Twelve Things That Might Scare Buyers Off
Your home might be your castle, but when it’s time to sell, it’s also time to put away anything that could scare buyers away. Here are twelve things you should remove or hide when showing your house may cause a potential buyer to start edging toward the exit.
- Odors. Have a friend, neighbor or your real estate agent do a sniff check. You may have to have the house professionally cleaned and painted.
- Anything related to smoking. For the majority of buyers, evidence of smoking in the home is a big turn off. Put away all smoking paraphernalia. Have carpets, drapes, and upholstery professionally cleaned before starting to show your home.
- Pets. You don’t want your pets distracting potential buyers so remove them from the house before a showing. Have a game plan in place. While you are at it, remove bedding, bowls, toys, scratching posts and litter boxes. Pet odors can be as offensive as smoking odors so have carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned.
- Pests. If you have roaches, ants or any other pest-control issues, call the exterminator and have your home treated.
- Clutter. Besides just being unattractive, clutter can create the impression that your home doesn’t have enough space. This includes putting away children’s toys before every showing. Clutter also makes it hard for the buyer to focus on the house.
- Medications. Securely lock away all medications in the house for your safety and the safety of visitors.
- Taxidermy. Mounted heads and stuffed wildlife may be points of pride for you, but don’t assume buyers share your view. Find them temporary new homes while your home is on the market. They are a distraction.
- Firearms. Lock them up and store them out of sight. Even better, find them temporary new homes along with your mounted heads. Firearms are a major liability and will certainly scare buyers with small children.
- Weird collectibles. Another unnecessary distraction. Pack them up and store them out of sight.
- Personal information and personal items. Put away anything of a personal nature such as financial statements, legal papers, bills, and personal letters. This also includes family member’s ashes, religious objects and any political literature you may possess.
- Uncomfortable art and photos. Most professional stagers recommend taking down family pictures. Add to that any unusual or out-of-the-mainstream photos and artwork.
- Yourself. When buyers are on the way, leave. Don’t linger, don’t get caught still getting dressed and don’t park just down the street to spy.