What Not To Do When Selling A Home

Things NOT to Do When You Sell a Home

Are you thinking about selling your house in the near future? If so, we have a great list for you. These are the top things NOT to do when you sell a home. Put a checkmark beside each of these items and you will be much closer to finding the right buyer for your property.

Do NOT Leave Unfinished Projects or Repairs

The majority of buyers want to find a place that is move-in ready. Having a major repair unfinished, or a list of small items that need attention can leave you wishing you had never put the home on the market. Walk through the home with a candid and scrutinizing glare. Seek out any item that looks to be in repair and/or replacement. Make a list of all the items and then tackle the list until it is finished. Pay attention to small details like a hole in a wall left by a nail where a picture was hung, a snag in the carpet, or a dirty electrical outlet cover. Any tiny item could turn off a potential buyer.

Do NOT Have YOUR Personality on Display Throughout the Home

There is nothing wrong with having your photos and favorite souvenirs in your home. But when people come to look at the place, they want to envision THEIR photos and THEIR items on shelves and various places. Remove as much as possible to make the home look neutral to all the potential buyers that come and review the property.

Do NOT Leave the Home in a Mess for Showings

When people are considering buying a home, they are normally wanting to improve their situation. More space, access to schools or work, or simply having a better layout of the home are just a few reasons that people choose to move. They don’t want to be reminded that the new home comes with all the usual chores like laundry, dishes, dirty floors, and a yard that needs to be maintained. With this in mind, here are some of the major areas to focus on:

  • Make sure laundry is cleaned and put away
  • Remove piles of paper from tables or countertops
  • Close all doors and drawers
  • Put away all toys and belongings; nothing left on the floor that could cause a person to trip
  • Make the beds NEATLY
  • Everything needs to be organized; no random objects lying around on counters or tables

Leaving a mess for a potential buyer is asking for either a low-ball offer or no offer.

Do NOT Put Carpet in the Bathroom

Other than the kitchen, the bathroom is the one place that most buyers will want to buy as-is. A potential buyer needs to be able to walk in the bathroom and feel good about using the space to prepare for their day. Carpet is a terrible idea in a bathroom. Not only does it hold dirt and odors, but it is also incredibly difficult to get it thoroughly cleaned. If you don’t have the time or funds for a tile floor, an inexpensive linoleum floor cover can leave a clean, crisp look to the floor.

Do NOT Make a BAD First Impression

You only get one shot to impress someone enough to come to a showing of the home. Whether it is an online picture of the property or the appearance of the home as people drive by, making a good first impression is crucial to attracting a buyer. Take time to stage the home. Create an inviting atmosphere that attracts people. Whether you hire a home stager or do it yourself, setting the right tone for your home so that another person can see themselves living there will go a long way toward getting a signed sales contract.

Do NOT Convey a Negative Attitude About the Home

Buyers will want to know why you are moving. There are two ways to handle this question. Even if you are using a real estate agent, having a good, positive answer will help steer the conversation in a more positive way. Avoid saying things like “The home is too small” or “we feel we are so far way from __________(school, shopping, museums, etc.)” Instead, say things like “we want to be closer to the family” or “I need to be closer to my job”. These are positive things about your choice to relocate and says nothing about the home you are selling.

Do NOT Let a Pet Scare Off a Buyer

Lots of people have pets and consider them a part of the family. Lots of people DON’T have pets and really don’t want one. Neither group is wrong or right. If you have pets, assume that your next buyer will NOT be a pet person. Either take the pet with you when you leave the home for a showing or arrange to have your pet stay with a local sitter. Just the presence of an animal is enough to make some people turn your property down.

Do NOT Use Outlandish Paint Colors

You could be partial to bright green paint in your bedroom, but it is possible that the buyer of your home has different tastes. One of the problems with buying a home is that we don’t really know exactly how our stuff will look in the new place until we get our furniture arranged in the right spot. This can be a really tough mental task if the colors on the walls and trim are a glaring contrast to our existing décor. It is much better to use neutral tones like tan, off-white, or some other general color that will blend with almost any furniture and accessories.

Do NOT Block Windows or Other Light Sources

Natural light has a way of making a home feel warm and inviting. This is even more noticeable in a home with either large windows or numerous windows. Regardless of the size or count of windows in your home, don’t do anything to prevent the sunlight from getting in the home. Take away netting and pull up the blinds. Pull back the curtains as much as possible. Allowing as much natural light as possible will also make the entire home feel larger and more spacious.

Do NOT Waste Any Room

Some homes have a room or part of a room, that becomes a collection point for unused items. Unwanted exercise equipment, clothes that should be sold or donated, toys that have been outgrown, and all kinds of items accumulate in this kind of area. If a buyer sees this, they may get the impression that the area is useless. Why should they buy the home if there is an unneeded room or area? Plan to de-clutter every room in the home and stage each area with a clear purpose. Whether it is a bedroom, dining area, study, or even a child’s playroom, show off the home’s attributes, not the mess.

Summing Up Things NOT to Do When You Sell a Home

All of these tips are designed to reduce stress for you when selling your home and to help attract a buyer as quickly as possible. Follow these tips and get your home in top condition before placing it on the market for sale.

Additional Home Seller Resources:
How To Pick A Real Estate Professional To Sell Your Home by Paul Sian
What To Do When A Buyer Defaults On Your Home For Sale by Lynn Pineda

Things NOT to Do When You Sell a Home

Things NOT to Do When You Sell a Home

About the author: This article on 10 Things NOT to Do When You Sell a Home was written by Luke Skar of MadisonMortgageGuys.com.

As the Social Media Strategist, his role is to provide original content for all of their social media profiles as well as generating new leads from his website.

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Filed under: Real Estate

Luke Skar

Luke Skar is the web developer and content strategist for MadisonMortgageGuys.com. Currently working for NRL Mortgage which serves 47 states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida. Guided by his 20-plus years of various mortgage marketing experience, Luke provides top-quality SEO services, effective social media management, and web development and maintenance. Luke’s career in the mortgage industry began back in 2001, as a loan processor. After becoming a loan officer for a number of years, Luke now runs madisonmortgageguys.com. To ensure that all the information he posts is fresh, accurate, and up-to-date, Luke relies on the knowledge which his years of dedication to keeping up with the constant change that the mortgage industry provides.


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