5 Ways to Kill The Sale of Your Lake Home
When checking the hot sheet for the newest lake homes for sale, I chuckle at the remarks sometimes seen on the listings.
My personal favorite: “Seller says sell!” (Really? Why else would someone list their home for sale?) Another one is “MOTIVATED SELLER!” Sure, the seller may be motivated, but motivated to do what...because for some, it doesn’t look like they’re motivated to sell. When it comes to a successful home sale, price is just one factor.
While many sellers are motivated to sell, some here in the Poconos and around Lake Wallenpaupack appear to be motivated to KILL the sale of their lake home. Here’s how they do it:
How To Kill The Sale When Selling Your Home
#1. Hinder Showings
This seems silly. Why do some sellers hinder showings? I have no idea. Maybe the seller does not realize that the following can be “show(ing) stoppers:”
- Refuse to have a lockbox on their home. When you require showing agents to go out of their way to pick up (and later drop off) a key at the listing agent’s office, that makes your home much more difficult to show. Unless a buyer is adamant about seeing your house it may be left off the showing agenda.
- Require the listing agent (or seller) to be at all showings. This makes it very challenging, since showing agents must now coordinate schedules for multiple people instead of just their buyer.
- Demanding an extremely narrow time frame for appointments. Truth is, when taking buyers to multiple homes over a large geographic area like the Lake Wallenpaupack region it is impossible to peg down exact times. A 2-hour showing window is reasonable.
Simply put: a lake house with an inflexible seller will have fewer showings than homes with easier access.
#2. Something Stinks.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was a sweet song by The Platters, but smoke in the air when buyers look at your home is the kiss of death.
All kinds of strong smells are offensive. Sellers who smoke inside their home or have strong pet odors present will have a difficult time selling their home.
Another turn-off occurs when the home smells musty or moldy. Buyers walk in, plug their nose, and say “NEXT!”
Finally, air fresheners, such as aerosol sprays, “plug ins,” and strong scented candles may suggest there’s something to hide. They can also trigger allergies for buyers with sensitivities.
#3. Not Maintaining Your Home
Unless you plan to sell your lake house at a bargain basement price, do not overlook basic maintenance on your home.
I show lake homes for sale in communities like Fawn Lake, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hemlock Farms, and The Hideout. Some homes I show need a lot of TLC (but are priced as turn key). Simple things like removing moss from the roof, raking leaves, replacing rotted deck boards, applying fresh stain and paint, and adding a shiny new storm door can really boost the appeal of your lake house.
#4. Locked Doors & Inaccessible Areas
Buyers should be able to see what the attic, basement, or crawl space looks like. They need to see the garage, they want to see inside the shed. If it looks like sellers are hiding things while trying to sell their lake house, buyers may jump to all sorts of incorrect conclusions and take your home off the list.
#5. Auditioning for Hoarders. Seriously, buyers do not want to tiptoe around your junk. That is how they see piles of personal belongings. They do not see treasures, memories, and keepsakes. They see overwhelming piles of stuff and may make the conclusion that the home lacks enough storage space. A damp basement or crawl space escalates the problem. If your stored junk smells bad, not only are you a hoarder, but a stinky one, too. Double whammy.
“Eliminate clutter for a faster home sale” has been a standard home selling tip for decades because it’s true.
To Sum It Up (TLDR Version)
Nobody expects your home to look like Marie Kondo lives there. But by the same token, nobody wants to buy a home if all they see are mountains to overcome: mountains of mess, mountains of odors, mountains of challenges, mountains of maintenance.
If you are a serious seller who wants to sell, do all you can to make sure your home is neat, tidy, fresh, and easily available to buyers for showings. Of course, these observations are not limited to Pike and Wayne County real estate sales; they are universal truths that apply anywhere.