I like to look through articles to see what applies and what doesn't. Let's face it, our real estate market here in Hot Springs is NOT what you are reading about in major headlines. I've covered that ad nauseum so we will not go there THIS time .

I've looked through a posting from realtytimes.com (a good source for you as well, although they tend to broadcast more to agents) about the 5 biggest turn offs to home buyers.

Here is their list:

  1. Overpricing for the market
  2. Smells
  3. Clutter
  4. Deferred Maintenance
  5. Dark, dated interior.

Now...I do not know if these are THE top five... but they are certainly in the top 8 and it would behoove any would be seller to address 4 of these issues before that seller even thinks about going on the market with a home... unless you want to discount that price substantially, and who really wants to do that? 

Browse around in the blog titles and you will find some previous postings on this subject. There is a small dissertation in "seller's helps", "getting that home ready", etc. so there is no real reason to add more comment to these topics...BUT... how about if I put in here some things that have actually happened...here, in THIS market, and reactions of MY perspective buyers to these topics??? THAT might be of some value to you, no???

I have had listings that are overpriced for the market because in the end, I need to do what a client wants me to do. Keep in mind the word, "MARKET". An appraiser might put a VALUE on your home that is actually higher than the market will bear. The sad truth is that if you price over-market, all you are doing is using your agent's resources, $$$ and time to help sell the homes that are less expensive. Over market prices discourage the most important thing...SHOWINGS. Once you get them to the property, the home better WOW them from the get-go, because if it is just well maintained... they will be outta there quickly. Work with your agent (I'd like to help, so give me a shout). Keep an open mind... I'm sorry, but your home is just another can of beans on the shelf.

I have had clients turn right around and walk out of a home because of a smell. They took 3 steps inside, turned right around and walked right back out to the car. More than once, also. If you cover it up with candles or odor controllers, they will wonder exactly that...what are you covering up.

Clutter can be ignored by some, but certainly not all. You need to appeal to the masses. DEHUMANIZE the space. Buyers do not want to see your clutter... they want to see space enough for THEIR clutter. Pack it up and put it in storage.

First, people watch too many "reality"-realty shows (many are staged) and they are paranoid of neglected maintenance. Last week, the first thing a guy did in a showing was walk strainght to the air conditioning return vent and look at the filter. It was fairly well clogged... It spoke to a lack of maintaining simple things... if the simple things aren't maintained, what about the other things??
Secondly, a good home inspector will flag issues regarding deferred maintenance and there you are, with a contract and a closing date coming at you like a freight train and you are under pressure.

If this is the case, lighten it up to the neutral palette. There are things you can do to reasonably fix that. Dark looks smaller. I hate listening to the Realty shows on TV... "OH, that is SO dated!" and they walk, or they pick the house to pieces from then on.

So... poke around here and there on the site...there are hints for sellers in numerous places. If you want to go to the realtytimes page for this, here's the link: