Dear Sellers, Love Buyers

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Sellers, I hate to tell you but there are few things that no buyer is desiring at this point.  I'm not trying to offend you, but it's the truth, and if you change them, you are likely to get your home sold sooner and closer to your list price.  I know it's not what you want to hear, but as a Realtor who works primarily with buyers, I'm telling you what they are feeling.

  • Wallpaper. Not one of my buyers has ever walked into a wall papered home and said "I love it".  Ever.  Buyers look at wallpaper and see a bunch of work ahead of them.  And it doesn't excite them.

  • Faux Painting.  A notch above wallpaper, but not by much.  At least it's only paint and easier to change.  So I would change it. 

  • Colored Carpeting.  As in Emerald Green, Mauve, Blue, or Red.  Even if they are only in a bedroom.  Replacing this carpeting with a nice neutral carpet will greatly impact the feel of the house. Wise investment.

  • 70's Laminate flooring.  See Colored Carpeting. Same concept.

  • Dirty, scuffed walls.  They make the whole house seem worn.  For a little elbow grease & a little money, you can make your house feel worth much, much more.

  • Dirt in general.  If your home isn't clean, it looks like you haven't cared for it at all.  If you do nothing else, CLEAN.   "Well cared for" is a big selling point.

  • Too much of anything. Pack it up.  That bobble head collection, those Precious Moments--yes.  Remove them and the curio cabinet you keep them in.  Dried floral arrangements (or floral in general), baskets--take them off the walls and shelves. 

  • Animal heads.  They impress few and detract for many.  They make it hard for the average buyer to imagine themselves living there.

    The  more conscientious sellers ask me the following questions:

    What about paint colors?  Technically, neutral is best.  However, color is very acceptable and desirable right now.  It can warm up the home and even make it feel "richer" if done well.  It just depends...

    What about family pictures?  If you have them lining a hallway, remove them.  If they are in cheap metal frames, take them off the wall.  However, I do not advocate removing every personal item.  I like Nate Berkus's (Oprah's designer) philosophy of "your home should reflect a life well lived".  In other words, if you have kids' rooms, you should have a few pictures of the kids here.  Happy pictures make buyers feel they could be happy there too.  I've taken buyers through homes with no personal items and their comment is always that the house feels "eerie" and "cold".   

    A couple more tips for those wanting to go the extra mile:

    • Brass.  Buyers are allergic to it.  Even if you just switch out the main living areas, your house will feel worth more.
    • VERY Out dated furniture.  Even though it's not staying, it freaks buyers out, distracts them.  If it's a wild floral pattern or old brown tweed plaid, slipcovering even just one piece will make a difference.

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