Think Like A Buyer – Top Things That Will Keep Buyers From Buying Your Home

Posted February 21, 2019 in Special Features

Lauren Aldous, Clark County WA real estate agent

When you live in your home, you don’t see the clutter or smell the cats. You don’t see the drawings on the walls that the kids made years ago. However, you really need to look at your house from a different standpoint. Here’s an idea, stop seeing it as your home. You’re selling it and it’s no longer your home, it’s just a house. So walk outside, come back in and take a good look around as if you didn’t know the people who lived there. What stands out? What do you notice first? Whatever your eye is drawn to, get rid of it. Put it in the garage or storage, but unless it’s useful, don’t keep it around.

Pet odors turn off a buyer like no other. Wash your pets and their bedding. Wash the comforters on the couch and the throw pillows. A good floor washing with disinfectant is a great way to get the pet odor off the flooring.

Cooking odors can be a turn off as well. If you’re selling a house, refrain from cooking things like brussel sprouts, fish, cabbage, or anything with a lingering strong smell. Refraining from cooking things you enjoy is worth the sacrifice to get your house sold.

In addition to pets and cooking, plug-in deodorizers can also be a turn off to buyers. Heavy fragrances from plug-ins may suggest to a buyer that odors from suspicious sources (mold, mildew, pets, etc.) are being masked, which then may alert a buyer to what’s under the perfume. One plug-in on each floor is fine, but don’t have one in every room and hallway.

Dirt & Décor & Clutter
Dust bunnies blowing around on the floor. Dishes overflowing in the sink. These are normal signs of daily life, but to buyers looking at your house, they may wonder about home repairs and what other general upkeep has been neglected.

Grandma’s buffet, a duct-taped recliner, wallpaper, brass and glass chandeliers…Nostalgia is fun but most people won’t share the sentiment and it can deter buyers from feeling like your house can be their home. Put stuff in storage or sell it or give it to charity. Since you’ll be moving anyway, now is a good time to pack up your personal belongs and sort out all the general clutter that detracts from your home’s appearance.

Curb Appeal
There are many basic things you can do to boost your home’s curb appeal to give potential buyers the best impression at first sight. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, and put down some fresh bark dust. Remove dead plants and replace them with bright pansies in planters and hanging baskets. Brighten up your doorway with fresh paint and a new light fixture. Consider pressure washing and other general debris removal.

Remember, you’re setting the stage for buyers, so basically clean, deodorize, and de-clutter. With décor, go light and bright, to give the best impression and make anyone feel at home.

Lauren Aldous is a real estate broker and exclusive buyer’s agent for SW Washington. | 360-936-4577