October is traditionally a scary month, what with Halloween on the 31st and all. This year, it seems to be even scarier than usual, given the political climate and the crazy clown sightings. As a home seller, if you want to sell your house fast, you certainly don’t want to scare off buyers. Based on our experience, here are eight things that will send home buyers running away faster than if they were being chased by a hungry zombie.
1. Ghastly Landscaping
Curb appeal is essential. If your yard looks like the Munsters live there, buyers may not even get out of the car to see any more. It’s extremely important to mow, trim and edge your yard, mulch the beds and prune the trees. Remove any plants that are dead or beyond recovery. Power wash the exterior and check for and remove any wasp or bird nests that you may have hiding in the eaves or doorways. Every small detail counts.
If you’re not willing or able to do the work yourself, hire a landscaper, lawn service or neighborhood kid to do the work for you.
2. Fun House Walls
You may love that purple bedroom or bright yellow office, but those personal colors may turn off potential buyers. The same goes for wallpaper. Today’s buyer doesn’t want wallpaper and the fact that it’s difficult to remove means you’re adding another chore to a buyer’s to-do list. They’d just as soon find another house that doesn’t need as much work.
Better to paint the rooms in your home warm neutral colors with mass appeal, such as beige, ivory, taupe or light gray. These colors make your rooms look larger, brighter and more inviting. Paint the trim in white.
This is a task you could do yourself, but if you’re not up for the task, hire a professional painter.
3. Poorly Lit Rooms
Dark houses are scary houses. If your house is poorly lit, home buyers might wonder what you’re hiding. Brighten up your rooms by replacing dim or burned out light bulbs with high efficiency, bright bulbs. You may need to add in a few stylish lamps to boost brightness.
Natural light makes rooms look bigger, airier and more attractive, which helps sell your house fast. Make sure windows are clean and drapes and curtains aren’t blocking incoming natural sunlight.
4. Popcorn-Finished Ceilings
This is just about the worst style of ceiling ever invented. In addition to badly dating your home, a popcorn finished ceiling accumulates dirt, resists cleaning and is virtually impossible to paint. Furthermore, if your home was built before to the mid ‘80s, it may contain asbestos! (Yes, asbestos was banned from ceiling products in 1977, but it might still be in there.)
If you think your ceiling may contain asbestos, you can have it sampled and tested by a licensed inspector. The EPA has information here about identifying materials that contain asbestos and what to do if you have it in your home. If you do have asbestos in your home, you’ll need to hire a federally or state trained and accredited asbestos abatement contractor to remove and properly dispose of it. As you might imagine, this is an expensive, but necessary, undertaking.
Even if you’re popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos, removing it is still a complicated and difficult process. You’ll likely need to hire a drywall or painting contractor. If you’re not able to foot the bill or endure the mess, you’ll have to sacrifice some funds at closing to credit the buyer.
5. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
Buyers these days want hardwood floors. If your home has original hardwood floors underneath carpeting, pull up the carpet and refinish the floors. If you don’t have hardwood under the carpet, consider installing it, at least in the first-floor living area.
In areas where you decide to keep carpeting, you’ll need to either have it professionally cleaned to remove dirt and odors or replace it. Carpet typically lasts about five to ten years, depending on its quality, the padding used and the traffic it gets. That old mustard yellow or pea green shag carpet from the 1970s, definitely needs replacement!
6. Brass Fixtures
Shiny yellow builder-grade brass switch plates and light fixtures scream OUTDATED. Chrome or satin nickel are the finish buyers prefer for contemporary fixtures. Use oil-rubbed bronze or black finishes for updating traditional rooms. You could easily update and replace these items yourself. But again, if you don’t have the time or ability, hire a handyman.
7. Outdated Bathrooms
“Crystal” faucet handles or acrylic knobs in your bathroom look cheap and dated. Replace them with a polished-chrome finish or a brushed or satin nickel finish faucet and handle set. Your best choice will be one that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, with a flipper- or lever-style handle.
Additionally, pay attention to the lighting over your bathroom mirror. If it’s what’s known as a vanity strip – a strip of bare, round lights – you’ll need to replace them too. Try a wall sconce on either side of the mirror or a fixture with a shade for each bulb or a bath bar light in a style and finish to match your faucet set.
8. Odors from food, pets and smoking
Home buyers don’t like stinky houses. Kitchen, pet and smoke odors are the most common. You may have grown accustomed to these smells, but they hang around like ghosts and will drive buyers away. Some houses where residents are or were heavy smokers may need to be professionally treated to get rid of the odor and potential smoke damage.
See this article for a few do-it-yourself tips on getting rid of less ingrained smoke odors.
When your house is on the market, it’s not only the odors that turn off buyers. You’ll do well to remove any evidence of anything malodorous. Hide pet items, such as dog dishes and cat litter boxes. If possible, make sure your animals are not around during house showings. The same goes for smokers. Remove all ashtrays or smoking paraphernalia. After cleaning all curtains and upholstery, consider smoking outdoors while your house is on the market.
Remedy These Issues To Sell Your House Fast
As a home seller who wants to sell your house fast, make sure to remedy these eight issues that will scare away buyers. Not capable of addressing these issues, but still want to sell your house fast? Call Express Homebuyers today at (877) 804-5252 for a fast and fair cash offer.