Whether your agent is hosting an open house for the sale of your home, or a potential buyer asks for a tour, there are several common complaints agents hear from potential buyers. These complaints offer a type of guide, which if followed, should prevent your property from going stagnant in the market.
People are particularly influenced by sight and smell; this brings to mind a few suggestions sellers might consider before a real estate agent brings clients to visit the home. First, ask some honest friends what smells come to mind when they enter your home. Are their noses assailed by the stench of wet dog and dirty laundry? Or do they mention cleanliness, the smell of cookies, or fabric softener? Of course we all hope for the latter, but the smell of your house is often the first mental note taken by buyers upon entry (even if only subconsciously). One mistake commonly made by panicked sellers is to attempt to freshen things up prior to a showing by spraying air freshener, burning candles, and/or overdoing scents that mask odors. These smells are definitely noticeable to someone who has never been in your house, and could end up hurting your chances of sale, rather than helping them. Instead, try throwing a batch of cookies in the oven. Your house will be filled with a warm, welcoming scent that is easily related to the feeling of being “home.”
Before you start accepting visits from potential buyers, consider some new interior paint. Not only does fresh paint smell clean, but any bold or strong colors could turn off prospective buyers, so you should cover your “wild side” with neutral, light colors. Then, be sure to open the curtains and let as much natural light shine in through those freshly cleaned windows as possible. This will help to achieve a sense of brightness and clarity not possible with electricity.
And, don’t forget this— cleanliness is your friend. Make sure that clutter is minimized and you’ve wiped down all counters, windows, and floors. It’s especially important that the bathrooms are spotless with toilet lids down (I’m looking at you, men out there!). Also, take your furry friends to the dog park for the afternoon. While you love your animals, to some potential buyers, they mean dander, smells, stains, and allergies. Ensure that your yard is clear of animal “accidents” so that it is open for the enjoyment of those making a walk through.
Another complaint reported to real estate agents following a walk through with their clients is that the photos that prompted them to take a closer look at the property did not match the reality of the home. So, instead of manipulating photos with software that misrepresents your house, try taking shots from various angles, using as much natural lighting as is available— you want people to experience what they found attractive in the pictures.
One of the last and perhaps most common complaints levied about walk through experiences is that the owners were present and made the potential buyers feel uncomfortable. Let’s be honest— these potential buyers don’t know you and they don’t want to feel watched, nor do they want you to be part of their conversations. It is best if they can peruse the property on their own time, stopping to appreciate the strongest features of your home, sharing ideas, voicing disappointments, and talking frankly about pricing/ possible offers with their agent.
Avoiding the pitfalls of the most common complaints made by potential purchasers after they walk through your property should be foremost on your mind as you await the showing. Sprucing your place with fresh paint, making it sparkling clean, leaving the blinds open, and getting out for the afternoon with any animal companions will help you reach the goal you share in common with your agent— receiving an offer immediately after the walk through!