Our continued series on the 12 reasons why your home isn’t selling is getting personal this week.
In our last post, we talked about how things like smells and clutter can ruin a home’s reputation on the real estate market. This time, we’re delving into the truth about bathrooms and their importance in a home sale. We’ll also discuss what your closet really says about you and, finally, you’ll find out how being a ‘lurker’ could make you the reason your home doesn’t sell.
Read on to find out all the helpful advice that gets your hold sold and sign up on the right for our blog so you won’t miss out on the third and final installment coming out next week.
4. It’s a Bathroom, No Longer Your Throne
Okay, that’s a silly way to put it but sometimes humor can help with a sensitive topic, like well, ‘toilet personalization’.
When prospective buyers are checking out the bathrooms, they’re doing much more than checking out the plumbing.
The bathroom can and will make or break a home sale. We’ve seen it many times. It’s very easy to predict which home will have its sale changes improved by a bathroom and which ones will have its changes diminished. You could have the best plumber in the world interested in the home and if the bathroom isn’t up to snuff, it could still kill the scale.
Let’s explain using a scale from worst to best bathrooms. Let’s say we’re talking about first-time home buyer homes of modest to mid-range pricing. Higher end and luxury bathrooms are more fun, but on a whole other level and much more complicated, so let’s keep this experiment simple.
Starting at the bottom. The worst bathroom you could have for a showing is one that is too personalized, older fixtures, has not been maintained, AND it’s dirty. That combination will make the bathroom a very hard selling point in the home. It may also make some people run from the home.
A little better than that but still pretty bad is the home donning an older bathroom that personalized but clean but not maintained. Updating a bathroom scares people. Seeing any type of leak, mold, mildew, crack, rust, etc. give buyers the sense the home has been neglected. This will work against you in many different ways.
Aim for at least a bathroom that is clean and well maintained with no signs of mold, mildew, rust, etc. This one will draw potential buyers in and won’t be as much of a hot button issue especially, if it’s not too personalized. Keep the colors neutral and the finishes and fixtures current.
The bathroom that’s the best bet is the well maintained, newly-updated, sparkling bathroom that look like it stepped right out of the finest hotel.
My best advice here is the strip the bathroom down to the bare minimum. Hide the toilet brushes, plungers, personal care items, toothbrushes and no used towels. Pack what you don’t use. No bath mats! They’re a trip hazard and they get dirty fast.
Do all of this before your listing photos, then you’ll have very little upkeep to worry about. Just before showings, it’s easy enough to tuck away the things from the shower, the wet towels, etc. Think dorm room living where your stuff doesn’t exist in the bathroom if you’re not using it.
Leave out a few fresh hand towels (white or neutral colors looks best but any clean, nice hand towel in a color that coordinates with the bathroom). Other than that a small vase with flowers, if you can keep them fresh for every showing or a couple other small decorative items strategically placed to make the room look large and neat will work wonders.. Some suggestions: small plant, small flower arrangement (silk is just fine and sometimes prettier!), a few candles, wrapped bar soap, upscale hand soap pump, a small décor item. Really, just make one little grouping on the vanity, keep it simple.
The bottom line: clear out all signs of life, get it really clean and leave out just a few styled decorations on the counter.
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5. Messy Closet – Messy Life
This goes back to the issue of clutter. When your closet is packed full, disorganized and things are falling off the shelves or covering the floor, people just want to get away.
We’re not trying to say that people are judging you by your closets but, people are kinda judging you from your closets. It’s hard not to, in all fairness, a closet is a look deep inside how people live everyday.
Buyers will also be curious about the home’s storage space and will want to check closets and cabinets to visualize how they can fit their life inside your home. It’s important to ensure your closets are organized, and show their greatest potential as to how much they can hold. It sends a negative message if your storage spaces are cluttered with items falling out.
6. Being in your personal spaces is uncomfortable for people
Let’s start with this tip: Sever all emotions from you and the home you’ve put on the market. Try to understand that home is about the occupants who live there, not just the space or building. Your next house will feel like home before you know it because you will be personalizing your space and creating new memories.
Next, make your personal spaces as clean and generic as possible. Consider this as an opportunity to make anyone interested in your home, comfortable in the space.
Things need to go that you may not even consider like personal brand preferences (Pepto Bismol on the counter…ewww) can make a difference when people are viewing your house. It’s hard but the more you take into consideration – the more at home potential buyers can feel in a well-maintained home that’s ready for them to move into, the faster your home will sell.
The final tip we have is the most important. During all showings and any open houses, inspections or appraisals you should be out of the home. You will put yourself in a very tough spot if you insist on being around for showings or open houses, even if you think you can talk about your house better than anyone. You’ll only serve to convince the potential buyer that you are still emotionally attached to your home. They’re right in that aspect, so getting over that will help you detach. Then you can work towards selling your current home and move onto to the next stage of your life.
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7. Curb Appeal – The Last Chance at A First Impressio
Not only is landscaping a way to help increase the chance of selling your home. It can help sell you home for even more than if you neglect it!
According to a 2018 article on Forbes.com
“Landscaping is probably the best and easiest, most affordable way to increase your home value in the first year,” says Hopkins. It makes sense—healthy trees, blooming flowers or plants and neatly trimmed lawns make a house, well, prettier. Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, says some of the most impactful ROI can be earned outside of the home, and shares three easy, low-cost steps homeowners can take to make it happen.
- Strategically plant native trees, which can reduce energy costs by as much as 50%, plus raise the value of neighboring homes
- Plant young shrubs and leave space for it to grow to full size, as this will help cool your property
- Replace annual plants or flowers with perennial foliage to help cut costs
What not to do: Aoyagi warns against installing synthetic turf and gravelscaping, as both can increase energy costs and degrade environmental resilience, as well as removing established trees.
Stay tuned for our last three honest reasons your home may not be selling. We’re also here to answer your questions about your home and putting it on the market or buying a new home.
Feel free to contact us here with any questions or comments you may have.