This last weekend, I drove through a local neighborhood hoping to visit a property that some friends of mine were interested in. Unfortunately, that particular property wasn’t open, but there were other open houses in the neighborhood so I decided to take a quick peek. Much to my dismay, I witnessed the following mistakes that were made by some very experienced realtors…shame on them! I’m sharing them with you so that you can avoid making the same errors and potentially turning buyers off!
1) They were NOT ready! As I drove up, the garage door was open and it was a complete mess in there. You’d be lucky to make it through without injuring yourself! Not a very good first impression if you ask me, especially since the sign on the lawn advertised “beautiful curb appeal.” When you point features out like that “beautiful curb appeal” or my personal favorite, “I’m beautiful inside”…you better live up to your word and in my experience, the reality never lives up to the signage…not a good start!
3) The pets were loose in the house! This is an absolute no-no because you just never know who may be a) allergic and b) afraid of dogs/cats. I had my daughter with me and she’s a little skiddish about pets, especially those she does not know. She tried to play it cool, but the more she ran around me, the more the dog thought she was playing with him.
4) It was still their house. All around this house, there were generations of family photos covering the walls. This was obviously a family home and the kids have since grown up and the owners no longer needed such a large home. If the house still looks like yours, it’s very hard for buyers to envision it being theirs…DEPERSONALIZE and invest in staging…it’ll pay you back in spades!!!
5) Terrible fliers. Kudos to the agents for greeting me upon entry and providing me with a flier, but can we put a little effort into making it nicer. It looked like it was printed on “used” paper (not fresh), printed on a black and white printer badly in need of an ink cartridge change or from a copier with the same problem. Keep in mind that this is not just an info sheet, it’s also the walkaway impression a buyer has about you as the representative of this property. What I walked away with made an impression, but it was not a good one.
So what can you do to make sure you don’t make these same mistakes?
- Organize the garage – see my last blog post about staging garages or be ready and don’t have the garage door up
- Remove pets from the property while the house is on the market or at the very least, during an open house
- Address pet smells – trust me, if you have pets, you have pet smells!
- Depersonalize the property of personal photos and other items and invest in staging your home/listing if you want it to sell
- Don’t cheap out on fliers. You don’t have to have fancy, full color glossy brochures, but with today’s technology, there’s no excuse for such poor marketing material being handed out.
Would love to hear what your thoughts are on today’s article…please share your comments below.