barking inside.

When you are selling your home, it's often best to take the pets with you while your your home is being shown, leave the animals with friends or family while your home is on the market, or put Fido in a cage in the basement.

 

 

 

Ugly CouchOutdated furniture and decorations:  You may love the flowery wallpaper and pink carpeting, but it's unlikely that the new buyer of your home will.  Most buyers understand that they'll redecorate after they buy your home, but strange colors and ugly appliances or furniture and bizarre wallhangings can certainly be a turnoff.  Rooms overstuffed with clutter can also make it hard for a buyer to imagine the home without "all the stuff"

You may consider some quick, simple and inexpensive fixes such as repainted with neutral colors, storing excess clutter in a garage or storage facility.  Another option is to hire a professional stager to really make your home shine.

 

Smelly!

 

Smelly!:  There's a reason you put on cologne or perfume before that first date.  Our sense of smell is very strong.  Can you imagine walking into a beautiful home only to turn around after catching the first whiff?  Pet odors, mildew, strong cooking smells, cigarette smoke can be the strongest odor offenders. 

Take some time to thoroughly clean your home.  Air fresheners can help but don't fully cover up these    scents.  Additionally, overdoing the air fresheners can make potential buyers suspicious of lingering    odors.

 

 

 

 

Let There Be Light!Darkness:  Darkness was one of the Ten Plagues that were inflicted upon the Egyptians in the Bible.  Don't plague your home sale -- "Let There Be Light!"  Dimly lit rooms appear gloomy.  Buyers are attracted to homes and rooms with lots of natural light.  Darkness may work for haunted houses, but it doens't work to help sell your house.

Make sure you replace or repair lights that don't work, keep the shades up, and clean the windows to let in the maximum amount of light into your home.

 

 

 

Wet BasementWet Basements:  In Florida, there's no such thing as a basement -- it's called a pool!  In Virginia and D.C., many, if not most, homes have basements.  Signs of current or past water damage are a certain turnoff for homebuyers.  I've had some clients who only want to view homes after a big rainstorm to make sure that the basements do not get wet.

If you get water in your basement, get your foundation inspected for damage.  You may also need to install a dehumidifier or sump pump.


 

 

 

If a homebuyer is going to make it past the first date and enter into a relationship with your home, you've got to make sure that your home makes a good first impression and doesn't turn them off.

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comment balloon 30 commentsBill Gassett • October 13 2008 09:17PM

Comments

Yes no basements in Florida...but...if you have a dry pool well...that's a problem. :)

Posted by Shannon Lefevre, Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl (John R. Wood Properties) almost 11 years ago

Shannon I can see that a problem like that may cause a few heads to turn.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill good reminders especially in today's market. No basements here in California either.

Posted by Scott Barr, Realtor (Pacific Sotheby's international Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Bill, we must have really turned off the buyers!!

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing almost 11 years ago

Bill, thanks for reblogging my post.  I'm honored... and I know that this advice is useful for sellers everywhere.

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) almost 11 years ago

Scott - Everything is important when the competition is tough and you need an edge.

Brian - Your welcome. It is an excellent write up.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

So true - those photos tell it all !!!   It would be funny to also include the faces of the buyers when they encounter those things - that would really bring the point home.  This is a great blog team - Bill and Brian.

Posted by The Somers Team, Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate. (The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access) almost 11 years ago

Bill--Let there be light in all showings as we go into the winter with the shorter days! I think furniture can be overlooked but outdated carpet and wallpaper cannot. And pets and smells are the worst! As for basements, be prepared to explain and disclosue the reasons for the dampness and the costs to remedy if you cannot afford to take care of it prior to the sale. All good tips for sellers!

Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) almost 11 years ago

Chris & Stephanie - Very true because we have all seen those faces before!

Teri - The pictures tell the whole story don't they. Having an edge is a must in todays Real Estate environment.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill - well we do have some basements in some places in FL. We have one in a listing right now that is a walk out in a home on a hill which is actually on navigable waterfront. Imagine that! It's very damp. I think it needs Thompsons Water Seal or something like that. But you're right 99% of the time, we don't have them. Love this post.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 11 years ago

Sharon - I understand why Florida does not have basements...having in indoor pool like that is not what most people have in mind:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

well said!    nothing worse than arriving at a property and be greeted by ferocious dogs!

Posted by Gene Mock, GRI, CRB, CRS, ABR, CIPS, TRC, SFR, SRES (Associate Broker ~ Premier Team, KW Realty) almost 11 years ago

Gene thanks. Certainly good advice for those considering selling their home.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill, Excellent post. Hope all sellers read this. I never enter a house if the owner is not home and I hear  dogs barking.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Thanks Gita. They are all good tips for those selling their homes.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

These tips are PRICELESS!  I especially hate the words "the dog is friendly" -- and then the 140 lb dog look just like the one in the picture and comes running down the driveway!  I actually refused to show a home until the dog was secured!  I love dogs -- but their job is to guard their home -- and I don't want the dog to practice on me or on my clients.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 11 years ago

Joan  - Thanks and I can understand your reluctance to not want to show a property with a big dog roaming around. I love dogs myself but can understand why anyone would be uncomfortable.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill- I was going to reblog this, you beat me to it:) Brian's post is excellent.

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 11 years ago

Hey Bill,

Good stuff, I love the "outdoor" furniture.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 11 years ago

Katerina - It really is terrific information delivered in a funny way.

Lynda- What a beautiful couch...I know your dying to know who makes it:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill- This post was a perfect opportunity for a re blog.  I'm glad you shared this with us and your readers.  You are a true Real Estate Expert in Hopkinton Massachusetts

Posted by Greg Dallaire, Green Bay Homes (Dallaire Realty) almost 11 years ago

Greg - Thanks I really appreciate your compliments. Every seller should be looking to make their home stand out in a positive way:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hey - that MY couch!  This was a great post Brian wrote...I wish he could turn it into one of his famous videos!  Thanks for the re-blog Bill!

Tina in Virginia

Posted by Tina Merritt, Virginia Real Estate (Nest Realty) almost 11 years ago

Tina - It is one of my favorite posts as evidenced by the re-blog:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Looks like my couch too!  Actually you only have to have a couch that's 5 years old and it's probably "dated"... I'm seriously thinking of replacing couches before I list my home - Even though they're decent enough -  Gotta make that room look like a Jordan's Furniture setting!

Posted by Marcia Kramarz, CDPE,LMC,CBR (Re/Max Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Marcia you should be able to get yourself quite a deal. There are many retailers starving for business...good luck!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Bill - This is a great choice to reblog.  Lots of good info and I had so much fun reading it too.  Somehow I missed it when Brian posted it.  I'm going to head over to his blog to comment as well.

Posted by Pam Dent, REALTORĀ® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse (Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Pam - It is certainly great advice for those wishing to sell their home.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago

Bill-Great tips, now if only the sellers will take these tips to heart.

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) over 10 years ago

Joe - Thanks. Getting the seller to listen is always the job of a good Realtor to handle:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 10 years ago

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