Just a few months ago, US News & World Report published that Denver, Colorado is the "best place to live" in the USA. The real estate market was already rocking and rolling in the area when the report came out and home prices were still on the climb. For the most part, the market in Colorado was, and still is, a "seller's market." Some homes had 15+ offers the day they were put on the market! Even in a market like this, however, there are a few things sellers do NOT want to do to lower their chances of getting a good price for their home, if getting it sold at all.
Things to NOT do when selling your home
1. DON'T price it too high.
Yes, we all want to get the most we can from our home. Some real estate agents will say to make the asking price higher than you actually want because it is "known" that buyer's will want to play the back-and-forth game to get the price down. Pricing high however, assumes that buyers will make an offer that can be negotiated. How do you know if your asking price is too high? If there are no offers, or only low-ball offers in the first 30 days of your listing, it is likely priced too high.
2. DON'T limit (within reason) showing times
Notice that I said, "within reason." If you have children and someone wants to view your home at 10:00pm on a school night, then yes, you have the right to ask to reschedule. One of the best ways to avoid this sort of thing from happening in the first place is to give advanced notice regarding when you will and will not accept showings. If you have children, pets, a sloppy spouse, etc you can always ask for at least 2 hours notice prior to showings to do a clean up. If you have family coming into town and there are 2-3 days that you do not want any showings, be sure to have "no showings on _____." Be careful, however. If you limit the times and days too much, you will miss out on some potential buyers. Basically, when your home is on the market, you will likely clean it more thoroughly and more times in a week then you have in 6 months. Before going to work, school or even just spending time at the house, be sure to have it ready to go at a moment's notice. Pretend your Type A mother-in-law is going to stop by at any moment...but you have no idea what day. How's that for a fear factor?
3. DON'T leave your home cluttered
Getting rid of clutter is probably one of the cheapest and most worthwhile thing you can do when preparing your home to put on the market. Do NOT just toss things in a closet or drawer. Buyers look and it may not be that they are snooping but they really do want to see how big that closet is. Clutter can also make buyers wonder if you have not taken good care of a home. You want your home to appear as open and spacious as you can as well and getting rid of clutter will open things up. You are probably moving here soon anyway if the house sells, so why not start straightening, tossing, organizing, and packing up some things now?
4. DON'T have unpleasant odors in your home
I read once that there are more dogs than people in Colorado. I don't think that is quite true but people here sure love their animals! Colorado Springs was named the most pet-friendly city a few years ago. Even in Colorado - dog-loving Colorado - you do not want the odor to permeate your home when it is on the market. Fecus odor, such as a cat's litter box, is considered one of the worst smells to humans. Fish (great catch but last night's meal is not appealing to buyers), wet dog, and air fresheners (not everyone likes lavender) can kill a sell. Have an outsider come into your home to do a sniff test. You can get used to the smells but an honest outsider, like a real estate agent, will let you know.
5. DON'T refuse to make repairs
Unless the buyer is buying your property as a "fix and flip," most home buyers do not want to walk into a house and immediately have to make repairs. This is not to say there will not be SOME repairs but that hole your son put in the wall while wrestling with his friends last summer probably should be fixed. Doors that do not open correctly, light fixtures that do not work, and decks that are giving you splinters in your feet, probably should be fixed before putting your house on the market. Yes, it might cost you some money, but possibly having your home sell quicker and for more money will likely be worth it in the end. Those things will probably be pointed out in a home inspection anyway so might as well fix the simple things that make your home more put together.
I am a real estate broker, attorney and mediator. I am blogging from my own ideas and perspective. Although I am a licensed attorney, these are not intended to be legal advise.