Selling a home can be bittersweet. You’re faced with leaving a place you have called home and you may even find yourself somewhat attached or sentimental. On the other hand, the thought of moving or upgrading to a new location can also be
exciting and a rewarding welcomed change. However, selling your home can be stressful, scary and uncertain, especially if you’re in a hurry or depending on that sale to buy your new home.
This is why it is important to gain insight and feedback directly from our target audience: the buyer. You may think this gives the buyer all the power and it may put you on the defensive but that is far from the truth. You should go into listing your home with an open mind, motivated to work with eager buyers and embrace all suggestions and feedback.
When listing your home there are a few simple rules you should follow so that the selling process can be less stressful and more productive.
- Do not be overly sensitive or easily offended when a buyer points out flaws or asks questions
- Be friendly and accommodating and always make the buyers feel welcomed
- Never show your home when it’s dirty or in disarray
Those rules are directly composed from feedback obtained from multiple prospective buyers and Realtors. Even though the buyer has a Realtor, they want to feel like they can have open communication with the seller (if the seller is present during showing) about the home. After all who knows your home better than you? They (prospected buyers) want to feel welcomed and want the home to feel inviting. The majority of buyers don’t want to feel like they are burdening you or are being rushed through a showing. They also don’t want to tour a home that is dirty, cluttered or overrun with unattended pets.
We recently had a chance to sit down with different prospective homebuyers and pick their brains about what they are looking for and what are major deal breakers that would prevent them from buying a home. Below we have composed a list that is direct insight from a buyer prospective.
Major foundation issues and large gaps
There is a difference between hairline cracks from normal settling and gaping cracks large enough to stick your finger through that indicate sinking. All buyers and specifically a buyer’s inspector will be checking for foundation issues and structural problems from the house shifting on its foundation. Gaping holes indicate more than the normal settling, it can mean the home is sinking into the ground and that is a bigger issue. Not only is it a big issue, it can be very expensive to repair.
Outdated electrical system
Outdated electrical systems propose a multitude of problems such as: limit the number of appliances that can be operated at the same time, run the risk of shock or electrocution and could cause a house fire. Electrical systems and all components should be updated and maintained to prevent rotting, burn outs and shorts. Electrical outlets and plugs should be upgraded and modified with safety features like GFI plugs in some cases. Older homes with outdated systems should be brought up to code and if your home went through a major storm (like hurricane) or was flooded the entire electrical system should be checked. A buyer may have a hard time getting a home insured if it is not up to ordinance code.
Sagging or damaged roof
While no buyer wants to see a damaged roof or shingles, they especially don’t want to see a sagging roof. A sagging roof indicates that there may be a structure issue and the roof can’t support itself. When the roof isn’t straight or sags in spots this is a clear indicator of a bigger issue, more expensive than just simply replacing the roof or a few shingles. This type of problem reflects framing or rafter weaknesses and serious structure problems that are more difficult to repair.
Mold or Mildew
Mildew in a home is a turn off but mold can be the ultimate deal breaker. Not only is mold toxic and leads to is serious health risks but it is also expensive to treat. Mold can’t just be wiped off, you have to hire experienced mold remediation specialists to rid the home of all traces of mold and the mold testing, inspecting and overall treatment can be pricey. Mold is not always on the surface, it can be hidden in between walls and in wood planks, and this is why detailed inspections are required.
Believe it or not buyers have complained about being completely turned off by a home that they loved due to the fact the occupant smoked. Smoking penetrates the sheetrock, surfaces, cabinets, vents and leaves a stale coating that never seems to come out. You can change the carpet, slap on a fresh coat of paint but it will not completely remedy the smell a non-smoker can pick up when they walk through the home. A person with severe allergies will most likely not be able to live in a home that had a smoking occupant. Smoking in your home creates long-term damage and lowers the overall value of the home.
If a home is located in a flood zone and has a history of flooding then you may find it difficult to sell your home and even more difficult to sell to a buyer who needs a loan. There are many restrictions involved with buying a home in a flood zone and some lenders will not loan to buyers in flood zones (especially first-time buyers). Buyers will be required to purchase additional insurance above the regular requirements and that additional coverage is very expensive. Not to mention the homeowners run the risk of losing or damaging their property and furniture.
Hopefully this list created from buyer insight and feedback will give you a better in depth visual on what current in the market buyers are looking for when shopping for a home.