A lot of people know what buyers want:
Stainless Steel Appliances
Move In Ready
And so on.
But it is just as important to talk about what buyers DON'T want. Actually this is a little tougher to talk about as sometimes people take it personally. Don't take it personally. These are things we all need to know to get our homes sold.
1: BUYERS DON'T WANT SMELLS
I am not talking about smelling fresh flowers, although fake fragrances and air fresheners are bad. Many people are allergic to fragrances so be careful.
The smells I am talking about are:
A. Pet Smells. I have dogs, large dogs. And when I sold my house my #1 goal was to make sure my house did not smell like I had dogs. I received feedback that the buyer's couldn't believe that there were pets in the house. Perfect! If the buyer doesn't see pet bowls, pet toys, pet beds and SMELLS they won't think about potential scratched woodwork or potty on the carpet.
Walking into a house that smells like dog, kitty litter or anything else pet related is a total turnoff to buyers.
B. Cooking Odors. If you love to cook fish that's great. But cooking odors can be a real turn off as well. A lingering fish smell is never pleasant to walk into as well as strong spice odors. So watch what you are cooking while your home is for sale.
2: BUYERS DON'T WANT DIRT
Buyers don't want to see your dirt. When buying a home the buyer wants to know the house was loved and well cared for. Clean is the best way to show that it was. Even dust and cobwebs covering the furnace and water heater can signal neglect. It is proven over and over again that clean sells. Buyers may even overlook some outdated features if a home is clean and well maintained.
SO.....clean clean clean. If you were going to sell your car you would have it detailed. Tooth brush clean. Do the same with your house and make it sparkle.
3: BUYERS DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS
This means your toothbrush, make up, comb, wet towel, dirty laundry, pile of mail and all your hobbies. It's great that you love to scrapbook but if it takes up an entire room you may need to put that hobby on hold until your house sells.
Make the buyer feel like they are in 'their' home from the moment they step into your house. Nothing screams 'someone's house' more then looking into a shower filled with shampoo bottles and loofa sponges.
If you wouldn't see it in a model home the buyer shouldn't see it in your home. There is a reason buyers love model homes, they are clean, cozy and warm but not personal. They can see themselves living there immediately. It doesn't matter how old your home is, it can show like a model.
Don't forget what buyers are looking for when trying to sell your home, but more importantly remember what they DON'T.
It is tough to smell your own house, see things you have looked at every day and may not even notice. Bring in a trusted third party to help you see (or smell) the things that a buyer may not want to.
Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.
CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer