|Three Sure Fire Ways to Blow the Sale of Your House
OK, listen up. I'm going to tell it like it is. You may already know, but you may not believe it. Whether you have your home listed or are selling it yourself, here's some information you can't live without.
Three surefire ways to blow the sale of your house:
#1 Make it look bad and smell bad.
Even people who smoke don't like houses that smell like smoke. Even people with pets don't like homes that smell like pets. While your home is on the market, go outside to smoke. Whatever you do, don't leave dirty ashtrays around. More importantly, even buyers who live like Porky and Petunia think their homes are clean. Don't remind them what their place really looks like. They'd rather believe they can move into a clean home and it will stay that way. There is absolutely no way you can make the old smelly and dirty Judgement yourself. Ask someone who doesn't like you all that much, or someone who will tell you the truth to come over and give you an honest smelly and dirty test. It would probably be best if you hired somebody to come over and really clean your place. Can't afford it? What's it costing you to keep your house? If something needs fixing, fix it.
#2 Leave your pets in the house or loose in the yard.
Yeah, I know, they're real cute, but a buyer cannot look at a house when a dog is jumping up on him or constantly barking while the house is being shown. Do you know how crazy you can get if a dog barks for five solid minutes while you're trying to decide if your couch will fit? If your backyard is a wreck, maybe you should leave the dog in the yard. That way, most of the time the buyers won't go outside. You'll only be selling the inside of your house, but maybe that's just as well. As for cats, they're usually less of a problem, but please don't leave your litter boxes in the hallway. Yuck, phooie!!
#3 Stick around and show the house yourself.
You know your home better than anyone else. You know about the extra insulation you put in. You know, 98 percent of the time, the buyer doesn't care. He's there to get a feel for the house, and he needs time and privacy in order to do that.
I would estimate the folks I work with spend half as much time in a home when the owner is there. Maybe less. They don't feel comfortable, they can't talk to each other about the house, they can't look in your closet, they can't say they hate your wallpaper but the rest of the house is nice. So they leave, and you don't sell your house.
My sellers always tell me they'd like to stay because Realtors who are showing don't know as much as they do about their house. They're right, but I don't care. I'd rather have a Realtor who knows absolutely zero about my listing show the house than have the owner there. If the buyer has an interest in the house, we'll call the listing agent about insulation and special touches we might have missed.
Sure, you say, but I have my home for sale by owner. No problem. Qualify your buyer on the phone first to be sure they are qualified to buy your home. Ask! It'll save you a lot of time. Then put your valuables away.
When your buyers show up, hand them the beautifully prepared sheet you have worked up telling them all the information about your home. Tell them you'll be in the basement, or the den, or outside, or somewhere else where you can't hear them and they can't see you. They'll find you if they want you.