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Homeowners: Don’t do these!

Most homeowners know they need to do a little work in order to get their home ready for the market. Once you get it clean, it can be tough to keep it that way for as long as you need until you sell it. But there are some homeowners who don’t do much at all. This leads me to a list of things people see when they walk through a home that can horrify potential buyers.


  1. Homeowners stay in the home during an Open House – Seriously creepy to potential buyers and I have heard this happen to friends. Let the real estate agent show off your home. If you really don’t think they will remember everything, you can always create a “Home Book” highlighting changes made, local festivals, neighborhood get-togethers etc.homeowner dirty dishes
  2. Eating your meal when it is being shown by a real estate agent – If you are in the middle of a meal when a real estate agent wants to show the home, ask them to come 30 mins later or another time when you are not there.
  3. Not replacing burnt out lightbulbs – Light is extremely important in a room and reducing the amount only makes the place feel dingy and not taken care of. Make sure all the lightbulbs are the same wattage and color so they don’t work against each other.
  4. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink – Another ugh factor. Make sure the dishes are cleaned or cleaning when you leave the house. Buyers don’t want to be reminded of the chores that need to be done around the house.
  5. Wet bath towels on the bathroom floor – Yes, you still live in the home but homeowners need to keep everything looking its best. Hang the towels or place them in the dryer.
  6. Overflowing bathroom counters– If you have multiple bottles, makeup, toothbrushes etc on the counter, it clutters up the space and distracts the buyer. Put the items in a basket (preferably with a lid) and store them under the sink if possible.
  7. Leave checkbook open on office desk – This opens up the homeowner to identity theft. You may use the office desk to pay the bills, but be sure to put it away after each use. I’ve actually seen this happen at an open house and I notified the agent so they could put it away.
  8. Half-finished home projects – Many homeowners may start a little project that turns into a big one. Get them done before you put your home on the market.
  9. Holes in the walls left by door handles – It happens. The door swings too fast and hits the wall. Fix the hole so buyers don’t start a to-do list and decrease the asking price.
  10. Not cleaning carpets from pet stains – Another ick factor. If your carpet is stained, do your best to clean it. Sometimes you need to hire a professional but it is well worth it.
  11. Overgrown yard – Does your curb appeal scare buyers away? If the front yard is not maintained, potential buyers will think the interior of the house is not maintained either.
  12. Leaving teenager’s room the mess that it ishomeowner messy roomThis may be the hardest battle a homeowner has to endure. Teenagers are rebellious and moving may be the hardest thing for them. Don’t allow their room to stay in the messy condition and remove as much as possible to keep it clean. Less stuff in the room is less stuff to put away.
  13. Dead bugs in the basement – Although you may not use the basement, it is still part of the property. Any animal corpses should be disposed of immediately.
  14. Smelly rooms – Rooms may smell if it was flooded, had water damage or from pets and smoking. Fix the problem first and then deodorize them.
  15. Too many potted plants making it hard to get to the front door – People love their plants. But if you have so many that it looks like you are opening up a nursery, you have too many. Place a potted plant or two by the door.

These are just a few things I have seen when looking at pictures online or at open houses. If you need help staging your home, check out my free Home Staging Starter Kit or sign up for a Home Staging consultation below so we can get your house sold faster!

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If you want to talk about staging the rest of your house, then sign up for a home staging consultation. This service can be done online or in person and we walk through all the rooms and rearrange, remove and add items during the consult.