When it comes time to sell your home, most folks want to sell quickly and for top dollar. To give yourself the best advantage, avoid these five things that tend to send potential buyers running the other direction. 

1. Cluttered, dirty and/or "fragrant" houses.

You already know this one. Every seller does. Yet, even in 2017, the era of Houzz and HGTV, buyers across America walk into homes that would make your mother cringe every single day. The people who come to see your home are making one of the biggest decisions they'll ever make. Cluttered countertops, neglected toilet seats and unattended litter boxes not only invite the viewer to turn up their nose, they practically compel a buyer to walk away.

Luckily, you have all the control in the world over how your house looks to a potential buyer.  Everything that is not part of the home's decor or furnishing and that is not a must for your daily functioning should be boxed up, and neatly packed away in the garage or a storage unit. You'll have to pack it all up anyway when your home sells, and doing it in advance just makes it more likely your home will sell quickly.

Also, no matter how long it takes for your home to get an offer, do not show it without it being completely and totally tidied up. That means no laundry or dishes piled up, countertops should be freshly wiped down, mail and paperwork should be put away and smelly dogs or litter boxes cleaned and/or out of the house. Get every family member on board -- kids/cats/canines included -- and create a morning or evening cleaning ritual to prepare for showings.

2. Overpricing. 

 Ultimately, you decide what to ask for your home. But remember that many buyers won't even bother looking at a home that is priced sky-high. Take heed of the professional counsel and advice your Realtor provides you about the listing price. Their pricing insights are based on what other properties have sold in your area with similar features.

Pricing your home to sell is both an art and a science.  Check out our insider tips for pricing Central Austin homes for more info.

3. Deceptive listing descriptions or pictures.

Here's the deal: you will never trick someone into buying your home. Buyers rely on sellers to be upfront and honest – so be both.

Buyers won't be fooled if your listing pics are edited to the point that they don't even look like your home. Creative or misleading property descriptions won't help you either. While you don't have to lead with your home's negative characteristics, don’t slant or skew or spin the facts in a way that will instantly obvious to anyone who visits your home.

4. Bad home improvements.

It's sad to walk into a newly remodeled home only to find that the seller made poor design choices or cut corners on the craftsmanship. Check with your Realtor before you make a big investment in a pre-sale remodel. Your Realtor can give you a reality check about the likely return on your investment, and help you prioritize about which projects to do (or not).

5. Bad photos or no photos at all.

A picture is indeed worth 1,000 words, especially when so many buyers start their home search online. Yet, we are constantly surprised at the poor quality of the listing photos we see online -- or even listings that have no photos at all. Dark and out-of-focus cell phone pictures won't cut it. Don't overlook the importance of using professional pictures that show your home in its best, accurate light.

When choosing an agent, ask to see their marketing plan with real examples of homes they've listed. And once your home is on the market, don't forget to check the listing sites to make sure your home is represented well. If not, ask your agent to get some new photos online ASAP.

With over 23 years of experience selling Central Austin homes, we have developed tried-and-true marketing strategies that get results. We'd be happy to visit with you about how we can put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today for a no-hassle, no obligation consultation.