The tragedy of Hurricane Harvey has left many families searching for new homes to purchase, which creates opportunities for sellers willing to heed to basic rules of real estate, including the things you must never do if you want to sell your house.
Like leaving sports memorabilia lying about – don’t do that. The lovely decoration with such strong sentimental attachment to you could be the rival team of your potential buyer. You may love burnt orange or maroon, but a buyer may see red.
Never leave pets in the house. Cindy Hamann, Chairperson of the Houston Association of Realtors reminds sellers to pick up food and water bowls for pets, and alert your agent if pets are kept in the house so they can notify allergy sufferers. 68% of U.S. households own a pet, so the fact that sellers have a pet makes you normal. But you want buyers to see your house in terms of their pets, not yours.
Hamann stresses the importance of decluttering, including furniture, and highlights the value of renting a storage space while the property is showing. “Anything that you feel personally strong about, get rid of it. Put it in storage or take it to your new home.” She ticks off the usual list of neutral-colored walls, clean floors and shampooed carpets. Clean the blades of the ceiling fan. Touch up paint. Clean the garage.
“If you’re a big game hunter, make sure that if you have mounted heads, take them down. What may be a passion to you may not be a passion to everyone else, and people have especially strong convictions for that,” she suggests.
And pick clothes up off the floor. “Pick up your dirty laundry. Don’t leave your dirty laundry. We see so many homes in which people get out of bed in the morning and leave their dirty underwear on the floor,” Hamann advices.
Remove photographs. One or two might be okay, but most will probably need to be taken down. No nudity – in photos or artwork.