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5 Reasons a House Won’t Sell

Besides an incorrect asking price, these are the top 5 reasons that buyers say are why they did not buy a house.  The good news is that they are all curable -- if only the seller would have taken the necessary steps before putting it on the market.

  1. Too much work. Often times a homeowner lives with little blemishes and inconveniences that over time are ignored.  It’s these “little” things, when piled one on top of another that seem overwhelming in total. 95% of buyers don’t want to buy projects.  Since these are often overlooked by the owner, ask the REALTOR® to point them out to you.
  2. Too Dark. Most people don’t live in their house with every single light turned on.  But this is exactly how a house should be when a buyer first sees it. Turn on every light including those in closets, bathrooms, and basements.  Don’t be frugal with low wattage bulbs either.  Use at least 60, or better yet 75 watt bulbs.
    Secondly, always leave blinds and curtains open wide, taking advantage of every bit of natural light.  It’s a psychological fact that the brighter a house when a buyer first sees it, the better impression they will have when they leave.
  3. Wallpaper and strong colors.  Even if you have spent thousands of dollars on a designer print, the odds are 10 to 1 against the next person wanting your particular style. Furthermore, if you think it’s too much trouble and hassle to pull it down – so does the buyer.  Paint over Suzie’s pink bedroom walls and the dark red dining room. Spend just 1% of the value of the house on updating and neutralizing and your house will almost certainly sell faster.
  4. Smells Often overlooked by most sellers are everyday smells that are immediately obvious to all buyers. Cooking smells, pet odors, diapers, mold, mildew and smoking are just a few of the many smells that can literally kill a sale.
    Ask your REALTOR® to give you an honest assessment of smells in the house.  Smokers especially may have no “nose” for cigarette smoke, but it is always offensive to non-smokers.  Also, buyers will walk right out of a house with a cat or dog urine smell.  Covering up odors is not the answer either.  Heavy perfume, plug-in air fresheners and candles will always raise a red flag with buyers.
  5. Physical and mechanical defects. A house could have one or two physical defects which alone will not keep a house from selling.  But you’re in for a long market time with a roof, furnace or air older than 15 years, bad windows, peeling paint, or “do it yourself” wiring or plumbing. Remember this: a defect always costs more in the mind of the buyer, than it does to actually fix it. It doesn’t necessarily add 1:1 value to the house, but it most surely will sell quicker than if you did not make the repair. And quicker sales are the best offers!

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