7 Easy Ways to Sabotage the Sale of Your Home

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977
https://activerain.com/droplet/4ZXB

7 Easy Ways to Sabotage

the Sale of Your Home

 

There’s a certain thrill and excitement once the decision is made to sell your home, and you start the process. And when you go live online, wow what a feeling when reality sets in that this is happening and the steady stream of interested buyers coming to tour your home begins.

 

Not so fast.

 

While many sellers do all the right things to prepare for the market and get their houses sold quickly, some sellers sabotage their sale. And although this may not be intentional, or even something you are aware is happening, there are things some sellers do that make it tough for their homes to sell. You can’t control the market or the location, but these traps are definitely something you can do something about.

 

 

PRICING

 

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyhow - pricing your home may be one of the most important things you must do to get your home sold. And if you hold out for a price that just does not reflect the local market conditions and demand, and in light of other issues like condition and location, you are sabotaging your sale.

 

pricing your home correctly is key

 

Oh, you might want more money because of all the upgrades, or because you need it for buying a new and larger home. Perhaps you are living under the illusion that Zillow’s estimate of value is the gospel despite all evidence to the contrary. But what’s value in your eyes is not necessarily value to buyers. Your home may be pristine and in a great location, but overpricing will kill your chances of selling.

 

 

ACCESS

 

If it’s hard for buyers and their agents to come tour your home, then it’s hard to sell it. Make sense?

 

First the showing instructions need to be clear, not clear as mud as they sometimes are (that can be partly the agent’s fault), and you have to be as flexible as possible regarding times and days you permit showings to take place. Yes, life makes it tough – kids, working at home, family visiting, dogs to be walked, laundry to do, etc. But if your goal is to sell your house then you need buyers to see it.

 

access limited

 

 

There’s a good chance your normal lifestyle will have to be adjusted in order to allow as much access as possible. Selling your home is really not about your convenience but about buyers…within reason, of course.  Do you REALLY need 24 hours notice? The home can only be seen 3 days a week between 3 and 4 pm? Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes…would the schedule you are imposing make you feel good?

 

And there are other access issues that could sabotage your sale, such as a front door that doesn’t work well, a locked interior door just inside the main door (e.g., screen door) without a key, a lockbox key that is a problem, one or more locked rooms (say, a teenager’s) or closets/storage rooms, and, unfortunately your pets. More on that in a moment.

 

 

INTERIOR and EXTERIOR CONDITION

 

The condition of your home says a lot to buyers, and you don’t want the message to be the wrong one. Message 1 - the home is poorly maintained inside with lots of obvious repairs including leaks, holes in screens, badly stained carpet, cracked and chipped tiles. Message 2 – you will need to spend a lot of money to fix up the yard so it’s usable. Message 3 – the storage is horrible (every closet is filled to the brim and the garage is inaccessible due to an abundance of stuff!).

 

The wrong messages go on and on, and your sale has been sabotaged! Failure to recognize these issue, even if you have been living with them will impact your home sale.

 

 

SMELLS

 

You love to cook, and you love your pets. But the resulting smells can really knock buyers for a loop and send them running for the door. Perhaps you are a smoker and indulge inside, and have for some time. More sabotage. You live with these and other smells day in and out and likely don’t notice. But I can tell you buyers sure will and they won’t like it.

 

Now maybe you decide to light every scented candle in the house for showings, stick those scenty things in all the receptacles, or place dishes of pungent (i.e., smelly) potpourri in every room. Sorry, but while you have good intentions, in my experience that is likely to not go over well. Not only are these smells also offensive to many but they prompt buyers to wonder….what ARE the sellers covering up? Address the smells before you go on the market.

 

 

dogsPETS

 

Face the facts that not everyone loves dogs and cats, even though you dote on yours! I get that…I do too. But many buyers do not want to be accosted by your so-called friendly pooch who may or may not bite and who doesn’t stop barking, or being responsible to make sure your cat does not escape.

 

And while putting your big dog in the back yard or garage is an easy solution for you, it isn’t for the buyers who want access to see the garage or explore the yard.

