If you’re buying a house, you probably know what turns you off in homes that you tour: messy, cluttered houses, strong odors, and so on. Most people can’t wait to get out of a house like that. When you are selling your house, be sure to prepare. Avoid these major turn-offs and you go a long way toward making your home a place visitors won’t be in such a hurry to leave.
Pets – Pets help make a house a home, but signs of pets often turn off home buyers. Clear away messes and eliminate all pet odors. It is best to have your pet out of the house with litter boxes, food bowls and pet toys stowed out of the way. You might want to leave your pet with friends or relatives while your home is being shown.
Children – Not all home buyers know what having children is like. A tour of your home isn’t the time you want them to find out. Take the extra time to make your home neat and presentable, with all toys out of sight in a toy chest or storage space. Clean and store dirty diapers, children’s clothes and baby bottles. Eliminate any odors that may be present. Otherwise, prospective buyers might not think your house is sanitary.
Cooking/Baking Smells – Cooking smells are offensive to many home buyers. If you must cook or bake before a showing, be sure to open a window. A simple trick to freshen up the house after cooking is to boil cinnamon in water. Artificial air fresheners are not a good idea because you never know who is sensitive to those types of smells. Something that smells good to you could send prospective home buyers out the door.
Smoking Smells – Tobacco, incense and other smoky smells are a serious problem for anyone trying to sell a home. These smells linger throughout the house. If smells persist, get carpets, draperies and furniture professionally cleaned. Repaint all interiors before putting your house on the market.
Dirty Dishes and Clutter – As long as your house is on the market, keep the dishes clean and the counters uncluttered. Electric appliances could distract home buyers, making it seem like there is not enough counter space. Consider putting appliances in a cabinet when they’re not in use.
Messy Bathrooms – Put away beauty and grooming items neatly under the counter, in drawers or inside the vanity. Clean the shower/bathtub, toilet, sink and floor thoroughly, removing all hair and toothpaste markings. Keep the toilet flushed and the lid down at all times.
If all this sounds like your house should not be lived in, that is precisely the point. Prospective home buyers are not your usual visitors and they could be judging you and your house much more critically than your friends and relatives. Present them a spotless house they can imagine living in, and your house will sell itself.
If you have any questions, contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; e-mail DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU; or visit the office located at 4275 N. Highway 25W in Goldbug.