Bridget Alves                of Valencia

Blog - Full Service Real Estate Group, Inc

Common turn-offs for home buyers

Bridget Alves - Monday, May 30, 2016

So, you're getting a lot of attention from potential buyers who come in to see your home, but for some reason the offers just aren't following. What could be wrong? The answer to that, unfortunately, are a lot of things. Here are a few of the top turn-offs that home buyers encounter that are sure to send them running for the door.

This issue is more common than you may realize, and there are few errors more egregious than showing a dirty home. The first thing you need to do is get your personal effects out of the home (you can leave large furniture like beds and couches). The second thing you need to do is scour the entire place from top to bottom. If you don't have the time or energy required to get your home looking new again, then hire a professional service. Seriously. Do it.

Odors are a huge issue; they're like dirt that you smell. Usually, opening the windows during the cleaning process will remove any odors. If they persist, you need to track down the source. Pets stinking up your carpet? Replace it. Musty smell coming from the vents? Get an HVAC technician to take a look and make sure there isn't mildew or mold.

A fragrance is the opposite of an odor, but it can have the same effect. Whether you love the scent of lilacs, lavender, or cigarettes and motor oil is entirely up to you (hey, I don't judge). However, people react to fragrances differently. If a person enters your home and find the fragrance unpleasant, they'll associate that unpleasantness with your home and are far less likely to place an offer. You want it to smell neutral and clean. You want it to smell “new.”

Old “stuff”
If you're selling an older home, you may want to take a look around and see if there's anything that seems dated which you can easily replace. You'll want to look at ceiling fans, light fixtures, doorknobs and even the little knobs on your cupboards. Things like this can usually be replaced pretty inexpensively, and will help give your home a more modern look, which, again, will help give it a feeling of being “new.” Guess they just don't make things like they used to, eh? No. They don't.

People are all different, and buyers will like and dislike a variety of features in your home throughout the course of the viewing. The items listed above, though, are pretty much universal turn-offs that you'll want to avoid at all costs.

Some advice to help sell your home fast

Bridget Alves - Monday, January 25, 2016

The decision on the part of a buyer to purchase a home can depend on a number of things like the home’s location, its relative value, and the phase of the moon (hey, we don’t judge!). With so many things out of your control, there are only so many things that you, as a home seller, can do to speed up the sale of your home. That being said, here are a few things you can do that are designed to help your home sell as fast as possible.


Price the house right from the outset

Those who price their homes for more than they’re worth, with the intention of playing the haggling game with prospective buyers are shooting themselves in the foot if they want to sell their home quickly. Savvy buyers (or those with the help of a real estate agent) are going to notice that the home is priced higher than it should be, and be able to see right away what the seller’s strategy is. In cases like this, some buyers will either attempt to lowball the owner, or forego making an offer altogether. When you price your home for what it’s actually worth from the get go, you’re not only offering the home at a fair price, but it creates an air of trust and honesty between you and the would-be buyer.


Enhance the curb appeal

The first thing a prospective buyer is going to see is the outside of your home, so make that first impression a good one by giving the lawn a little TLC. Whether you decide go the distance by re-sodding the grass, planting flowers, and adding new paint and fixtures will be up to you, but unless your yard is already immaculate, giving it some attention may go a long way.


De-clutter and de-personalize the interior
You don’t necessarily need to get all of your things out of the home before you sell it, but make it a point to get rid of the unnecessary pieces of furniture. Things like end tables, bookshelves, night stands, dressers, etc. All of these can go. Additionally, remove personal items like photographs, paintings or whatever else you have decorating the home. You want to give prospective buyers the opportunity to envision their own items in the home, not yours.
No matter what you do, there’s no guarantee that a home will sell fast, but by following the examples above, you won’t be hurting your chances any. Also, make sure you’re familiar with the local market and speak with a real estate agent if you have any questions.

Staging a home on a shoestring budget

Bridget Alves - Monday, November 23, 2015

So, you’re ready to sell your home. You’ve read all the home selling tips you can find, you’ve gotten yourself a rock star real estate agent to help you out, and you’ve got several thousand dollars available to put toward staging your home and potentially netting a quick sale. 

What’s that? 

You don’t have thousands of dollars in liquid assets to spend on staging your home? Well, you’re in luck, because it isn’t necessary.

The first thing you’re going to look at is your home’s curb appeal. A new, professionally landscaped lawn is great, but you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. Start by mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and removing any debris from the yard like branches or dead leaves. If you have the space, planting some flowers yourself can greatly increase your home’s curb appeal while not costing you very much at all. Remember to get something colorful but hardy. The plants won’t have to last long, but you don’t want something that requires a ton of extra care, either.

