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Scary Design: What’s Scaring Away Your Buyers?

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

If you’re selling your home, and the price is right, but potential buyers aren't lining up, you might be overlooking a detail or two that may be repelling buyers. Home buyers are generally informed by their own tastes and opinions, their real estate agent’s information, the housing market as a whole, what’s currently trending on the market, and more. Moreover, buyers typically over-estimate the cost of many repairs. What are the biggest factors that might be scaring your buyers away? Take a look at our spooky list and see if any of these may be haunting your home.

1. Bad photos: When these are bad, they’re bad. 95% of buyers look online at photos first! If your pictures don't get their positive attention, it won't get a showing. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer when trying to sell your home. However, your real estate agent should have a portfolio that demonstrates that they know how to frame a shot. Make sure to have an honest look at any photo content you use before letting a potential buyer see it. Sometimes a room's charm can be hard to capture just with a photo. If that happens to be the case, consider contacting a home stager. Home staging professionals should be trained in how to highlight each home's features, no matter the budget. (Check out this link to see all the services we can provide for you!)

2. Over-personalized decor: The personalization of your home is what makes it more than just a house. However, tailoring it specifically to your own tastes may take away from what the buyer sees in a home. There’s always a gray area between what’s commonly accepted and what you may like, but steering too far into your own tastes may change a buyer’s perspective. If you’re a sports fan, for example, having a room covered in nothing but Steelers logos may chase away buyers from out of the area. If you decorate with a basket collection or a wall of collector plates, buyers will either be distracted by them or quite possibly turned off.

Highly personal decor also distracts from buyers seeing the features of your house. It's best to stick to the most neutral items you have. A home stager can tell you exactly which of your items to use when selling, where to put them and what to remove to appeal to the most buyers. I could write a TON on this, so see here and here for more about it! :-)

3. Dirt/Grime: In an occupied home for sale, one of the scariest things for buyers is visible dirt and grime. If cabinets or surfaces need a clean, what must the unseen areas look like? Have the sellers even maintained it properly? So clean and scrub all visible and hidden areas of your house before it hits the market!

It can sometimes be hard to keep up a property you don’t live in anymore, but unfortunately it is

also very easy to lose a potential buyer if the property isn’t properly maintained. Given that vacant

properties are more likely to fall into disrepair, no matter how minor, we also offer a wide array of

services to fit these needs, the list for which is available here for your consideration.

4. Non-functioning systems: People want to feel comfortable in their own home, and in Pennsylvania, heating is one of the most important. If they enter your property after braving icy winds to find that the house they’re looking at is just as cold, any system,including furnaces, that are non-functional when the buyer arrives is going to make them question how much work it will take to get the house up to snuff.

Other big-ticket items, like the roof and windows, may need to be taken care of before you try to sell. If you don’t want to replace them, you may need to lower your asking price to reflect that. Remember that buyers will overestimate the cost of all repairs.

These are just some of the issues to address before pictures and before the buyer arrives. A trained stager can take you though 9 steps to maximize your selling potential, increasing your odds of selling the home faster and for more money. All of these will make the house much more welcoming, and even if your house does not fall prey to one of these scary issues, taking the time to improve on these aspects will prove valuable in the course of the real estate process.

A highly trained and certiified home stager knows how to take your occupied or vacant home and make it appeal to more buyers. One of our two types of home staging consultations is KEY to getting your house looking its very best before putting it on the market.

If you’re going to sell soon, or have tried but are still having no luck selling, drop us a line at and see how we can help!

Make it a great week!

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