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— by Hana LaRock

What to Do When a Home’s Aesthetics are an Eyesore for Potential Buyers 

As an agent, you know that there is nothing that’s more irritating than a potential buyer that can’t look past the decade-old furniture or the ancient wallpaper in the kitchen. Where an agent is just eager to make a sale, a potential buyer is seeing the place as their future home. And, sometimes, it’s hard for a person to picture themselves somewhere when the picture they are seeing in front of them isn’t so good. If you’re a good agent, then you’re at least mindful of this. That being said, you may even go as far to consider using your skills, experiences, and even your own resources, to improve these painful-looking aesthetics, so that you can close on a deal with a qualified buyer sooner than later.  

Ask Yourself: Does It Bother You? 

Although a contractor can tell you about the cosmetics of the home and most listing details already have all the answers to what your buyers want to know, it’s hard to capture the personality and character of a house until you see it for yourself. When you take a walk through it, take note of how the home makes you feel. If you’re appalled by something that you see, it’s likely that your potential buyers will feel the same way about it, too. At the same time, it’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone has their own unique taste. So, don’t jump the gun just yet.  

Ask Others: What Do They Think? 

Now that you know what you would like to change about the listing, consider what others think, especially other experts in the field. Lab Coat Agents provides a great platform to get input from other agents. Not sure if those counter tops are a deal breaker, or if the paint in the bathroom is enough to make a person gag? Don’t be afraid to post a picture and ask what others might say. 

Try Finding Buyers Without Making Changes 

While there are many buyers that have a hard time seeing past the aesthetics, there are others that see a hint of character, a sense of nostalgia, or a world of opportunity as to what they can do with the canvas before them. There’s always a chance that you might come across an open-minded, creative-type of person who loves the listing just the way it is. If that’s the case, then don’t even bring those uncertainties to their attention if they are already perfectly happy the way it is.  

Make Suggestions to the Seller and the Potential Buyer 

There’s absolutely no question that you shouldn’t be the one responsible for altering a home to fit both the seller’s and the buyer’s needs. While you are the middle person, your job requirements have to end somewhere. Before you even consider making even the slightest changes to a home with money from your own pocket, you’ll obviously need to talk to the seller. Likewise, you should also work with the potential buyer and see what really makes them uncomfortable about the home. Then, walk them through the changes they can make and how much it would cost them. But, tread lightly. Coming off as too aggressive or controlling may leave you with nothing — kind of like a pushy taxi driver negotiating a ridiculous rate to your proposed destination.  

Do What You Need to Do 

You might get stubborn buyers and even more stubborn sellers. But, at the end of the day, if your goal is to sell the house, you’re going to have to decide how much time, energy, and resources you want to put into it in order to make the listing more appealing. Sometimes, just having the right person to help you stage the home can make all the difference. And, if this is an investment you’re making for yourself — something you can flip easily — then, it might be worth letting go of the headache and just putting in the work on your own. Otherwise, do your part, then walk away if you must (or, rather, wait for them to come to you when they realize your suggestions were necessary).

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