As far as the interior of your home goes, remove the clutter and unnecessary pieces of furniture. Doing this will not only get you a jump on your packing once your home sells, but it will create the perception of a larger space inside the home. People don’t want to buy a home in which they feel cramped, and removing unnecessary bits of furniture like bookshelves, end tables, dressers, etc. will go a long way to making the place seem more spacious.

Finally, clean it, and clean it well. You want to remove every speck of dust and dirt, every fingerprint on the wall, errant hairs and window smudges. An impeccably clean home looks newer and less lived in, even if it’s 50 years old. 

With some hard work and know-how, you can get your home staged for viewings for a few hundred bucks. However, if the home needs some serious work done (such as replacements or repairs), and you’re not qualified to do it yourself, you may need to bite the bullet and shell out the dough for a professional.

Tips for showing your home

Bridget Alves - Monday, August 24, 2015


When you’re selling your home, showing it to the public can be stressful. After all, each person viewing the home is a prospective buyer, and their scrutiny can be maddening. However, viewings, if done right, can make or break a potential sale. Here are a few tips for when you’re showing your home that can help make for a more successful viewing:


  • If you have an agent showing your home – let them do it! Sometimes, a person likes to take a hands-on approach to showing their home, but real estate agents are trained and equipped to do it in ways that most others aren’t. Step back, relax, and let the professional you hired work their magic.
  • Light up the room. If the sun is shining, keeping the blinds open will let in more natural light. If it’s night, make sure you have enough lights on so that the rooms are well-lit. Light makes rooms look larger and more inviting, and every little bit helps when you want someone to make an offer.
  • Leave some – but not all – of your furniture in the home. When everything is removed, the house can look empty and uninviting, but with a few pieces of furniture a “house” will look more like a “home.”
  • Remove personalized items. Things like pictures, posters, books and bookshelves, etc. should be removed and either sent to your new home or kept in storage. You want viewers to imagine their pictures on the walls, their books on the shelves. 

Not everyone loves animals

Bridget Alves - Monday, August 10, 2015

If you have pets, keeping them around while your home is being shown to buyers may be a bad idea. Imagine being shown a home wherein one of the rooms contained several snakes. Sure, they’re in their terrariums and aren’t able to get at you, but if you don’t possess the same love for reptiles that the owner does, are you really going to stick around the place knowing one of the rooms plays host to a bevy of serpents?

Animals are also not necessarily the cleanest of beings. Keeping up on bathing your dog or cat is great, but it’s almost impossible to keep the home hair-free. Additionally, pets can add an odor to the home that you’re likely unaware of. Have someone who doesn’t own a pet come in and sniff the air in your home; hopefully they won’t pick up the scent of the animal. On the subject of smells, cats, or more accurately, their litter boxes, are some of the most notorious olfactory offenders. If someone can detect the scent of the cat’s litter box in your home, it’s going to require serious cleaning and airing out before anyone should be allowed to view the place. 

When a home is being shown, it should be welcoming. Some agents won’t even show a home if, upon reaching the front door, a dog is barking behind it. Dogs, even those who don’t bark at strangers, are often curious creatures. Having your dog trailing behind as he or she investigates the newcomer is, at best, distracting and at worst downright irritating. If you own pets, reducing their presence in the home can be a hassle, but will only help you in the long run.

Wipe your fingerprints from the home before showing

Bridget Alves - Monday, August 03, 2015

When it comes time to sell your home, it’s always a wise decision to make your home as empty and plain as possible before allowing prospective buyers to be shown around. Your home likely possesses a good deal of your personality inside, and that’s perfectly fine – for you! However, house hunters aren’t looking to live in your house; they’re looking to live in theirs. When the home bears too much of “you,” it will be difficult (if not impossible) for buyers to envision their own things within the home. Additionally, they may be turned off entirely if your taste and their taste don’t necessarily match.

For example, imagine walking into a home where the owner was enamored with the color green. Everything in the home was one hue of green or another, the floors, ceilings, accent wall, couches, lamps, etc. Now, if you also love the color green, then welcome home. But if not, the simple fact that this home contains too much of a color you don’t find attractive may turn you off the home entirely, regardless of the fact that all of the items would be removed. 

Don’t make the same mistake as the seller in the example above. If you can show your home completely empty, it will make the place look bigger and allow prospective buyers to imagine their own things in the home. If you can’t, try and keep as few pieces of furniture in the home as possible. Remove picture frames and posters from the walls, remove end tables, book shelves, lamps, etc. Anything you don’t need in the home should be taken out. The more your home appears to be a “blank slate” to buyers, the more likely they are to purchase the home from you.

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