4 Ways to Turn Your Home Buyer Off

blog 4-30-14Today’s home buyers are savvy. Many of the buyers I work with are as smart as many of the agents I know. And rightly so. After all, they spend a good deal of their waking hours – including time at work – looking at houses online, in person and making determinations.

The top 4 things I hear more than anything that turns buyers off are bad photos, clutter, maintenance items and outdated décor.

  • Bad photos – whether they are unprofessional or wide angle shots that misrepresent the real house, buyers don’t like to feel they are being taken advantage of. However, many agents are still using wide angle shots to get buyers in the door. Buyers tell me:It looked so much larger online
      • I thought the kitchen was going to be huge
      • The secondary bedrooms are smaller than we thought
      • The yard is way too small – it looked so much different in the photos
  • Clutter – too much stuff or disorganization turns buyers off especially when they don’t see it in the photos. This is what I hear from my buyers:What are these people thinking?
    • Don’t they realize their home is on display?
    • Do they think they are the only house on the market?
    • Why wouldn’t they clean this up?
    • This stuff is so distracting – it’s preventing us from seeing the house itself!
  • Maintenance items – how many homes have I seen just this last week that came on the market with the promise of making repairs by the end of next month? Why agents put houses on the market needing repairs is beyond me. As a buyer’s agent, I’m looking harder for what else might need to be replaced that they haven’t told us about. My advice is always to make sure the house is perfect before it comes on the market. It will raise less red flags from both the buyer and agent.
    • Wood rot is the biggie – and especially on the front of the house around the door and windows. While I’m trying to get the key out of the lockbox, there is plenty of time to be looking at the trim for rot. Most houses have it – key is to fix it before you sell the house.
    • Windows is the next big ticket item – if the seller is promising to replace one or two windows, you can believe as a buyer’s agent, I’m thinking all the windows might be going bad. Best bet is to have the windows replaced before listing the house for sale and then we won’t be examining so closely.
  • Outdated décor – oh, the outdated décor from the 70’s – you know the dark wood, avocado and gold or how about copper appliances? And the blues and mauves from the 80’s don’t fly either. Even décor from the 90’s won’t cut it with today’s buyers. Remember, if you’re selling to first timers who are currently renting, their apartment might have better décor than your house. They are not going to come out of an apartment with granite and stainless in the kitchen into a house that has any less. And the same thing goes for your furniture. These young buyers have furniture newer than yours and you will not impress them with your 30 year old stuff. That sends the message that if they buy your house, they won’t be able to afford any better stuff than what you have. What can you do?
    • Make sure your home for sale sends the right message to your buyers
    • Make necessary updates to get you into the home selling game of what you’re competing with
    • Don’t lose out to newer homes when you could spend a little money and make updates that will get you in the competition

Don’t be the third of the local real estate market that never sells. It’s not hard but you’ve got to understand how the market works and probably do some work.

If you’d like to better understand the market and what you can do to stand out, I can help. Call or text me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here.

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