10 Ways to Turn Off Potential Buyers

As a result of our obsession with photos and visuals today, buyers make judgments of homes immediately. Many will do their first showing online, so if your photos turn them off, they may never step foot inside.

Sellers need to go to great lengths to get buyers in the door. If you can get them through, it’s the small (and often obvious) things that will keep them interested. Though it’s a home first and foremost, it’s also an investment. Make changes or alterations that could turn off a buyer, and you risk hurting your bottom line.

If you’re planning to put your house on the market, be aware of these 10 ways you might be turning off potential buyers.

1. Turn your garage into a family room.

A family room might be attractive – to a family. But if you’ve sacrificed the garage, the trade-off might be a turn-off, especially to people who don’t have kids or who live in dense urban areas, where parking is at a premium. Even in the suburbs, most people want a covered, secure place to park their cars.

Don’t forget that a garage often doubles as a storage location, housing everything from the lawn mower to excess paper towels and cleansers. If you go glam with your garage, you’re likely to force a buyer to look elsewhere.

2. Convert a bedroom into a something other than a bedroom.

Aside from location and price, one of the first things a buyer searches for is number of bedrooms. Why? Because it’s a fundamental requirement.

You might think that having a wine cellar with built-in refrigerators in your home will make it attractive to potential buyers because it was attractive to you. But that’s not for everyone.

And while it’s true many people work from home today, at least part of the time, that doesn’t mean they want a dedicated home office -especially one with built-in desks or bookcases they can’t easily remove.

If you must convert a bedroom into something else, make sure you can readily change it back into a bedroom when you go to sell. If you have lots of bedrooms, buyers might be more forgiving. But a buyer who needs three might see your custom home office as a turn-off.

3. Lay down carpet over hardwood floors.

People like hardwood floors. They look cleaner, add a design element, don’t show dirt as much, and consumers with allergies prefer them over carpets.

If you have gleaming hardwood floors, show them off. Let the buyer decide if she wants to cover them. It’s easier for her to purchase new carpeting of her choosing than to get past yours.

4. Install over-the-top light fixtures.

A beautiful chandelier can enliven a dining room. But it can also turn off buyers who prefer simpler, less ornate fixtures.

Did you fall in love with a dark light fixture on a trip to Casablanca? That’s great. And you should use it for your enjoyment. But when it comes time to sell, replace it with something more neutral.

Remember, you want to appeal to the masses when your home is for sale. You want to stand out from a crowded field of sellers – but in the right way.

5. Turn your kid’s room into a miniature theme park.

Little kids have big imaginations. They tend to love Disney characters, spaceships, and superheroes, and their parents are often all-too-willing to turn their rooms into fantasy caves.

But the more you transform a child’s bedroom into something resembling a Disneyland ride, the more you’ll turn off most potential buyers. Your buyer might have teenage children, and see the removal of wallpaper, paint or little-kid-inspired light fixtures as too much work.

If you can, neutralize the kids’ rooms before you go on the market.

6. Add an above-ground pool.

Does it get hot in the summer where you live? Wish you had a backyard pool, but can’t afford to have a “real” pool installed? Then you might be tempted to buy and set up an above-ground pool.

For most buyers, though, these pools are an eyesore. Also, an above-ground pool can leave a big dead spot of grass in your backyard – another eyesore.

If you must have it, consider dismantling it before going on the market. Of course, be sure you’re ready to sell, or you may be stuck without a place to cool off next summer.

7. Leave dirty dishes in the sink.

A kitchen full of dirty dishes is not only unattractive, but it sends a strong message to the buyer: You don’t care about your home.


If your home is for sale, buyers will be coming through, and you want to impress them. Would you keep dirty dishes in the sink for your in-laws or overnight guests? Probably not. Then why wouldn’t you clean up for your potential customers?

Putting your home up for sale, and keeping it on the market, is work. If you aren’t cut out for it, considering holding off until you are ready to clean up for the buyers.

8. Make buyers take off their shoes.

This turn-off cuts both ways. As an agent, I always hated being forced to take my shoes off in someone else’s home - until I sold my own. Not only was it inconvenient, but also I wasn’t happy about my socks picking up a random homeowner’s dirt, pet hair and dust.

Once I became a first-time home seller, and one with sparkling new hardwood floors and carpet, I couldn’t imagine allowing dirt and grime from the outside world to dirty up my floors.

