Monday, May 31, 2010

What sellers should do from a buyers point of view

On Saturday I went house hunting and it was a real eye opening experience. There were lots of families going through all the same homes as us and many of us thought the same things, so I thought I’d share what we thought sellers could do from a buyers point of view.

1.) Clean the house. Most of the houses I saw were vacant, yet they were the ones that were filthy. Clean the carpets professionally, mop floors, scrub down walls and doors and the house will look much fresher.
2.) Update if you can. A simple coat of neutral paint can work wonders and doesn’t cost the earth. Sometimes new taps and handles can make a bathroom or kitchen look so much better. If you can update more, that’s great. If not, do the minimum to make it look decent.
3.) Air it out and make sure it smells nice. Some of the homes had that awful musty, been locked up for a long time smell. One of them smelt like stale cat and dog urine combined with rot. That is just plain gross and very off putting for the buyer. Opening windows to air the house and leaving some plug-in scents or burning some nice candles before people come through can make a huge difference. Whilst many will say they can look past the smell, others will not and if a house smells, people will not hang around for very long.
4.) Mow the lawn and have the yards looking nice. They don’t have to be completely landscaped, but a well manicured lawn and no weeds in the garden makes a big difference.
5.) Choose your agent carefully. A few of the agents were flat out lying to our faces when we were going through, obviously trying hard to get a sale, but it turned everyone off. Suss out your agent by going to their open homes as a buyer first, to see what they are like. Get recommendations from people as well.
6.) Price your house realistically. Some of the homes we looked at were so overpriced it wasn’t funny. A small home on a small block that stinks in not worth as much as a larger home, with a garage on a larger block in the same suburb. Check what houses are going for in your area before you list.

Those seemed to be the main points everyone was commenting on. I hope this helps you if you are ever looking to sell.


  1. I have to agree with you on this. I quite often look at properties on real estate websites and some of the houses would be so much more appealing if the just did a little bit of work. Nothing too major, just a cleanup would help.

    One thing I've also noticed is that alot of people have clutter in their homes. I think that the less 'stuff' there is, the bigger a place looks and feels.

  2. I completely agree with you. Houses with very bad condition will not compel buyers to buy it. Periodic cleaning of empty houses is a must if one wants to sell it.
    Personal finance

  3. Thanks for the reminders of things I already knew. We are selling (flipping) a house and plan to do every one of the things you mentioned.

  4. Clutter is so true Alicia!
    Parag, I am amazed how many sellers will let an empty house just sit and not clean it!

    Good luck with the sale Joe. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.