Could it be it's clean, it's neat, they can pick their colors?  I have to say, yes, to all of those.  The better question is why don't buyers want to purchase an existing home?  As a Realtor, this is what I'm hearing:
1.  The home doesn't have the feel of a brand new house:
       -  It shows wear and tear     
       -  It is not clean     
       -  I'll have to repaint many of the rooms     
       -  It needs updating -- there's no Wow!     
     - The seller just lived here, never did anything to improve           or take care of the home     
       -  There's no storage in this house
2.  The buyer says, "I don't have the time to fix up or redo            things I don't like":
       -  My job is very demanding, when I get home at night; I
          just want to sit down and relax or have some fun with                 the family    
-  I don't know how to fix a leaky pipe and it's so expensive to call a plumber     
-  I just don't want to be bothered     
-  I'll have enough to worry about with the landscaping

These are just a few of the many comments I hear when showing homes to potential buyers.  If so many homeowners could only hear what I hear, they would hopefully do things differently.  Below is a list of some of the many items a seller could do to bring the highest and best offer on their home:

1.  Clean and De-clutter:

This is one of the easiest and least expensive items that I'll mention.  Ask a friend or family member to help.  Do whatever you need to do bring your home up to the feel of a new model home.  You may find that you are scrubbing things that you have never touched before in your home.  Clean those closets out of excess clothes and debris.  And, please, don't forget to clean and/or repaint the front door and the surrounding stoop.  Front the moment they see your home from the street, the buyers are in a evaluation mode.  Curb appeal and the front door are crucial to have in tip-top condition for that first impression.

Think of if this way.  You walk up to the front door.  It is scratched, it's dirty from the storm the previous week versus a freshly painted door with a beautiful hanging wreath.  Which door would you open?

2.  Have your home staged if necessary:

If you have already moved and the home is sitting there vacant, the offer price will most likely to be lower.  Stage the home so the buyers cannot see all the blemishes of the home.  The only time this doesn't apply as when they walk into a freshly painted; rehabbed home with new appliances.  Once again, the rehabber has made this home look like a new spec home.

3.  Set the stage:

When you know you are going to have a showing.  If at all possible, have some fresh flowers on a table, have as much outside light flowing into the rooms.  Buyers don't like dark, dingy rooms.  Turn the lights on!  Yes, even in the middle of the day.  Models homes have their lights on!  And, how about some soft music playing.

4. Leave your home when it is being shown:

You can't?!  Then please go outside and sit on the patio and when the buyers come outside; remove yourself and family from that area.  In short, avoid the buyers.  You honestly, don't want to speak to them either.  I cannot tell you how many times my clients have asked a buyer a question on the home and the seller has stuck his/her big foot in the mouth.  Let the buyers Realtor ask questions to the listing agent.  Keep it simple.  This has been one of my biggest deal killers.

5.  Pets:

Snakes, hamsters, dogs, cats, etc.  I love all of them except snakes, but some people don't.  It is best to ask a friend to house your pets while your home is being sold.  Yes, I know that doesn't always work.  Yet it is the best advice I can give.  I will say, however, that should you have (let's use a dog as an example) a pet that can be caged and for the most part just lays down and is not too bother with people coming through - of course, that is fine.  But it you have a continual barker, the buyers are going to exit very fast.  Buyers hate barkers.  And, of course, if you are at home most of the time, just take your furry friend with you for a walk in the neighborhood or a drive to the store while your home is being shown.
So we hit the tip of the iceberg on this subject.  Hopefully, I have given your some items to implement.  Never hesitate to contact me or your Realtor to get more in-depth questions answered.  We would love to assist you in order for your home to sell fast and at it's top dollar.  

Chris "CK" Kravetz
Broker, Realtor, GRI

Mobile:  847.867.7990


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