So what’s the compromise? Shoe covers from a medical supply store. Buyers and agents don’t need to take off their shoes, simply cover them. It’s a win-win for everyone.

9. Smoke cigarettes in every room of your house – for years.

Over time, the smell of smoke permeates your home. It gets into the carpet, drapes, wood paneling - just about everywhere. And that’s a big turn-off to most buyers today.

Getting rid of the smoke smell can be a big job. If you’re a smoker, seriously consider how you want to present your home to the market. For a long-term smoke-filled home, it means painting, removing carpets, and doing lots of deep cleaning. If you don’t do it, don’t expect to get top dollar for your home.

10. Keep Fido’s bed and toys front and center.

Family pets bring a lot of joy to the home. But they don’t always bring the same joy to a prospective buyer. Dog’s toys, filled with saliva, dirt and dust, can be a sore both for the eyes and the nose.

If you have a pet, put a plan in place to move the food and water bowls as well as the toys and dog’s bed to a better location, like in the garage.

It’s your home – for now

Part of the joy of owning a home is that you can do whatever you want with it, to it, and in it. You should enjoy it. But if you want to sell it quickly and for top dollar down the road, try to picture how others might react to any renovations, additions or modifications you make.

The more specific you get – such as turning your kid’s room into a miniature castle – the harder it will be to sell your home later, and the less return on investment you’ll get. When considering changes to your home, always consider resale.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Source: zillow.com

Homie Highlight: Jennifer Wood

Jennifer Wood is a buyer’s agent for Homie Arizona who enjoys helping others find their dream home. Read below to learn more about our Homie Jennifer and why she loves working for Homie.

1. What is your role at Homie? Buyer’s Agent
2. What initially attracted you to Homie? I love that Homie is trying to disrupt the real estate industry.
3. How long have you been in the industry? I started in real estate in 2004.
4. What has been your biggest career accomplishment to date? Selling my own house that was an open house.
5. What are your hobbies, interests outside of work, etc.? I love to cook and paint with oils and acrylics. My degree is in studio art from Florida State University.
6. What do you love most about working for Homie? The people I work with.
7. In 10 words or less, how would you describe the culture at Homie? Homie has done a great job at creating a culture that includes everyone.
8. What advice would you give someone pursuing a career in what you do? It’s hard work but pays off because you’re helping others find their dream home.

Join the Disruption

If you want a career you love, want to help change the lives of others, and want to join a company in disrupting the real estate industry, check out careers at Homie!
Want to learn more about what Homie real estate agents do for their clients? Click here.

Read other Homie stories:

Homie Highlight: Cassidy Longnecker
Homie Highlight: Lourdes Zischke

Source: homie.com

Neighborhood Guide: Virginia Village

The Virginia Village neighborhood, located just southeast of Denver, is known for being quiet, affordable, and having very limited retail. With the recent housing boom, this is all slowly changing. Ranked #24 on 5280’s Best Neighborhoods, this quaint neighborhood is starting to make a name for itself. 


Great Location

Located just southeast of downtown, and very close to Cherry Creek, this quiet neighborhood has easy access to all the amenities you need. You’ll have quick access to the Cherry Creek trail, and the Joseph E. Cook Park that boasts a recreation center and soccer fields.  


You’ll also be in the ideal school location – the highly sought after Cherry Creek School District, but without the price tag of living in Cherry Creek. The average commute from this neighborhood is 30 minutes or less making it easy to get either downtown or to DTC for work. You’re also just a short drive to the foothills making it easy for a weekend getaway to the mountains. 


Slowly Growing

Although this neighborhood is usually known for being quaint and quiet, the city has big plans to expand this neighborhood and build more businesses, retail shops and restaurants for residents. The city approved the massive project in December of 2018 to develop more walkable blocks, 150 new homes, work offices, restaurants, retail and more – according to 5280 Magazine. 


This cute neighborhood features many mid-century modern homes filled with residents that have occupied them for decades. It features businesses that have been around for decades too. Although shopping options are limited, residents are still just a short drive away from major malls, outlets, and shopping centers. With plans to expand as well, residents won’t have to wait long to have walkable places to empty their wallets. 


