Sellers, Do You Wish You Could Read A Buyer's Mind?
Well, now you can! After many months of interviewing buyers, this post will provide some insight into what buyers are really thinking when they go into your home! I have gathered the input from a focus group of buyers who have asked to remain anonymous.
Nina: What is the most surprising thing you see when you look at a house for sale?
Buyer 1: Sometimes I have to remind myself that I came to an open house and not a yard sale. There's so much stuff on every surface!
Nina: What about just picturing how your own furniture would look in the rooms?
Buyer 2: It's hard for me to picture my furniture in the dining room when there's a bird cage in the corner, a treadmill, a loveseat and mounds of clothes in there.
Nina: We know that kitchens and bathrooms get the most attention from buyers. What are the kitchens and bathrooms like that you are seeing?
Buyer 3: I don't mind when a seller hasn't put in granite or stainless steel appliances. I can change that. What bothers me is when they've priced their house as if they had.
Buyer 4: I agree. Even if the house is kept clean, a 30 year old bathroom vanity is outdated, as are the big lightbulbs surrounding the mirror. It makes the bathroom look like I'm backstage in a Broadway dressing room.
Buyer 2: I think it comes back to price. I realize that most sellers feel connected to their homes. They've hosted birthday celebrations and anniversaries and holidays. They spent money over the years to decorate the house to their taste. Why don't they understand that I'm not going to pay for what is now out-of-date decor.
Buyer 1: That's another thing. Some of these sellers don't seem to have spent any money taking care of their homes.
Buyer 3: You're right! Don't they know you're supposed to have your chimney cleaned and checked if you use it? Or your heating and a/c serviced yearly? I do that in my house.
Buyer 4: I saw one house where the seller had the basement flooded because the water tank let go suddenly. It was years past its life expectancy. The seller ended up having to rip up carpeting, repair walls...just because they left replacing the tank for too long.
Buyer 1: We made an offer on a house and ended up walking away after the home inspection. The home inspector found a ton of mold in the attic because the bathrooms vented into the attic instead of outside. We didn't want to take care of that problem, and neither did the seller.
Nina: So, you're seeing houses that have had neglected maintenance, bathrooms and kitchens that need updating and too much clutter. And, given these things, the houses are priced too high. Is there any advice you'd give to a seller if you could?
Buyer 2: If you're really serious about selling your house, it doesn't make sense to price it too high. Buyers know when your house is priced higher than other houses like yours that have sold.
Buyer 1: Your house is just going to sit on the market, and you're either going to have to keep dropping the price, or let it sit. What's the point?
Buyer 3: Find a Realtor® you can count on for good advice for everything from pricing to marketing. If your Realtor doesn't blog about your listing it's not going to get found.
Buyer 1: Oh, and take a look at the photos of your house online. I can't believe the way some of the photos look so blurry or of cluttered rooms. Do I really want to see a photo of your toilet? We've chosen not to see some houses because of how the photos look online. You need another Realtor® if that's how yours is marketing your home.
Nina: Ok, well thank you all for your feedback. I'm sure sellers whose homes haven't sold will be especially appreciative of your comments. I wish you all the best in finding a new home for yourselves.
Buyer 4: I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're ready to buy. We're just trying to find homes that don't need $100,000 worth of maintenance repairs and are priced right.
Nina: Sellers, if you have any questions about today's interview, please call me at 781-253-3385. Let's set up a time for a free market analysis. I will be happy to price and market your home for sale.