real estate

10 ways to turn off a homebuyer

6. Too many personal items

Psychologically, when buyers tour a home, they're trying it on to see how it fits, just as they would a skirt or a pair of pants. If your house is cluttered with too many personal items, it's like the buyer is trying on those clothes with you still in them. A fit is unlikely.

"Anything that makes your house scream 'you' is what you don't want," Dana says. "I tell all my clients that how we decorate to live and how we decorate to sell are different, and right now, we're decorating to sell."

Sellers should try to eliminate personal items, including family photos, personal effects and even unique colors, she says.

"As soon as you have family photos, buyers get very distracted. 'Oh, did I go to school with him? What do their children look like?'" she says. "Suddenly, you're selling your family, and you're not selling the home."

If you really want to hook a buyer, Dana offers a tip: "I try to place a mirror strategically so that people can actually see themselves in the home, so they can actually picture themselves living there."

7. Snoopy sellers

Realtors and buyers alike generally bristle when the seller greets them at the door for a showing.

"It's so annoying," Goldwasser says. "They will want to walk around with the potential buyer and put in their& two cents' worth. It's not good. Normally, there are one out of 10 sellers where it's OK to have them there, and that's because they know what is up with the property and how everything works."

“I tell all my clients that how we decorate to live and how we decorate to sell are different.”

Goldwasser makes a point to shoo his sellers away from showings when he's the listing agent.

"They like to think they know what they're doing, and that's fine," he says. "But when you've sold thousands of homes and you have a system, you know how to get people the maximum value for their home. That's why they hire you, right?"

8. Misrepresenting your home

Misrepresenting your house online in the multiple listing service is a sure way to really upset buyers and their Realtors.

One of Cannon's buyers loved a home she saw online. When he drove by to take a look, he was surprised to find acres of ramshackle mobile homes across the street.

"Sellers are going to paint the best picture they can," he says. "Some listings I've looked at and wondered how in the world they got that gorgeous photo without showing all the junk that's around it. When you get there, you wonder why didn't they just be upfront?"

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