5 Uncomfortable Topics No-One Wants to Tell You About Your House When It's For Sale!

Dated: 01/08/2020

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Through the years I have had so many special clients that have developed into friendships. My background is Interior Design and getting a client "market -ready" is my favorite part of the whole process. I walk the home with the client making design suggestions and taking notes. During this phase I give them as many tips as possible to help make their home sparkle for photography. This appointment is crucial to the relationship but can sometimes be tedious and downright scary! There are times I really need to address things but it may be "too much" You do not want to embarrass your client or make it awkward for them.The agent has your best interest at heart and really hopes that you will recognize these things. My clients could be embarking on a new exciting move, grieving or in the midde of a major financial strain. 

Do you have your house listed and for some reason no one is chomping at the bit to buy it? Lets take a look at this list! 

Buckle Up! These are all valid points that cannot be denied for homes not selling. Here we go!

1. Your house smells bad. You cannot smell it,but buyers sure can! Get rid of all Glade Plug-Ins and do a master clean with a natural product. I suggest Thieves Oil by Young Living. No this is not an ad for their company,no I do not get paid by them. I have trained some of my clients on this product who were masking smells in their homes. This is a clean herbal smell. Stop smoking in your home. Clean the cat box religiously. Stop cooking greasy,fishy,strong spice while your home is on the market. Your upholstery,drapery and carpet all neeed to be cleaned by a non toxic company. Find someone that performs the dry process. Steaming carpets and leaving them wet is a host of a whole other problem.  If you have dogs,upholstery and your air filters all need to be vacuumed and changed regularly. I cannot tell you how many times I have opened a home to show a client and the odor hits them at the threshold. They cannot picture themselves living there with your scent. They want to leave now.

2.Your clutter makes people nervous.Go through your home and be ruthless. No one cares that you have lighthouses from every state of the Union in china cabinets! The focus becomes the lighthouses not your house! Closets stuffed to the gills with random crap. Take time to empty that closet out and purge. Buy containers to house all small things for the closet shelf. I once had a client that insisted that "he was going to live in his house while on the market" He had an excess of 50 wire hangers hanging in the laundry room that he insisted needed to stay there,among other clutter hang ups. His house did not sell. It was a sellers market,but his stubborness cost him thousands. An organized home says I care and love my home. So many times in showing an edited streamlined home is a win for everyone,both buyers and sellers.

3. Make your bathrooms and closet "Hotel-like"

This is such a sticking point with so many potential buyers. No one wants to see your toothbrushes or your nose hair clippers sitting on the counter charging. Wet footprints or matted bathrugs--EWE! My advice here is to completely strip the bathroom for no signs of life. No magazines, plungers,personal care items,no bath mats,no used towels. A few white towels (that you do not use) hanging a candle and a live plant on the counter.Your master closet makes people crazy! Deal breakers often happen in the master closet. A client will look at his or her partner and say"nope closet is too small,lets go" Take the time to get down to basics in your closets. Purge season items and store them. Color arrange your shirts for example for white to dark. Take out all dirty shoes and laundry piled up. It is a complete turn off. The closet needs to be organized with bins all matching housing random items  Simple is best.

4. Clean Up your Yard

Nothing says "i don't care" more than a littered dirt patch,untrimmed yard. Folks its all about first impressions. I am amazed at the many houses I have toured where the inside was pristine and "show ready" and the outside was "meh" "You are going to get to the yard,you did not have time,you have three kids,winter came early". Buyers do not care. Power wash the sidewalks,and front porch make your entrance gleam. One giant pet peeve of mine is a scratched front door that just needs paint and new door handle and lock. Please make sure your keyed entry works and does not need to have a magical formula of pushing and pulling in order to gain entrance to a showing. This has happened more times than I can count. It makes potential buyers think " why,its a simple fix,do they not care?"

Trim your shrubs,plant grass seed in those patches. If you have toys strewn around,put them in bins. Garbage cans in a discreet place? 

5. Make it a CLEAN SLATE

Neutralize,purge and organize. Make it a clean slate. Who lives here? Your potential buyer! They are not focusing on anything but the clean sparkling kitchen,the fresh flowers in a vase on the island and soft music in the background. Basically selling a house is a psychological competive game!  There are a lot of houses out there competing against yours! Why not put in the effort early before you list. I have clients who refused to play the game and it cost them. They did not want to put all of Susies Barbies away because she loves them. All 30 of them? Lined up on the living room sofa? A person has to be able to visualize themselves living in these surroundings. Do you want to have the edge on your competiiton and win or have regret? A little elbow grease and organization will certainly pay off. 

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Kathleen McMahan

Kathleen McMahan, a Realtor at Lake Norman Realty, exemplifies hard work,integrity and drive,all of which have earned her a strong reputation among her colleagues and clients throughout the Lake Norma....

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