Top 5 Ways To Lose Money Selling Your House

Jennifer Flanders
Jennifer Flanders
Published on September 10, 2022

You really don’t want to lose money when selling your house do you?

It doesn’t take much to turn off buyers. Therefore, getting the most money possible for your home, requires a bit of work. Skipping the following, basic tips, is like throwing money away.

I can guarantee you that you will lose money on the sale of your home if you don’t pay attention to these expert real estate tips from Jenn Flanders Realty! 

1. Ignore your home’s appearance from the curb

“Curb appeal” isn’t just a concept from home and garden TV shows; it’s actually what gets homebuyers out of the car and into the house.

You should literally stand at the curb and take a look at the exterior of your home and the landscaping. Do you like what you see? If you answered no, a little bit of elbow grease can change that.

If your home needs painting, paint it. Stick with neutral colors, such as gray, taupe and white, according to the experts at Benjamin Moore. For a pop of interest, paint the door a coordinating color. Black is popular right now, but red and blue are attractive as well.

Next, turn your attention to your landscaping. Just as you’ll need to touch up the interior, clean the landscaping of any debris. Think of how much time the prospective buyer might be into gardening or other outdoor activities and would love the landscaping to be clean and attractive. If the lawn isn’t dormant, mow it and add fresh mulch to the beds.

Then, add attractive plants (even if they’re potted). Ensure that the exterior of the home is as inviting as possible.

Happy couple walking looking at their house

2. Assuming since you can’t smell it, buyers won’t either

Seriously, this is a big one!!! We’ve all walked into a home and been blasted by stinky, stale odors. Whether they come from pets, kids, cooking, or cigarettes, these odors can have potential buyers running for the door, or verbalizing their disgust with the smell… neither of which are good things!

You might not know but fabrics hold odors so consider having upholstered furniture professionally cleaned. Many of the spray products merely cover up the smell temporarily, making it an ongoing issue. Did you know that you should change the HVAC filters at least once every two-three months? They, too, tend to hold odors. Dry-clean or launder drapes, curtains, and all throw rugs… or remove them, remember sometimes less is more!

If the odor is cigarette smoke, you may need to paint. Wash the ceilings and walls first with ammonia and water. Then, use a shellac-based primer, such as Zinsser B-I-N, before applying the paint.

3. Your bathroom has seen better days

Yes, I understand how difficult it is to keep the hardest-working room in the home tidy. Trust me with a large family it can be a big issue! Many people don’t realize that bathrooms are super important to buyers, so yours should be spotless and completely depersonalized. Take your personal items completely out of the bathroom when prepping or before showing your home! They can be distracting because they are so personal! Leave it looking like a clean, functional, unisex bathroom and that’s sure to score points!

After cleaning and painting (if necessary), remove personal items, such as toothbrushes, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. from the countertop and the /tub shower’s interior. Ensure that the shower curtain and the toilet lid are closed.

And remember, a good rule of thumb for the bathroom is that if something is not decorative, remove it from view.

4. Your home’s interior gives off a“cave” vibe

For as long as I and my realtor colleagues can remember, homebuyers value light and a bright atmosphere over everything. Many times having as much natural light as possible is preferable for most people. Most of the time they don’t know why a dark home feels uncomfortable; it’s more of a perception.

It’s imperative to remedy a lack of natural light in the home. You can do this with additional lighting and by opening all window coverings.

Dark and gloomy doesn’t sell homes. Light and bright do. Light up every dark space in the home.

5. Assume buyers won’t look at your garage.

You won’t like this one… but it’s important!!! CLEAN THE GARAGE.

In their efforts to de-clutter their homes for sale, I see many clients shove all the excess into the garage. Bad move, especially in light of the fact that 86 percent of homebuyers want garage storage space. They can’t picture THEIR stuff in there with all of YOUR stuff dumped into the garage. 

Show them how roomy yours is by removing oversized items (take them to storage) and cleaning the garage with the same zeal you did when cleaning the home. Organize what’s left so that the room screams “Look at all this storage space!”

Ensure that while it’s on the market, your home is the belle of the neighborhood. Correcting these five deal breakers is inexpensive and easy and does play a big role in your home’s presentation. Let me know if you have any questions about staging your home in Sarasota or the surrounding areas!

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