 

And those reminders that you have pets – smelly cat litter boxes, dog beds and bowls, dog piles in the yard – are yet another way to sabotage your sale.

 

 

LOTS OF STUFF

 

Is your home overflowing with too much furniture, knick knacks and collectibles, books, toys, and more? Is it hard to see the tops of your kitchen counter, your fireplace mantle, or bookshelves? Is it hard to see that beautiful fireplace because of all the stuff on it and around it? Are large picture windows hidden behind massive drapes and blinds?

 

Buyers want to be able to SEE your house, and envision themselves living there, and it’s tough to do that when there is too much stuff. Not only can they not see all the space but the rooms will feel smaller when filled with furniture. It might also suggest storage is limited, and if your closets are overflowing, that solidifies the message about storage limitations.

 

 

CRUMMY PHOTOS

 

Your first public open house is online, as soon as your listing goes live and it picked up by all kinds of websites. Buyers love photos, good ones that is. They will make buyers want to see your home versus those that make them click to the next listing. Much of this is in your control, by making sure your home will look great online in the photos – see what was discussed about “stuff” above. Since you live with your house everyday it can be tough to see it through the eyes of a potential buyer – get some professional assistance through a staging professional; take some photos yourself so you can see how the rooms look via camera and adjust accordingly.

 

Well done photography will probably not mask issues that should be addressed before photos are taken - a cluttered room, for example. That said, a beautiful room can be compromised if the photo itself is bad – crooked, dark, out of focus. Either way, your sale could be sabotaged through bad photos. You want your home to look its best - LIKE BELOW - so be sure it’s truly show-ready for the camera and that the resulting photos are top notch, whether done by your agent or a professional (I prefer the latter).

 

beautiful home

 

No one will deny that getting a house ready for sale, and then going through the process of showings until you have a contract, is easy. It’s downright tough!

 

But beware of these subtle, and perhaps not so subtle, traps that may keep you in your home instead of getting to closing and moving on with your life.

close

Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 04/01/2017 01:00 AM
  2. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 03/04/2017 03:52 AM
  3. Cara Marcelle Mancuso 03/06/2017 04:00 PM
  4. Mirela Monte 03/08/2017 02:21 PM
  5. Kasey & John Boles 04/20/2017 09:01 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
California San Diego County Carlsbad
Groups:
CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE
SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Advice for Sellers
HyperLocal Neighborhood and Community Posts
Tags:
how to sell a home
tips for home sellers
sellers
how to sell a house
home selling tips and advice
jeff dowler crs
reasons why houses dont sell

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Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Jan Green  - I think that's the crux of the issue. And having been a seller multiple times myself I understand how hard it can be.

Hi April Swenson Thank you kindly. Do you miss Carlsbad?

Hey Matt Brady  Thanks. Those are good suggestions, and often a problem. Even if you live with few lights and the curtains drawn that is NOT the way to make a good impression on buyers.

Jeff

Mar 02, 2017 05:12 PM #66
Rainer
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April Swenson
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers - Ocean Shores, WA
CRS and Managing Broker - Ocean Shores Real Estate

A little because I love the beaches down there.  But I absolutely love being in Ocean Shores, WA.  Housing is so much cheaper, I am at the beach, I lovemy church and work.....I would not want to leave this place.  But I love being from Southern California.

Mar 02, 2017 06:00 PM #67
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jeff Dowler - this one, not only bookmarked, saved in my 'seller's advice' folder.

Sometimes taking care of such things is simple - it's just that most sellers feel it's not their job.

Selling a home is a teamwork - as we work on marketing the home, the seller needs to work on all these items.

Mar 02, 2017 08:56 PM #68
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Nick & Trudy Vandekar  and convincing them with facts and examples to do the right thing

Thank you Sharon Miller - I appreciate the compliment

Amen Sharon Tara 

Jeff

Mar 03, 2017 08:46 PM #69
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Mike Bjork  - an excellent point, and we can help them think about the process appropriately.

