6. Too many personal items

Psychologically, when buyers tour a  home, they’re trying it on to see how it fits, just as they would a skirt or a  pair of pants. If your house is cluttered with too many personal items, it’s  like the buyer is trying on those clothes with you still in them. A fit is  unlikely.

“Anything that makes your house scream ‘you’ is what you don’t want,” Dana  says. “I tell all my clients that how we decorate to live and how we decorate to  sell are different, and right now, we’re decorating to sell.”

Sellers should try to eliminate personal items, including family photos,  personal effects and even unique colors, she says.

“As soon as you have family photos, buyers get very distracted. ‘Oh, did I go  to school with him? What do their children look like?'” she says. “Suddenly,  you’re selling your family, and you’re not selling the home.”

If you really want to hook a buyer, Dana offers a tip: “I try to place a  mirror strategically so that people can actually see themselves in the home, so  they can actually picture themselves living there.”

“I tell all my clients that how we decorate to live  and how we decorate to sell are different.”

7. Snoopy sellers

Realtors and buyers alike generally bristle when  the seller greets them at the door for a showing.

“It’s so annoying,” Goldwasser says. “They will want to walk around with the  potential buyer and put in their two cents’ worth. It’s not good. Normally,  there are one out of 10 sellers where it’s OK to have them there, and that’s  because they know what is up with the property and how everything works.”

Goldwasser makes a point to shoo his sellers away from showings when he’s the  listing agent.

“They like to think they know what they’re doing, and that’s fine,” he says.  “But when you’ve sold thousands of homes and you have a system, you know how to  get people the maximum value for their home. That’s why they hire you,  right?”

8. Misrepresenting your home

Misrepresenting your house online in  the multiple listing service is a sure way to really upset buyers and their  Realtors.

One of Cannon’s buyers loved a home she saw online. When he drove by to take  a look, he was surprised to find acres of ramshackle mobile homes across the  street.

“Sellers are going to paint the best picture they can,” he says. “Some  listings I’ve looked at and wondered how in the world they got that gorgeous  photo without showing all the junk that’s around it. When you get there, you  wonder why didn’t they just be upfront?”

9. Poor curb appeal

Much is made of curb appeal, and for good  reason: It’s your home’s handshake, the critical first impression that lasts  with most buyers.

“You have to totally trim and edge your yard to get it into the most  immaculate condition you can,” Goldwasser says. “It’s a big mistake to not  freshly mulch the beds and trim the trees. Every little detail counts.

“To not power-wash the exterior or leave mud dauber and wasp and bird’s nests  in your eaves and above your doors? You’ve got to be a fool to do that.”

10. Clutter

Whether inside or out, less is more when it comes to  clutter.

“I usually start in the closets,” Dana says. “Your closets should be  half-full with nothing on the floor. Why? Because most people looking for a  house have outgrown their previous house. Showing them that you’ve still got  room to grow gives them a reason to buy.”

Kitchens and built-in bookshelves should showcase spaciousness by following  the rule of three. For kitchens, there should be no more than three countertop  appliances. Meanwhile, bookshelves should be divided into thirds: one-third  books, one-third vases and pictures, and one-third empty.

The home office should be very generic so any type of professional can  imagine living there, Dana says.

“Otherwise, it can be a distraction: ‘What does he do for a living? How much  money does he make?'” she says.

Dana’s tip for toddler parents is to pack away extraneous “kiddie litter” and  keep a laundry basket handy.

“When you get that phone call one hour before a showing, toss everything in  that basket and take it to the car with you and your kids, and you’re all set,”  she says.



By Jay MacDonald • Bankrate.com

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