That old adage, “You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression” could not be truer than when selling your home. An often overlooked fact is, “Buyers Buy Emotionally”. If you are the seller and you capture the buyer’s Heart, you will Capture their Offer!
A can of paint is worth $35 in the can but if you know how to use it before your agent put the for sale sign out it can be worth $3500.
When buyers look at your home, you want them to focus on the features and upgrades. You don’t want to distract them with stuff that might offend or puzzle them. It’s amazing how many times we show homes and the buyers will refer to one as “the one with the guns” or the “one with the pictures”. Granted, you’re still living in the home but it’s time to start packing up your personal items. In many ways, packing is an important step in moving on with your life.
Putting away as many of your knick knacks and personal items as possible is a must when getting your home ready to show. On top of getting rid of clutter, there are some items that should not be left for buyers to see.
Things Buyers Shouldn’t See When Previewing Your Home
Firearms. You may be an avid hunter and marksman with a collection of rifles. The average person who looks at your home may not own any guns or if they do, they probably only have one or two. When buyers see a home with a selection of firearms, they become more curious about the seller than about the home. They’ll wonder if the seller is a hunter or maybe a paranoid survivalist.
They’ll remember the home as the one with the guns. You want them to remember your home as the one with the great master bath or the big kitchen. If you have a large safe, put the firearms inside and lock the safe. If you don’t have a safe, you should find secure storage for your gun collection.
Animal trophies. This one goes hand in hand with the firearms. It goes without saying that animals lovers will be turned off by your trophies. Other than fellow hunters, most buyers are at least a little turned off when they see a stuffed animal hanging on the wall. You may get away with one or two but it’s better not to risk it. If you have a selection of them they should definitely be packed away.
Valuable Jewelry. This one is more for security than how your home looks. As Realtors, we do our best to screen buyers when showing your home. And we try to keep an eye on them when they’re viewing your home. Hard as we try, we can’t see everything. That beautiful piece of jade that was handed down from your Godmother could easily be slipped into a pocket. If you want to keep it, don’t leave it lying around.
Free Speech but …. That picture of former Presidents has a 50/50 chance of turning buyers off or on. In either case, it takes their attention away from the features of your home. After they buy your home you can always send them an invite to your party’s next fund raiser. Do not introduce politics before they’ve bought the home.
Family Photos. Those photos of your kids, grandkids and the pets you’ve had over the years are meaningful to you. They’re not special to home buyers. In fact, having your walls covered with family photos will make your home look old fashioned and dowdy. Once again, pack them away. You’ll need to pack them when you move anyway.
Kitchen Gadgets. Kitchens are one of the most used room in the home. Today’s buyers are looking for large kitchens with upgraded counter tops, cabinets and appliances. They don’t want to see some gadget on every inch of counter top. The kitchen will appear small and take their attention away from the most positive features. Choose two or three gadgets that you use most often. Put the others away.
Rated R. Chances are the buyer who comes to look at your home will be a family. Nude paintings and artwork should be tasteful or they should be packed away. That collection of erotica is likely to provoke giggles and embarrassed looks from buyers. This includes the collection of provocative magazines. Find a drawer for them or pack them up.
Boxes. A common mistake sellers make is to put boxes that have been packed into some unused space or the garage. As the stack of boxes grows, buyers can’t see the area. It gives the impression that the room or garage is much smaller than it is.
Getting Ready For The Big Move
You may be looking forward to moving but packing is never fun. You may consider to start packing before your property goes on the market. You’ll be able to put away your most prized possessions and leave the rest for the moving guys. Any of the above items should be packed away before buyers are permitted into your property. After you’ve de-cluttered and removed any distractions, start packing. Items that you won’t be using for the next 60-90 days go in the box. You’ll be glad you did when you are only 30 days away from closing.
Bobby Fenner is a Full Time Realtor with over 30 years experience in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Real Estate Markets. He and his team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service. If you’re buying or selling a Coastal Virginia home, call (757) 439-5779 or email [email protected]. We’ll be happy to assist you in your sale or purchase.