The spring home buying season is coming to a close.
Is your house still on the market?
You may be wondering what went wrong with your sale.
You had buyers visit.
But here you are.
Stuck with your old house for the summer.
Your family and friends don’t understand it. They all have told you your house seems like a great deal.
But did you know that there are particular things buyers look for…and don't want to find?
A seller can avoid having a buyer walk out by preparing for the following:
Top 12 Warning Signs Causing You To Lose Out On Your House Sale
1 Days On Market (DOM)
Days on Market is a statistic offered on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings.
While everyone knows that a house may be on the market for a couple of months, anything over 100 days is a warning sign. It signals buyers that there may be a problem with the property. If a property has been listed that long without a sale, chances are there are major issues that caused other buyers to pass.
The best way to avoid triple digit days on market is to price right, get an inspection before putting the house on the market, and to have all of your paperwork in order.
If your listing with your agent is ending, consider waiting before relisting. Make changes and take new photos.
If the property is in a known war zone - an area where gang violence part of daily life - buyers may be wary.
Price your property very competitively to get it sold before your neighbors! It is likely that things will only get worse over time.
3 Environmental Hazards
Some buyers are very particular about the surrounding neighborhood.
If there are waste dumps, nuclear power plants, large industry, or even correctional facilities nearby, some buyers will be cautious.
The same can be said of major transportation corridors like highways and railroads. More recently buyers have become concerned about power lines and cell towers.
If a buyer brings up a point, try to address the issue in the most positive way possible.
If you have positive information on new zoning, let the buyers know.
4 Foundation/Structural Problems
Once buyers get out to the property, structural soundness is probably the most important consideration.
Major structural issues can be complicated and expensive to repair. Large cracks in the foundation, walls or floors that cause doors or windows to jam are a signal of potentially major repairs in the future.
If you can afford to do so, make the necessary repairs so buyers don’t have that headache after purchase.
5 Roof Problems
Next to structural issues the roof is the next place buyers look for trouble.
Any roof damage can cause water infiltration in the house.
This is the start of other issues, like damage to drywall and possibly mold and rot. Any signs of leaks or water damage will be a big warning sign to buyers.
Before you put your house up for sale, have the roof inspected if you suspect damage. Attend to anything that needs repair or replacement.
If you still have water stains from leaks that were repaired, make the necessary cosmetic changes, such as fresh paint, to give buyers peace of mind.
6 Stains on Walls, Floors, or Ceilings
Water damage may also come from plumbing problems.
Buyers will think twice about buying your house if they suspect major renovations or hazardous mold are in their future.
Address any issues immediately.
No buyer wants to inherit your problems!
The sooner the work is done, the less likely the damage will spread.
Keep receipts handy so buyers can know if they will be covered by a warranty.
7 Mold & Rot
Damaged surfaces are a sign of trouble to any buyer.
Wood rot and mold are often side effects of leaks.
If a buyer sees damaged surfaces they may think there still is a bigger issue present and walk away.
Mold has a distinctive smell that alerts savvy buyers to trouble.
If there was water damage that was addressed, make sure that all surfaces in the surrounding area were inspected and that all necessary repairs were done.
8 Pest and/or Insect Problems
In addition to water damage, pest problems will also be a cause for concern to buyers.
Make sure that any problems are resolved and that you clean thoroughly before putting the house up for sale.
Be prepared to show contracts and certificates for pest control. Warranties give added peace of mind.
Buyers might object to the lingering odor of your cabbage or fish dinner from the night before – avoid any strong-smelling food the days before you expect visitors.
There are other more serious odors that will give them cause for concern. If there are odors from the drains, it may indicate that there are plumbing or sewage problems.
If the smell is from mold or moisture –either from previous water damage or a damp basement, address the issues before the house is put on the market.
When the smell is coming from a nearby factory or highway, there may be nothing you can do. If this is an occasional occurrence, be sure to let buyers know that this doesn’t happen every day.
Fix the issues you can, and be prepared to address any concerns about the neighborhood.
One of the biggest hazards is an old or faulty electrical system.
Be sure breakers and wiring are in good condition and fix anything that is questionable. These days picky buyers don’t want to buy problems – even at a reduced price.
Radon, carbon monoxide, and asbestos may also be a concern to buyers looking at older properties.
Be prepared to show all invoices, permits and warranties to buyers.
Buyers will have this tested during the inspection period, so be prepared to show your own testing results.
11 DIY and Unpermitted Work
Everyone loves watching those home renovation shows. What buyers don’t love are repairs and renovations that are botched by well-meaning property owners.
Unless you are extremely handy, hire professionals to do repairs and renovations before putting your house up for sale.
This is also advantageous because you can show buyers warranties and permits for the work.
Be critical about work you have done yourself.
Would you accept the quality level if you were the one buying?
12 Old HVAC
Old heating or air conditioning systems may cause your buyer to pause.
It can be costly to replace, be energy inefficient and cause leaks or gas build up in the house.
If you do not plan to replace the old systems prior to sale, have them serviced and show any written concerns to prospective buyers. In that way, it will be one less surprise on the inspection report.
If your home is still on the market, summer can be a very stressful time. Most people are not focused on buying a house at this time of year. This may extend the time it takes to sell your property.
If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help.
If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this summer, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.
Contact us for details.
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