Friday, October 9, 2015
By Admin

Wouldn't it be useful if you could understand what is most likely to turn off buyers when they view your home?

Although the statistics are from Europe, via an online survey commissioned by British insurance company Go Compare, it's totally reasonable to assume that their findings are a series of universal truths, as applicable to us here in America as anywhere else.

Let's look at the some of the most off putting aspects that would apply anywhere: -

"Damp patches, stained walls and ceilings." - This was actually the #1 objection, with over 70% of those questioned identifying these problems as a turn off. OK, damp patches are unlikely to be a big problem here in New Mexico, but stained walls and ceilings most definitely can be an issue, especially if you are a smoker, or perhaps you have stains from cooking or a natural fireplace of some sort. Whatever the cause, it's time for a fresh coat of paint, or perhaps you might get away with simply washing the walls and ceilings, if they aren't too badly marked.

"Property in a poor state of repair e.g. rotten windows." - No surprises here. Although it might reflect in the asking price, a home that needs a lot of work is simply not a viable proposition for many buyers, especially hard working young couples who are struggling to make ends meet to pay for the mortgage etc. As we often say, money spent on making things look right is vital if you're going to maxmize the return on your home. Common sense, of course, but those statistics demand attention.

"Bad smells, including odors from pets, cigarettes, smoke, damp and food." - Again we can probably not pay too much attention to damp smells, but all the others will most certainly have been a feature of virtually anyone's worst home viewing experiences. And yet, when you think about it, odors are among the easiest things to remedy. It's also true that we can become somewhat immune to aromas in our home, so get a close friend or relative to pay you a visit and reveal the brutal truth. With so many buyers turned off by smells, it's well worth it.

"Poor natural light, dark rooms." - Another big turn off and, once more, another relatively simple fix. In many cases, it can simply be ensuring that the window blinds are letting in plenty of sunlight. If rooms are naturally dark, without much natural light, then make sure you use electrical lighting to compensate. And, as always, light, neutral colors invariably get a better reception than the dark walls the kids have demanded in their bedrooms etc.

"Unfinished building work." - On the one hand it's great to see a home being developed, but what can look more sloppy than half finished built-in barbecues, or yards full of building materials awaiting construction of some feature or another. If you're selling and these things aren't completed, the buyer knows he/she will be left with lots to do and, of course, this very likely means more expense too. Your decision process should either be to get the work done in advance of listing or perhaps abandoning the project altogether, making good the area where contstruction has commenced and getting all those building materials off site.

"Bad DIY." - In a way this is related to the above objection. However it also refers to an essential truth of DIY that it's better to get professional help rather than end up with poorly executed work that reduces appeal in your property. Basically it's what often makes the money saving appeal of DIY a false economy for many considering listing their home at some stage.

"Dated or over the top decor." - Not bad DIY, as such. This one's more about the negative aspects of dated decor styles, unless you live in a period home that merits it of course. Over the top decor includes the bad color choices we mentioned earlier, or maybe having too many bold color contrasts. Make the selling process easier by going for a modern, light, neutral look that no one is going to be able to totally dislike, unless you get one of the tiny percentage of viewers that loves purple carpets, sofas and curtains.

"Outdated bathroom/kitchen." - These are key selling points for any home, anywhere. On the face of it, you're faced with a lot of expense to bring them up to modern standards. But this isn't always so and it's quite possible to make big changes in bathrooms with more modern fittings, shower curtains/doors and faucets. Faucet upgrades work very well in kitchens, where you might want to consider replacing cabinet doors or, if that's a prohibitive cost, why not paint them white and fit some nice modern cabinet door furniture.

"Cluttered rooms" - Do we really need to say any more about this one? The local self storage company owner should be your new best friend. Don't store clutter in one room and think your viewers won't notice it. Either trash it, donate it or store it offsite. Enough said.

Other than noting how objections to homes in Europe are very similar, if not identical, to the ones voiced here, it's also interesting to observe that very few of them cannot be solved by simple decorative remedies and tidying up. Call us today for specific advice on correctly presenting your home for sale.