Just because your home ticks all the right boxes in terms of location, it doesn’t mean you have the upper hand on the market.
Neglect to present your home properly at open for inspections and you could be wondering why there aren’t any offers on the table.
We’ve sourced 10 things that buyers complain about most when visiting open homes. Avoid these at all costs if you want the best price for your property.
1. Dirty home
Any sign of dirt or grime can instantly cut short the time a buyer spends inspecting your property. Old smelly carpets, filthy kitchen sinks, dust, dried pet food on the lino….the list goes on. In a buyer’s mind, untidy and unclean suggests a home hasn’t been looked after and could need extensive repairs. Agents suggest replacing carpets, or shampooing if they’re relatively new, and that “the home should be neat and clean and free of all debris”.
2. Stinky odours
While you love your pets, buyers may not like to detect pet smells in the house. Clear away pet paraphernalia and make sure they’re not around in case buyers are allergic. It’s also best not to cook fish, spicy or greasy food while you’re house is on the market. Always present your home as airy and fresh smelling as possible.
3. Outdated fixtures
What really turns home buyers off are old and outdated fixtures. Buyers will pay more for a home that has modern fixtures, this includes: lights, door knobs, microwaves, ranges, fans and dishwashers. If you’re reluctant to pay big money to change these out, spending as little as $400-$500 can get you a higher price.
4. Leaving personal items
The more you can leave ‘you’ out of the picture the better. It’s very distracting for buyers to see your photos, kids artwork and personal effects. A professional home stylist can work real magic here, and help you depersonalise your home. .
5. You being there
Some vendors actually go one step further and insist on being at the open for inspection. This is a big no-no. Buyers really don’t want the homeowner following them around and putting in their two cents worth or relaying personal stories. Let your agent manage the inspection and potential buyers. That’s why you’ve hired them after all.
6. Bad first impression
The first thing an interested buyer will do is a drive-by to see if your home lives up to the photo in the ads. If it has bad curb appeal, it’s unlikely they’re going to want to see inside. Get the outside looking immaculate, mow your lawn, trim your trees and weed the flower beds, it’s a big mistake not to advise real estate agents.
7. Cluttered spaces
You may think your knickknacks are homely but to buyers it just looks like a lot of clutter. Buyers are looking for more space, and filling it with your stuff will make your home look smaller. Agents advise clearing out cupboards to half full and leave nothing on the floor. Have no more than 3 appliances on your kitchen counter.
8. Dark rooms
Dark rooms with little natural light are a buyer turn off. Try to have as much natural light as possible in rooms, by opening blinds fully and pulling back curtains and shutters. More light can completely change the ambiance and make your home look more inviting. Don’t forget to clean the windows too!
9. Too hot or too cold
Potential buyers will be highly attuned to how your house feels. If it’s too hot or too cold they’ll instantly question the cooling and heating systems. Try to have your home at the optimum temperature for comfort depending on the weather conditions.
10. Suspect stains/ damp patches
You can be sure buyers will have ceiling stains and damp patches somewhere near the top of their list for things to look out for. These are two things that instantly send up red flags for more serious problems. Any good agent will tell you to fix these before you even consider putting your house on the market.
For more actionable tips for selling your house and advice on what potential home buyers look for, download our Aussie guide for homeowners today!