Cosmetic blunders that burn buyers


JESSI HALL - Prepping a home to sell? There’s some serious work cut out for you because your property will elicit an immediate emotional response from buyers.

To make sure that response is positive, avoid these six toxic, cosmetic blunders.

Bold paint choices
– Neutralize, neutralize, neutralize to increase your buyer pool. You may love forest green or deep purple walls, but there’s a good chance your buyers won’t. Give buyers a clean slate and a sense that your home is move-in ready for them, by going with a fresh coat of neutral paint.

ClutterPiles of “stuff” are visually distracting from what you’re trying to sell. Sell, discard, give away or pack away unnecessary items. Keep what remains looking neat and tidy.

Poorly maintained front door – The front door is the portal to your home. It’s the first feature that a buyer sees up close. A marred, scratched or soiled surface suggests the home isn’t getting the tender loving care of proper maintenance. Don’t sent that message to a potential buyer. Tackle the mess with a good scrubbing, shine up the hardware, and consider repainting or replacement, if necessary.

Overgrown landscaping
– Regular mowing, weeding and pruning eliminates the creepy, blighted, abandoned-home look. If you’ve already moved out of the home you’re selling, maintain the landscaping yourself or hire a professional.

Dirt and odors – A foul odor instantly triggers a negative response and can often recall a bad memory. Buyers could subconsciously consider the smell permanent and will quickly move on to a less odorous property. Identify odors, then eliminate them with deep cleaning. Steam cleaning can work wonders. Shampoo carpets, let in fresh air, and deodorize appliances to elevate a home to put its best fragrance forward.

Packed closets – Jam-packed closets send an undesirable message that says, “This house doesn’t have enough room.” Adequate closet space is a must-have for contemporary home buyers, and can elevate your property to the top of a buyer’’s list. To reveal your closets as tidy and roomy, remove the excess and organize what’s left.
When preparing your home for sale, remember that a large part of the purchase decision rests upon a buyer’s psychological response to the look and feel of your property. Giving your home a cosmetic boost helps prevent any negative emotional responses, and increases your odds of a quick sale.

Jessi Hall is a real estate writer with Veterans United Home Loans, a Columbia, MO dedicated provider of VA Loans. Hall is also a former real estate broker and property manager.

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