The Top Three Deal Killers When Selling Your Home

If you ask what is the top issue that kills a home purchase deal or prevents a house from selling, most people who are not buying or selling a house will generally answer – PRICE.  Although, I agree that PRICING is very important; it is generally quite a way down the list for most actual Buyers (unless the buyer is a real estate investor).
From my experience since 2003, here are my Top Three Deal Killers when you are selling your home in the Atlanta area once the Buyer has picked a general area or neighborhood of the city.  Surprisingly, today, they are the same deal killers as 10 years ago.
Here is my list of the top three deal killers when selling your home – nothing fancy, just my opinion.

  1. Killer 1 – Making your house hard to see. 
    The inability to see your house or extreme difficulty in scheduling a showing can pretty much guarantee you that you will continue to live in your current home.  This deal killer is generally manifested in one or more of three distinctly different ways.  Many times a failed home sale effort will have more than one of these “hard to see” deal killers.
    a.) No pictures or poor Pictures for online websites
    You will find differing estimates, but realistically today, 100% of buyers will view your home on line either before or right after they see it in person.  Work with your agent (of course that would be us) to prepare the house for photos and make sure that the photos show the specific current hot buttons for Buyers.  If you only have one front photo or worse, no photo at all, Buyers (and Agents) wonder what is there to hide and will generally not visit the property.
    b.) “Shown by Appointment Only” Remarks
    Security is always important, so don’t show your house to folks who just “drive up” and want to see inside.  However, unless there are specific extenuating circumstances, the longer you force an “appointment” to be made or require “talking to the agent” before showing, the longer you will remain in your house.  You are going to get calls to see your house – especially now, since inventory levels are REALLY low – so be ready.  Have a contact number where you can be reached during the day and do not leave the house to go to work or shopping unless it is in “ready to show” condition.  An agent should be able to contact you and show your house with no more than a 4 hour notice – the shorter the better.
    c.) Staying in the house when showing
    If you stay in the house when it is being shown, you WILL stay in the house forever.  There are a number of reasons for this, so just leave during the showing. NOTE: Always take your house keys (not just the garage door opener) with you or you WILL get locked out.
  2. Killer 2 – Smoking in your house
    No one has ever requested that I find them a “smoker house”, not even smokers.  The only reason that this is not number one on the list is that the Buyer has to get into the house for this to be an issue.  Once inside, this is the “numero uno” of Deal Killers when selling your house. Do not smoke in the house, at the doorway, or in the garage where the smell will linger and get back inside the house.  If you have smoked in your house, think about repainting, having the ductwork cleaned, and having a professional house cleaning.  At the very least, have the carpets professionally cleaned and the furnace filter replaced with a high quality micro filter with baking soda in the filter.  Please do not burn scented candles to cover up smoking – they add to the smell and pose a fire hazard during showings.
  3. Killer 3 – Failing to clean up after your pets
    Many people love pets – including me.  Most people love THEIR pets, not yours.  THEIR pets are sweet angels – YOUR pets are smelly dogs, cats, and other vermin.  Move litter boxes, beds, and feeding bowls out of the kitchen or other food prep and food storage areas.  I see a number of cat owners who keep the litter box in the pantry – not sure why???  If you have inside pets, have the house professionally cleaned top to bottom and replace the furnace filter with a high quality micro filter element.  Also, make arrangements for the pets to be kept outside the house when you are not available to remove them.   Do not force the agents or potential Buyers to look out for your pets.  Non-traditional pets – snakes, tarantulas, and large birds – just freak out buyers and they will generally leave without seeing the house. If you have pets in the house, be sure that this is noted in the agent listing.  Pet management is especially important during the crucial, first 30 days that the house is on the market.

These are my top three home sale deal killers.  Feel free to ask a question or add a post to our blog.

I appreciate the feedback!

PS: WE NEED HOUSES FOR TO SELL – we are almost OUT of Inventory!

Thinking of Selling or Buying or both, please give us a chance to show you why we remain one of the top Real Estate Teams in the SW Atlanta area.