When it comes to house hunting, there are certain criticisms that pop up a lot among buyers when they are looking for the right place. In a competitive market, buyers have the option to be picky, which means as a seller you have to give your home its best possible chance of making a great first impression.
That means stopping common criticisms in their tracks.
There are three deal-killing issues that cause a lot of buyers to walk away from a home, even if that issue could be solved with some simple home staging. Follow these tips to make sure your home won’t get stuck on the market for a while because of one or more of these issues.
Home Staging Tips That Help Avoid Deal-Killing Criticisms
“It’s too cramped”
One of the most common complaints from buyers is that a home feels too small or cramped. In many cases, this has more to do with the perception of the size rather than the reality of it. Some things that cause a home to feel tight are clutter, oversized or bulky furniture, too much furniture in a space, a bad layout, and insufficient lighting.
We always recommend decluttering a home before it goes on the market. Get rid of as much as you can, including paring down the décor on shelves and surfaces, to open up each room and make it feel larger.
Similarly, bulky furniture or too much furniture can crowd a space. Not only does it make it harder to move around the room, but it will also dwarf the size of the space if all the furniture seems like it is stuffed inside of it. Keep the furniture visually lightweight and only have a few necessary pieces in it. Also, make sure there is a nice traffic flow. Don’t block the doors or windows and make sure there is a natural flow to the space.
Lastly, make sure each room has plenty of natural light or artificial lighting to fill in dark corners. A dark space automatically reads as smaller and less welcoming.
“It needs too much work”
In the case of a fixer-upper, this is a given, but many buyers will pass on a home that needs too many cosmetic changes, too. Most buyers simply can’t see past personalized décor. When they walk into a home that has bright colors on the walls, eclectic window treatments, and other customized design, it can be too distracting for them to imagine themselves living in the space. It can also be overwhelming to think about all the changes they will have to make to make it suit their personal style.
That’s why we always recommend neutralizing your home’s décor before putting it on the market. When a home has neutral décor, it is much easier for the average buyer to start imagining their own décor in its place. They won’t feel rushed to change anything to feel comfortable in the home but will instead get excited thinking about what they will be able to do with a blank canvas.
Also, be sure to make any necessary repairs before the home goes on the market to avoid buyers taking money off their offer to cover them and keep it as clean as possible to show that the home has been well cared for.
“It doesn’t feel right”
Similar to the last criticism, this one is often caused by a home feeling too much like a stranger’s home not only because of the décor, but also the personalized touches like family photos and toiletries sitting out on the bathroom counter. Too many reminders that someone else lives in the home breaks up the fantasy for many buyers and gives them an uneasy feeling that they can’t quite put their finger on.
Another way to make a listing feel more welcoming is to set the stage. Make the home smell great by baking some cookies or lighting some candles before a showing, put out fresh flowers to bring some life to the home, and set the dining room table to get their imagination going.
All of these things will create a sense of home and make buyers feel relaxed on a subconscious level. Elements like this will help them overlook things that may not be exactly what they were looking for, but the home “feels” so good that they can’t resist making an offer.