RISMedia’s Housecall wrote this great list of things not do when you list your home in 2016 – and it’s still relevant today! Here is my edited version of the original, including input from my years of experience on this topic:
- Don’t over-improve: As you get your home ready to sell, you may realize making a few changes will improve the return on your investiment. For example, updating appliances! But make sure not to OVER-improve the home too much. If the improvements are too specific to your tastes, it may turn off some prospective buyers. Not everyone wants their finished basement to have a wet bar and sound stage in it. Make it look the best you can without emptying the piggy bank, important things that don’t cost a lot, deep clean, spruce up the landscaping – trim, bark, some potted plants, neutralize your interior paint colors, especially if there are lots of nics and dirty walls.
- Don’t over-decorate: Just like #1, over-decorating can turn off a prospective buyer. Just because YOU like the look of lace and lavendar doesn’t mean those looking to purchase your house will. Neutralize the decorating scheme to a universal palette. In the Bay Area and with prices soaring, Staging your home will get you a better return. Pictures are the first introduction to your home and staging it will present your home in its best light.
- Don’t hang around: Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. So when your agent calls to say they’re bringing over some potential buyers, don’t hang around. Get out of the house for a little while – at least go sit in the backyard, if you can’t get away from home altogether.
- Don’t take things too personally: Real estate is a business. Buying and selling homes can be very emotional, but you need to avoid taking things too personally. During negotiations, buyers may point out certain things they don’t love about your house, hence why they are offering a little lower, and you can’t get hung up on those criticisms. It just means they have a different style than you!
Kristin’s take: Another note; if people say they have video in their home, buyers be cautious about what you say. The sellers will hear you, even after you get into contract and are doing inspections. If you said something snarky, and you make an offer, it may not get accepted. If you are in contract, it will create bad blood and if you end up asking for a repair, the sellers are less likely to be agreeable.