real estate

10 surefire ways to scare off homebuyers

Lots of personal items
Lots of personal items © Room27/Shutterstock.com

Lots of personal items

Shopping for a house is like shopping for clothes. Buyers are trying on your home to see how it fits, as if it were a pair of shoes. If personal items clutter your house, it's like the buyer is trying on those shoes while you're standing 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 remove 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 entice 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."

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