Thanks so much Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  Unfortunately it is not always common sense since the emotions get in the way

Jeff

Mar 03, 2017 08:55 PM #70
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wayne L. Brown  - that's an excellent point. We DO have to help our clients prepare in the best way possible since it's not always easy and they may simply not understand what really needs to be done to compete effectively

Totally true Dick Greenberg  and we see this over and over

Jeff

Mar 03, 2017 08:57 PM #71
Rainmaker
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Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Jeff Dowler "It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyhow - pricing your home may be one of the most important things you must do to get your home sold. And if you hold out for a price that just does not reflect the local market conditions and demand, and in light of other issues like condition and location, you are sabotaging your sale"

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Mar 04, 2017 03:51 AM #72
Rainmaker
1,414,115
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

The funny thing for me is that my very first listing had all these problems, except for the crappy photos (although I could only take a few of the outside). I took the listing anyway because it was my first, but I learned so much from that listing about what types of listings not to accept!

Mar 04, 2017 04:29 AM #73
Rainmaker
560,220
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Jeff Dowler there are so many good points in this article! I've seen so many homes fail to sell for basic reasons like refusing to clean up or leaving the five barking, vicious dogs in the back yard. It seems some people just aren't concerned about actually selling!

Mar 04, 2017 05:49 AM #74
Rainmaker
448,423
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Jeff Dowler Really enjoyed reading your post.  All great points and worthy of sharing with anyone who is thinking of selling their home.  I appreciate the time you took to provide this valuable information. Definitely worthy of a Feature!  

Mar 04, 2017 07:05 AM #75
Rainmaker
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John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Jeff Dowler These are very important tips to void when selling a home.

Mar 04, 2017 09:49 AM #76
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks so much Dorie Dillard  - I hope readers DO find it useful.

John Wiley  - selling a home is not easy and unfortunately there are lots of things that sellers can overlook or perhaps not see as being vital

Thank you Rose Mary Justice  Feel free to share!

Jeff

Mar 05, 2017 08:29 PM #77
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks Claudia Rydel  That's hard to understand!! And too bad for the client!

It certainly depends on the situation Dörte Engel . It buyers CAN see beyond the issues, so much the better!

Kathleen Lordbock  - that's an excellent point. The way in which we discuss these issues can make all the difference!

Jeff

Mar 05, 2017 08:34 PM #78
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Kathleen Luiten  - What a nice compliment!

Greg Mona  - And that really IS the crux of the matter. Common sense that is not so common, and how do you get sellers to understand and respond appropriately in some cases?!

Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC, GRI, CDPE  - amen to all that!!

Jeff

Mar 05, 2017 08:40 PM #79
Rainmaker
1,509,340
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

You nailed it here...pretty comprehensive coverage of Three Ps of Selling a Home...Pricing, Preparation, Presentation!  Cleanliness costs very little but the ROI can be tremendous!

Mar 06, 2017 07:19 AM #80
Rainmaker
676,931
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

Great posting.  If only sellers would absorb this knowledge!  I find some of these points a real challenge with sellers , expecially wanting to overprice their homes (irregardless of appraisal, market, comps)  - it makes it so hard and then weeks later with no offers, they "forget" we had the conversation.  I've now incorporated a document within our listing appointment addressing price changes.  :)

Mar 06, 2017 03:54 PM #81
Rainmaker
764,723
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Great post.  Saving this one to re-blog if you don't mind. -Kasey

Mar 09, 2017 09:03 PM #82
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC  - sorry it's taking me a while to catch up with comments!

These ARE tough issues sometimes Cara Marcelle Mancuso It makes sense to be proactive about them.

Thank you Kasey & John Boles and the team at Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC  - what a nice compliment.

Jeff

Mar 11, 2017 12:19 PM #83
Rainmaker
1,290,809
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Jeff,
Great post.  I always love the seller's strategy to price the home based on what they "need" to get into a new home (and pay off their debt).   Like that has anything to do with value.  

Apr 01, 2017 05:15 AM #84
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Carol Williams 

Thanks so much. You are so right, and yet we hear that often. Buyers could care less.

Jeff

Apr 01, 2017 07:50 AM #85
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