1. Putting little effort into curb appeal
What is “curb appeal?” Curb appeal is the cover to the story that is your house. Even if the story is everything you’ve ever dreamed of inside, the perfect kitchen, just the right number of windows, etc., if the cover is unappealing, not many will want to see what’s inside.
Your house should put its best door forward while setting the tone and expectation that this could be “home” for the next potential owner. For ideas on how to decorate, look to see what has been done to improve the curb appeal of recently sold homes in the area or consult a knowledgeable real estate agent to learn the latest trends to increase the likelihood of a quick sale for top dollar.
However, be mindful of any restrictions your Maryland neighborhood may have regarding the look and design of your house. Fines and more repair costs are the last thing you want to deal with when trying to sell your house.
2. Leaving clutter around
When prospective buyers walk into your house, it should feel inviting. If there are a “lot of things” around, potential buyers may not feel welcome. It may be harder for them to envision themselves coming home after work to relax.
Additionally, having “clutter” may make it harder to have the home properly inspected. This could mean potential issues may not be spotted until farther along in the sales process as more items are cleared away or moved. Such discoveries can cause the sale to take much longer to complete or even cancel the sale entirely.
Clutter can also hide valuable key features of your home. Are your kids toys or furniture hiding the fireplace in the family room? Are the built-in window seats functioning as a clothes rack? Families walking through your house will see the clutter and not these special features leaving them likely to put in a lower offer than if the house had been de-cluttered.
3. Keeping personal items in view
If your house is full of family pictures and personal mementos, it will be more difficult for potential buyers to visualize themselves the place as “home.” This will lower the offer prices received, the number of offers submitted, and may even result in your property remaining on the market longer than expected. Keep your personal items packed away.
4. Saving painted murals and bold color schemes
Bold color and painted murals are often very personalized and appealing to a small number of buyers. Neutral colors and themes appeal to the greatest number of buyers. This applies to your furniture as well.
That red and black leather living room set? Bright orange walls in the master bedroom? You may want to consider renting neutral furniture and re-painting the walls while your house is on the market. The idea is to appeal to the largest number of buyers, and neutral themes and colors are the best way to do so!
Murals are not always a bad idea to keep, particularly if the mural was professionally painted. Though, if your house in Maryland isn’t selling and has been sitting on the market for longer than expected, you just may be surprised how quickly you receive an offer after painting over it.
5. Lingering odors
Every home has a smell, make sure yours is a good one. Scented candles and air freshener scents will only mix with unpleasant odors rather than eliminate them. Potential buyers coming through your house may also find air freshener scents offensive, having the opposite of the desired effect.
The best way to combat odors? Deep cleaning. Carpets, bedding, curtains, and fabric furniture often harbor the greatest number of odors. Keep bedding and curtains freshly laundered. For carpets and furniture, hire a professional cleaner or clean those items yourself.
If you plan to list your house on the market, be sure you have the time, energy, and money needed to put into your house to get it sold for top dollar. Even after addressing the items listed above, the market is unpredictable, and your house may not sell as quickly as expected or at all!