Southern Maryland Best Buys


5 Things Your Listing Agent Won’t Tell You

Familiar topic but great spin on the same ideas. Certain things like price correctly, remove clutter, correct smells and dress up curb appeal are true of homes in any market to get them to sell in a reasonable period of time with a Buyer's Market worth of inventory to compete against.

5 Things Your Listing Agent Won’t Tell You

You home is overpriced

We are in a buyer’s market. That means that there are a lot more people who are trying to sell a home than people who want to (or can qualify to) buy a home. Home prices peaked, depending on where you live, sometime in 2005/2006. Since then prices have been on a steady (if you’re in a good market) decline. In some areas home prices resemble the scary side of a roller-coaster. In a declining market if your home is listed at the same price it was three months ago, it’s overpriced! To compete with the other hopeful sellers on the market, you have to price your home ahead of the decline. Buyers have 10 to 15 homes that will work for them in this market. You have to demonstrate that you are a serious seller to get their attention.

Your home is ugly

I know its cliché, but a picture is really worth a thousand words. What buyers see when they pull up to your home has a more significant effect on their opinion of your property, than anything else involved in the decision process.  If they can’t see your home for the overgrown trees or shrubs that block the view, they aren’t able to connect to the property. In real estate we have a saying, “if you can’t see it, you can’t sell it”. If the flower beds are bare and the plants are dead, that is an early indication of the condition of the rest of the home. If you have the only green, blue or red home on the block, you may have to wait a long time to find a buyer that shares your taste. Make you exterior neat, trimmed and clean and you’ll move up the buyer’s food chain.

Your home isn’t clean

When was the last time you cleaned your baseboards, ceiling fan blades, lite fixtures or cabinet doors. If it wasn’t done right before your home went on the market, you’ve already turned off some buyers. “Live in” clean and “for sale” clean are two different things. Buyers expect to see a model home when they visit your castle. It’s impossible to have a home too clean for buyers. You can’t leave dishes in the sink when you leave or water drops in the shower. Buyers look at everything. They even open the stove and microwave. Spring Cleaning Guide and Cleaning House: Secrets of a Truly Deep Clean will get you started on a truly clean buyer experience.

Your home stinks

Do you have indoor pets? If you do then you also have indoor odor. I know you can’t smell anything because you live there every day. Have someone come over who hasn’t been in your home in a while, and who will also tell you the truth, and ask them if they can smell any unusual scents. Pet Odor Can Chase Away Buyers will get you headed in the right direction to neutralize any lingering pet aromas. There are also odors in an unvented basement. It may smell musty, mildewed or just closed in. A dead giveaway that there is a problem is when you have a fan blowing in the basement during a showing. If there is carpet have it professionally cleaned and scented. Also, artificial scents can go a long way to disguise the stale air.

Your home is too cluttered

When buyers are looking for a new home they are trying to visualize how their family and belongings will lay out in your floor plan. If they can’t see the floor, they can’t begin to imagine how your home would fit them. If every flat surface has something sitting on it and every closet is bulging at the seams, what a buyer can see is that the home is probably too small. If they are moving up, it’s because they have run out of space at their current home. If there is barely enough room for them to view yours, single file, they’ll assume that your home won’t give them any extra space to work with. The one area where you might get away with clutter may be the garage. If you have begun to pack and the garage is full of boxes, they know that when you go the boxes will go too. If there is room, move unused furniture and extra belongings into the garage and live on bare minimum furnishings while your home on the market. When buyers come over, less is definitely more. And if you do it right, it won’t be on the market very long.

If you home isn’t being shown, if you have had several showings with no offers or questions  and if it’s been on the market over three months, print out this article and discuss these areas with your listing agent. If you’re the one who brings it up they’ll be much more forthcoming with tough, but definitely needed, advice. Good selling!


You'll "Retrieve Golden Results" with Cheryl Ritchie, RE/MAX Leading Edge, for all your Southern Maryland and Anne Arundel County Real Estate Services.
OR Call/Text Cheryl at Cell 301-970-7566 OR EMail for the Golden Results YOU Deserve.
Visit my Digital Business Card at

Or Visit my "Golden Results" Social Networking Sites

RSS Feed
Comment balloon 6 commentsCheryl Ritchie • March 10 2012 02:51AM
5 Things Your Listing Agent Won’t Tell You
Familiar topic but great spin on the same ideas. Certain things like price correctly, remove clutter, correct smells and dress up curb appeal are true of homes in any market to get them to sell in a reasonable period of time with a Buyer's Market… more
Top 10 Tips for Working with Contractors
Here is a good checklist for hiring contractors. One extra tip might be to check with your Realtor. We are familiar with a lot of the tradespeople during the course of conducting business and often have an arsenal of lists of reputable,… more
Please, Put The Toilet Seats Down!
Well, these are the real deal kind of preparation tips! Toilet seats down, less stuff… like maybe a third less. Fix stuff. Straighten stuff. Then get SOLD sign ready! You earn your sales sign so the little things you do really do matter. And thanks… more
Buying Raw Land. Hey, it's Different.
The process is not much different in Southern Maryland. You make the lot purchase subject to receipt of building permits and loan approval. The process goes at a slow pace so real lot finds here have building permits ready to pay for and pick up! &… more
So You Moved But Did You Change Your Address?
Here's a good tip about changing your driver's license and voter information when you move. In addition, I learned this week that you can change your personal land line to a cell phone line OR park your business lines for $ 15@ and forward to a cell… more
Do you have to be delinquent or past due to short sale your home?
I get this question a lot so here is an excellent response. The hardship letter says it all. I have had the identical experience of getting a short sale approved with great timely payments. But the math and explanation in the letter said it all so… more
New To Blogging? There Are Resources To Help!!
I like to leave a bread crumb trail on my blog so that when someone wants to know how to blog the trail is already there! Here are some extra good tips to navigate your way around ActiveRain so you utilize all the valuable learning resources one by… more
Highway Markers Can Enhance "Local Expert" Status
This post raises your consciousness about observing historical markers in your own area and posting them on your real estate blog. I can think of one historical market but wonder how many more I can find now that I have started looking in Southern… more
Sources Revealed: Joni's Top 10 Places for Localism Ideas!
Here are some great top ten tips if you reach writer's block on your real estate blog. The history markers for suggestion ten are an extra special tip for an area along with Chamber articles, local newspaper highlights, parks, businesses, and even… more
The United Colors of ActiveRain - What's Your Favorite Color Say…
I consistently lean toward a lot of purple and green color choices in clothing choices which is easy to do with Eddie Bauer. I also have a green Jeep. What about you? What colors do you think you gravitate toward and peek below to see what this says… more