Want Top Dollar for your House – 3 Ways a Buyer will Perceive Less Value in your House!

I’ve heard it many times from sellers, that they don’t need to do a thing to their house before they list it.  “I’ve never had to do anything before, and I’ve never had trouble selling my house in the past.”  And that may be true, however, in today’s market, buyers are more sophisticated and they have higher expectations thanks to HGTV and DIY channels. 

They think a buyer can see for themselves what they can do with the space.  The truth is that 90% of buyers have trouble visualizing a space.  This includes spaces filled with furnishings that aren’t theirs or vacant spaces as well.

Three ways buyers see less value in your home and simple fixes would be:

 1.  Having too much furniture, or worse outdated and worn furniture:  This becomes a huge distraction for buyers that homeowners may not realize.  When a buyer is distracted and talking about the “stuff” in the space, they are not focused on the house, they are not connecting emotionally with the house and that is almost a sure bet that they will not be buying that house!  A simple fix would be to “edit” some of the furnishings in the space.  Just by eliminating some pieces, it will give the buyers the opportunity to see more of the space and figure out in their minds how their furniture pieces will work in the space.  If the furniture is worn or dated, consider having someone bring in some updated pieces or rent them.  This simple remedy will allow buyers to focus on the space and not the “stuff.”  Buyers want to see their new dream house as a space that will reflect their own lifestyle. 

  2.  Odors:  Walking into a house where there is pungent smell will be the quickest way to distract a buyer from really looking at your house.  They are so focused on the smell, they can hardly pay attention to the details in the house.  This includes cooking odors, pet odors, odors from shoes that are laying around, smoking odors, etc.   While a buyer is distracted, there is little hope for them to concentrate on seeing your house as their dream house.  A simple fix is to make sure that carpets are professionally cleaned.  If cleaning doesn’t help, consider replacing carpets.  A buyer will choose a home they feel is move in ready over one that is not in most cases.  In the case of cooking odors, use stove vents or open windows if that’s a possibility.  Put away shoes that may be sitting around.  Keep them all in closets.  Smoking odors can be harder to eliminate but consider an air purifier, and again fresh air in a home always helps.

3. Pets:  As much as I love my own dog, pets can be a huge turn off for a lot of people.  Yes, there are plenty of dog and cat lovers out there, but there are plenty of people who have their own issues with pets in a home.  When a buyer who isn’t an animal lover sees that there is a pet in the home, they will almost always want new carpeting.  Even if the carpeting is new already, they will think a dog or cat lived on it, and the possibility of a child having allergies because of it, they will want the carpeting replaced.  In their minds, they will deduct that amount from what they would consider offering on the sales price.  By putting away any pet bowls, cages, toys, etc. and keeping pets out of the home during showings, this will allow a buyer to focus on the house and not be distracted thinking about what having pets will cost them, and by them, I mean the homeowner because they will be the ones losing out on the cost of that in the end.