Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Does your home stink?

Besides price and location, sight and smell have a major influence on the value of your home and the time it takes to sell it.

Over the past 40 years I have had clients who simply couldn’t or wouldn’t be bothered keeping their home in “showing” condition. What does this all mean? It can mean the difference of thousands of dollars. 

I’ve often heard clients tell me that “people can see through the clutter”. However, researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that when a home is cluttered, the chaos restricts a buyer’s ability to focus. The clutter also limits the brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes a buyer distracted and unable to process information as well as they would in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.

If you’re going to be moving anyway start boxing and eliminating some of the clutter. Store large pieces of furniture which make a room appear small. Visit model homes to get ideas or hire the services of a professional stager. Your real estate agent should be able to help you consider and weigh your options.  

A study by Pfizer Canada found that food and smoking odors can reduce the value of your home by as much as 29%! That relates to tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I’ve sold many of my own properties over the years and I understand how difficult it can be to keep a home in “showing” condition but the tradeoff is certainly worth the effort.

In an article published by the National Association of Realtors it is suggested that when selling your home you don’t simply try to mask the smell. “Odor is caused by bacteria that attaches to ceilings, walls, carpet and window treatments.” Identify the odors which might include dirty laundry, mold, smoking, and strong-smelling foods and spices. 

Be objective and use common sense when showing your home by taking out the garbage after every meal, avoid strong odors when cooking, bath pets regularly and clean litter boxes frequently. 

Besides avoiding strong odors consider providing a fresh coat of paint, using odor neutralizers that can be found at your local hardware store. Air fresheners should be used sparingly and should be subtle. Too much and it will distract homebuyers and indicate that you may be trying to hide something.

One of the best methods to determine what might be offensive to buyers is asking someone that doesn’t live in the house. You might consider asking a real estate agent, however, some agents may be hesitant to be brutally honest. It's the fiduciary duty of an agent to help you understand the impact of adverse conditions and how they can affect the sale of your home.

For more information please feel welcome to call us, Jeff and Cheryl Fox, at 818-995-9108.

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