Selling a home in Northern Virginia may seem easy. After all, it’s a seller’s market, and buyers are beating down doors in some neighborhoods. However, there are ways you can sink your sale, even when the buyers are willing to buy as-is. The name of the game is to maximize your return, so you’ll want to take care of these things before the pictures are taken and the showings start! Don’t assume you’ll rake in the buyers…you may just be inviting low-ball offers.

Obvious damage

The easiest way to turn off the buyer is to present them with a home that needs fixing before they even move in. While many buyers expect to do some renovation, if your home looks like a bunch of frat boys threw a wild party or you took out your frustration with a sledgehammer, then you’ll want to invest repairing the damage. It’s amazing what some drywall patch, floor buffing and polishing, and a fresh coat of paint can do for appeal!

Gross stains

Accidents happen. But you don’t want your buyers to see the evidence! If your kid spilled KoolAide (or Grandma spilled a nice merlot) on the white carpet, or Fluffy found a dark corner to mark her territory, check into professional cleaning. If that doesn’t work, it may be worth your while to replace the carpet in that room before putting your home on the market.

Speaking of pets

You know the old saying that “kids should be seen and not heard”? Well, when it comes to selling your home, “Pets should NOT be smelled or heard!”

We’ve already talked about dirty carpet, but pet smells can linger elsewhere, too. Consider cleaning upholstery, invest in good quality air-fresheners, and nix the littler box. At a bare minimum, keep the litter box meticulously clean and hidden away.

If you are having an open house, consider boarding Fluffy and Fido for a day or two, and give the home a complete airing and hide all the pet evidence. You don’t want loud barking or whining to spoil the event. For showings, keep pets penned up and out of the way, or take them with you on a drive.

Carpet where it shouldn’t be 

A few decades ago, carpet in the bathrooms and kitchen were a thing. Eww, gross! So if your home looks like it went back to the 80’s with Marty McFly and the Delorean, then you’ll want replace the flooring in those two rooms. Believe me, when buyers see carpeting where it shouldn’t be, they wonder what it’s hiding…and it’s nothing good.

Your lack of housekeeping skills

If you are one of those people who clean by shoving as much as you can into closets, cabinets, and drawers, then I have some unfortunate news for you. BUYERS OPEN EVERYTHING! Your mess will be on display for everyone who comes through your home. So, no hiding your clutter. Invest some time in actually getting rid of it. You’ll be happier, too!

Decorating Faux Pas

Buyers don’t often have a lot of vision. You may like the dark amethyst paint in your bedroom or the Star Wars-themed media room, but your potential buyers may have trouble envisioning the space with their own color and style. If your home looks like it’s straight off the set of the Brady Bunch, or your color palette is a bit outside neutral zone, then you may benefit from some fresh paint. Get rid of personal memorabilia, like your collection of unicorns you’ve kept since childhood…or at least banish it to storage. Trust your Realtor when they suggest ways to decorate or stage your home to attract, rather than repel, buyers.

Your black thumb

You’ve tried and tried to master the art of keeping plants and grass alive, I get it. But dead or weed infested flower beds, brown grass, and dying trees will scare away intrepid buyers. Curb appeal is absolutely necessary. What do you want buyers to see as they drive up to your home and walk to the door? Hire a lawn service to bring your lawn back into shape, grab some neighborhood kids to help you pull weeds and prune bushes, and buy a couple of colorful hanging baskets. If you kill the plants, buy more. The worst thing you can do is ignore the outside of your home.

Obstinate sellers

All sellers want top offers for their homes. But if the dollar signs are clouding your vision, you may be sabotaging your sale. If the home inspection turns up major problems in your home, but you refuse to work with the buyers to take care of the issues, then they are likely to walk away.

We are here to help! We can help you prepare and stage your home to sell quickly and for the best possible price. As always, if you or someone you know need help selling or finding a dream home in 2018, please do not hesitate to call us. Contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or Jason@JasonAndBonnie.com.