5 Things That Can Derail Your Home Sale

If you're selling a home, you know the drill: Declutter, add a fresh coat of paint, clear out all your family photos and personal items.

That's just for starters.

Once that's done, you might want to take care of some things that could really turn buyers off and derail your hopes of unloading your home. And we bet you never would have thought of them.

Jessica Edwards, a Coldwell Banker real estate consumer specialist, offers her inside tips on what a seller should always -- or never -- do to make certain that buyers take the bait.

Pitfalls Home Sellers Should Avoid
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5 Things That Can Derail Your Home Sale

Often, homeowners come and go through the garage and rarely use the front door. If you pay little attention to the front door, you probably won't notice the leaves, cobwebs and other gunk building up outside, Edwards says. But you can be sure that buyers will.

"Go stand at your front door and look around," Edwards advises. If you see chipped paint and cobwebs, get a broom and a paint can and freshen the area up.

Your family may love your cooking -- but potential buyers may think it stinks.

Be careful with foods that have particularly strong smells or the scents could drive off would-be bidders on your home. Same goes for potpourri, air fresheners and oil-burning candles.

"Too much of that can be a bad thing," Edwards says. "Try fresh flowers: Their scent is slight and not overwhelming."

Do you have a beautiful collection of artwork or an impressive assortment of porcelain dolls and antique furniture? Put them away.

"It could hurt a buyer's ability to see themselves in the home," Edwards says.

If it's personal to you, it's probably not to the buyer. And if they see something that they would never want in their own home, they probably won't be back to make an offer.

You may think that cramming cabinets full of stuff will convey to the buyer how much storage space can hold. But it could actually give them the opposite impression.

"It looks to the buyer like you actually don't have enough space and are forced to use every bit you have," Edwards says.

You're inadvertently telling the buyer that you're hurting for storage space -- and they might, too.

"Don't say things like, 'Another showing but no buyer,'" Edwards says. "You never know if that [comment] will show up on friends' profiles."

Blowing off steam on social media about your troubled listing gets the word out that you're having a problem selling the home -- and potential buyers will wonder why.


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