The 10 Biggest Things That Prevent Your House From Selling
Did you know that buyers can decide within five minutes whether a house is for them or not? First impressions are key and even in today's crazy market where you practically don't have to do anything and get five offers on the table, that first impression could make or break a buyer's decision. The last thing you want is for your home to sit on the market any longer than it has to even in a seller's market so if you're planning on selling your home, here are the 10 biggest things that typically prevent your house from selling.
#1. Noise pollution.
Do you sit right underneath the flight plan for the airport? If so, there might not be a whole lot you can do about noise pollution. Buyers can't experience noise pollution unless they're actually on the property, so even if you have fantastic photos in a beautifully staged home, once buyers are there, loud noise from the train line, next to a major freeway or in a flight path might prevent the home from selling. The best thing you can do is to either lower the price or install triple glazing windows and doors prior to listing.
#2. Awkward layouts.
Some of the older homes actually had bathrooms right off the kitchen and that's not typically a convenient layout. Homes that have had additions, add-ons, or conversions may offer a challenging layout but clever built-in furnishings and professional staging can fix this. If you find yourself sitting on the market longer then you have to ask yourself if your home has an awkward layout and ask your agent what can be done about it.
#3. Not so rosy history.
Homes with a tarnished history are far less likely to sell. Whether it's a haunted house, homes with a notorious past, drug-related incidences, or if the house is in a high crime area, buyers may be wary of proceeding any further. The best way to combat this is to either lower the price or focus on the positive features of the home and hopefully, they'll outweigh any negative connotations.
#4. Tiny kitchens.
While not everyone likes to cook, most people don't like a small kitchen. The kitchen is typically the heart of the home and they want a comfortable kitchen the people can gather around and entertain. Cramped kitchens might be difficult to maneuver around so instead, check out some space-saving ideas to maximize every inch of the space.
#5. Popcorn ceilings and low ceilings.
Older ceilings like popcorn ceilings are typically lower anyway and they're not only out of fashion but they can accumulate dirt, soot from candles, and are really hard to paint. You might consider removing the popcorn finish before listing to get the most of the sale of the home but remember, a lot of these popcorn ceilings actually have asbestos so it's best that they are removed by a professional.
#6. Overgrown yard.
While this can be overlooked, it certainly doesn't help the sale of the property. This is probably one of the easiest ways to improve the first impression of your home. Staging your landscaping, mowing the lawn, weeding the plants and trimming bushes and trees will make a huge difference toward that first impression.
#7. Old-fashioned and outdated.
If your home has not changed its look since the 1950s or 60s, buyers are going to look at similar homes that are priced the same that may have updates. Unless you want to update your kitchen and bathroom, you'll need to price it accordingly to get it sold. A tired, outdated bathroom is a huge turnoff for buyers but updating can cost thousands of dollars. Make sure that the master matches the quality of the rest of the house. If you renovated the home except for the bathroom or kitchen, you might need to start from scratch. If the home is an overall fixer-upper, there's little point in an expensive makeover.
#8. Old, broken, and busted.
This applies to just about anything that could be outdated, old, broken, or in desperate need of repair. This could mean HVAC systems, appliances, fixtures, lighting, faucets, water pipes, and electricity. If anything is in need of repair don't expect to get full price for it and if you want to get as much from the sale as you possibly can, it's time to put in the time and repair these items.
#9. High maintenance features.
Homes that have high maintenance features like built-in aquariums, theater rooms, massive water features in the backyard, swimming pools, or hot tubs, can look like high maintenance to buyers that maybe don't want that much work. Every home is different and if your home has a feature that you may love but is a lot of upkeep and work, ask your agent about the best way to either feature this, downplay it, or alter it if necessary.
#10. Bad odors.
Even musty smells, pet odors, and cigarette smell cannot be masked over with the breeze, candles, or warm chocolate chip cookies. If there's an issue with mold or mildew, it needs to be taken care of before listing. If you have pets, try to remove all evidence of pets and their odors before showing or listing the property if possible. If there are stronger odors like cigarette smells or urine stains, you may need to bring out the big guns with Kilz or even have professionals come in and take care of the odor before listing otherwise you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
Every single home is different and unique and there are reasons why some homes sell faster than others. While the price is a big issue, not all buyers are snapping up homes just because they're on the market. You still want to stage your home, make it as presentable as possible, and try to get the most profit from the sale. Contact me below at any time for tips on how to stage your particular Portland area home, Vancouver property, or anywhere throughout the Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon real estate market.
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