Selling your home is often fairly straight forward; however, you may encounter some pickier homebuyers while your home is on the market. Depending on how quickly you need to sell your home, you may have to give in to some demands for repairs or changes to keep from losing a sale. You may even be surprised by some of the issues we have had buyers ask our sellers to address or it was a potential deal breaker.
Electrical Outlet Covers
Yes, one of the most affordable home fixes, missing electrical outlet covers are often a turn off for some buyers. For many, it is the idea of an incomplete electrical component that leads to more serious thoughts of potential electrical issues. On the plus side, fixing this is fairly simple, affordable, and provides a large amount of piece of mind.
Missing Window Blinds
This one is understandable from a real estate point of view, but many sellers don’t see why it is of concern. Blinds and even drapes can add to the overall effect on the “look” of a home and blinds are often seen as part of the home. It is often between the initial viewing and the final walk through when the seller will take down and pack up the blinds and/or drapes that they had up. Without the blinds in place during the final walk through, buyers are seeing a different look—one they may not like. For sellers, drapes are a part of personal décor and are ok to pack away or leave as per the contract but since blinds are seen as a part of the window dressing, if they are not explicitly excluded in the purchase contract, it is best to leave them behind.
Lightbulbs are fairly simple, much like outlet covers; however, replacing dead lightbulbs is just another of the many tasks for a home buyer to take care of. By replacing the bulbs—or even batteries in certain appliances or smoke detectors—can be a simple yet impactful way to make the home feel move in ready. It may even buy you some leniency when other repairs are needed.
You may be used to the handle you have to turn the opposite way to get it to work or the wiggle-push-wiggle-nudge you have to give to the garage door but these little “quirks” in your home can be major annoyances to buyers. They haven’t had the time to learn the ways around doors or other quirks and will just become frustrated during a showing that they can’t move from one room to the next with ease.
Whether it is the cat liter box you work diligently to cover up or the potpourri you keep in the guest bathroom, smells can trigger emotions in potential buyers. Odd or unexpected smells, even if they aren’t bad, can make a buyer turn up their nose (so to speak) to your home.
The concern for this isn’t always from a picky buyer but from a home inspector attempting to be thorough in their work. If you have an older home, it is likely that floors or stairs can creak. It is important to have your realtor represent your home honestly and explain to potential buyers that creaky floors aren’t a sign of anything bad, just age showing on a house.
Selling and Buying Perspectives
If you are selling your home, it is best to consider these seven things as well as other similar items that may come up during a walk through or an inspection of your home and be prepared to be asked to fix things. While is may seem silly to you, a homebuyer is trying to get their money’s worth and ensure a ready-to-move-in home really is fully ready to be moved into with minimal repairs on their end.
If you are buying, be prepared to see some aspects of the home you are looking at to not be new. Some things, especially cosmetic things that don’t impact the safety, function, use, or lifetime of an expensive item (like the AC or roof), shouldn’t be seen as deal breakers. Instead, consider them your first official task as a homeowner to take care of.