So you’re getting ready to list your house for sale, but its flaws keep staring you straight in the face. Your bedrooms are small. The kitchen needs new paint. The place desperately needs a new roof.
As hard as it may be, don’t beat yourself up over the features that some buyers may see as undesirable. The truth is, no house is perfect, and a successful sale always comes down to connecting with the right buyer.
Here’s the reality: Many potential buyers may actually see the flaws of a home as challenges they can design around or things they can negotiate into the sale price.
Of course, you don’t want any glaring weaknesses to scare off potential buyers and kill any buzz surrounding your home. So the best thing to do is to come up with a plan. The tips below will help you smooth over your home’s shortcomings.
1. Focus on the positive
Buyers tend to see features like a large front yard, a multicar garage, outdoor living space, wood floors, lots of storage space, a renovated kitchen, a master suite, large bedrooms, and an open layout as major positives. So if your home has any of these features, talk them up!
For some buyers, the highly desirable features can far outweigh the undesirable ones.
“Your goal is to ensure that the buyers take notice of these really appealing features during the open house,” says Sophie Kaemmerle, a home improvement and neighborhood expert for NeighborWho.com.
Highlight all of your home’s desirable features on the listing and the information sheet you leave out for buyers to take at open houses.
2. Create curb appeal
The goal of an open house is to impress potential buyers from the moment they pull into your driveway. So if your curb appeal is on point, they’ll likely be excited to see the rest of the house.
“Your home’s curb appeal will be their first exposure to your home, thus making it an important component in leaving a positive lasting impression on the buyers,” says Kaemmerle.
To increase the home’s curb appeal, make sure to keep the lawn clear of clutter. Remember to keep the grass cut and the bushes trimmed, and remove any dead shrubs and trees. Giving the shutters and front door a new coat of paint will add a fresh appearance to the exterior of the home.
3. Design a focal point in each room
To bring awareness to the favorable parts of each room, Kaemmerle suggests creating a focal point that accentuates the best features.
For example, if the best feature in your home is the high ceilings, display vertical art that emphasizes the height of a room. A small bedroom could be seen as a bummer, but a striking wallpaper statement wall can create visual interest.
4. Add soothing sounds
The sound of a babbling brook or relaxing music can dull a negative noise feature like a nearby highway or heavy airplane traffic.
Mike Gobber, president of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors® in Illinois, encourages sellers to add a water feature (like a portable fountain) or play some mellow music. While these sounds won’t eliminate or hide the noise, they can lessen the impact and make the ambiance during the open house more pleasant.
5. Get estimates
If an undesirable aspect of the home could be easily changed, Gobber says, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and get a few estimates for the work ahead of time. Then share this information with buyers who ask about what it would take to change that feature. If necessary, you can even offer to work those costs into the offer. Be prepared.
6. Sweeten the deal with a fun gift
Everybody wants a deal, especially home buyers. Many sellers, at the behest of their real estate agent, will throw a gift in addition to the home.
“When selling a home, you can offer to include a six-month gym membership, stock the wine fridge, or pay to have the outside power-washed,” says Kimberly Friedmutter, a motivational coach in Las Vegas.
An unexpected bonus like this could make the purchase worthwhile for the buyer and minimize any undesirable features in the house.