Tips on How to Impress Home Buyers

By: Dw Wilson

When my partner and I began the search for our first home we were brightly optimistic. We had a clear idea of what we wanted in a home and knew the range of prices we were willing and able to look at. Our trusted realtor had begun to send us listings that matched our criteria and daily we happily weeded through them to find properties we were eager to take a look at. The anticipation was exhilarating. There seemed to be so many wonderful houses out there, and my main concern soon became...how will we ever know which one to pick amongst all these wonderful homes?

I soon changed my tune. Buyer beware, real estate photos can be very misleading. As we begun looking at over 60 houses, I soon became utterly depressed. These homes were not at all like how they looked in the pictures and most of them were so poorly kept and cluttered that it was hard to see beyond that.

Now, I think of myself as someone who has the capacity to see beyond bad color, clutter and creepy odors. But, to any home seller out there reading this now, let me say, when a buyer is exhausted from having seen a fair number of other homes that day, believe me, these aspects are hard to get over. Do yourself a favor and just clean up the house and yard and if you don't really care about your house, please make the effort to make it seem like you do by tidying up! Really, you'll fetch far more interest by just covering this "basic" base.

Another complete turn off was walking into a house that was obviously over-priced. After a long day of looking, if a home was patently way too pricey, then guaranteed we didn't give the home any extra time and would walk out the door without giving it a second thought. It's not worth it to over-price your home. Buyers are not stupid, and are looking for a reasonable price on a home- something that compares to the current market prices of the area. In all likelihood buyers have been doing their homework and know what is beyond a reasonable scope.

I can remember as a kid not wanting to go to a certain someone's house, because I just didn't like the smell of their home. May not be logical- but instinct is a huge part in the sale of a home too, so don't over look smell. Find a way to neutralize the odors of your home. I didn't realize how smell sensitive I was until touring all these homes. Prospective home sellers need to understand that even though they might not smell it, homes have a very distinct and personal odor. The best way to combat odor is to clean, clean, clean and then maybe think of using a subtle organic room spray or to set out some fresh flowers.

If you want to sell your home then attend to problems like dampness and dankness. I know for myself, that these signals just screamed MOLD!, or FOUNDATION LEAK! Even the vague possibility of these potentially major issues was an instant turn off. As a seller you want to make sure you've discovered the source of these problems and fixed them before you put your house on the market.

Personally, I would say skip the apple pie trick as a means of enticing buyers into some instant dream of hominess. At the end of the day when I was hungry, tired and slightly bitter from having no success looking at all these homes, it really got to me that there was this pie sitting out there for me to smell and not to eat! Seriously. Or, if your going to set out the pie, let your viewers eat it. I'm not kidding. And, if you're going to do this, you better have enough for everyone.

So, there you go, just a couple firsthand pointers from a buyer who was turned off by a lot of homes. And, as a side note, the home we ended up purchasing was not perfect. It had flaws and things that needed to be fixed and updated, but by golly, it was un-cluttered, clean, odorless, the lawn was green and the price was right. We made an offer within an hour of our first viewing.

So savvy sellers, just put in a little effort and you'll be that much further ahead.

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