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8 mistakes to avoid when you want to sell your house
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Odors from cigarette smoke and pets are worst, with mildew smell on 3rd place.
Do not believe some spray will kill your odor. Ask someone who does not live in your house (and who has a healthy nose, e.g. a non-smoker) for an honest opinion if your house smells. Do not be mad at him afterwards if you do not like the answer.
All houses have some personal smell, at least from cooking. If opening windows and getting rid of pets and cigarettes does not eradicate the odors, you might have to treat these areas with an ozone machine. Ozone produces an oxidizing agent that helps eradicate odors. Do not try to cover up smells by blowing gallons of perfumed spray.
Dogs may frighten or irritate the buyer. Do not even think of locking your dog into a room and telling the people not to open the door to that area. Buyers want to be able to see the whole house. In general bring your pets to a friend during the whole sale, also to avoid odors.
- Dirty bathrooms and kitchens
Messy bathrooms are an instant turnoff. The bathroom and the kitchen are what people associate with hygiene (or lack of it). Your cleaning time is best invested in these two rooms. Go and buy a new shower curtain and a new set of rugs with matching towels in bright colors. This is a small amount of money compared to what you try to sell.
- Dark Rooms
You may want to put in stronger light bulbs if necessary, install additional light fixtures, maybe repaint the walls. It may even be necessary to trim a tree to let the sun light in better. Cleaning windows is a good idea also.
- Busy Wallpaper, non-neutral carpeting
It is ok to live your personal style while you live there but to sell the house faster, do keep the walls and carpeting plain. No pink walls with green carpet! (Yes, I have seen this combo and I ran away!) You have to forget about your personal taste and reduce the decoration to the smallest common denominator.
- Smelly damp basements
Buyers may conclude (possibly in error) that there is a plumbing problem and they may be scared away by that, partly because they are not plumbers and do not know what it takes to fix it.. If you have leaks or drainage issues, take care of them.
- Bad first impression
Remember that the first impression is lasting and hard to overcome? Spend some time or money on landscaping. $500 invested here may bring up your price by thousands.
Again, the honest opinion of a friend will show you what you got used to see (and ignore) in years of living there.
- Your yourself
If a real estate agent shows your home, leave it. Home buyers should not feel like they are intruding into your space. If you do not work with a real estate agent, do not follow them but leave them alone for a while. Stay in one room, if they have questions they will come to you.