Our Favorite Local Businesses in the Area 

  • Coffee: Unravel Coffee is a sustainable local coffee shop who’s cups and decor can please any Instagram influencer. They also feature various toasts, smoothies, and sandwiches for breakfast or lunch. 
  • Brunch/Lunch: Ester’s has a huge variety of food that can satisfy any craving. They are best known for their homemade pizza that comes with many unique and flavorful toppings. Also check them out for brunch for killer cocktails and food. 
  • Dinner: Chakas Mexican Restaurant is a neighborhood favorite for Mexican fare. They claim to have the best green chile in Denver and have a large selection of food and beverages for the whole family. 


How to Find a Home in Virginia Village

Does Virginia Village sound like the neighborhood for you? Check out the current home listings in Virginia Village. You can also speak with a local Homie agent to learn more about the area. Some questions to ask your local agent are:


  • What is the average size of a home in Virginia Village?
  • What is the average home price in Virginia Village?
  • What is the walkability of Virginia Village?
  • How accessible is Virginia Village?
  • How often do homes sell in Virginia Village?
  • How quickly do homes sell in Virginia Village?


Let a Homie Agent Help You Move Into Virginia Village

Contact us today to speak with an experienced local agent who can help you find and secure the perfect Sloan Lake home. 


Homie works with buyers and sellers to simplify the real estate process and save them thousands. Finally, the way real estate should be. Learn more about buying in Colorado. 


Interested in learning about other Denver neighborhoods? Check out all our guides here. 

The post Neighborhood Guide: Virginia Village appeared first on Homie Blog.

Source: homie.com

Selling a House As Is: What It Means for Buyers

Selling a house as is sounds like a pretty sweet deal for sellers. Sellers don’t have to scurry around fixing the place up.

But what does an as-is home sale mean for buyers? When looking through property listings and the term “as is” appears, some people see it as a warning.

Others, such as real estate investors, may see a house being sold as is as an opportunity. That might get prospective buyers wondering what exactly does “as is” mean?

Selling a house as is: What does “as is” mean in real estate?

Technically, when a real estate agent lists an as is home sale, it means the homeowner is selling the home in its current condition, and will make no repairs or improvements before the sale (or negotiate with the buyer for any credits to fund these fix-its). The term “as is” is rarely tacked on a property sales listing that’s perfect and move-in ready.

On the contrary, people often sell as-is homes that are in disrepair, because the homeowners or other sellers can’t afford to fix these flaws before selling (which would help them sell the home for a higher price).

Alternatively, a home may have been through foreclosure and is now owned by a bank, or the seller may have died and left the house to inheritors or an estate agent who have little idea what could be wrong with it but need to sell.

Whatever the reason, the current sellers aren’t willing to pretty up a home before selling it. They just want to sell the real estate and move on. All of this means that the buyer of this house inherits any problems a home may have, too.

When a real estate agent lists as home to sell “as is,” that doesn’t change the legal rights of the buyer. The listing agent must still have the seller disclose known problems, and the buyer can still negotiate an offer with the final sale, contingent upon a real estate inspection.


Watch: Sellers: Fix These Issues Before a Home Inspection


Pros and cons of as-is home sales

So how can “as is” be the aforementioned opportunity, if the buyer is taking on all those problems?

It all comes down to cash value. Those two short words in a listing usually indicate that the home may be considered to be a fixer-upper. The house will have a relatively low list price to start with, and the sellers might even entertain still lower offers.

A real estate agent may even list a house with serious problems as “cash offers only,” if the house’s problems could prevent it from qualifying for a mortgage.

If the prospective buyers happen to be contractors or handy with a hammer, are looking for a property to flip, or maybe just want an extreme bargain, the promise of an as-is sale could be music to their ears.

Cash buyers and corporate investors look for home sellers who want a fast sale, but they expect those sellers to offer a low list price in exchange.

Yet the downsides of an as-is property are obvious and should not be underestimated. Any number of things could be wrong with the house that are not immediately apparent to the eye. Buyers might think they’re getting a killer deal, but they could also be throwing their life savings into a black hole.

Should you buy a house being sold as is?

Now that you know the pros and cons of an as-is home sale, you might be wondering whether to move ahead with the sale—and how. Since these sales can be bargains, they are worth considering, although there’s one precaution buyers will definitely want to take prior to the sale: a home inspection.

A home inspector examines the house from basement to rafters and will point out any problems plaguing the place that may make the buyer want to reconsider the sale. The problems can be current or potentially in the buyer’s future, such as an old roof that may need replacing five years later.

A real estate inspection costs around $300 to $500, and typically occurs after the buyer has made a sales offer on real estate that’s been accepted and put down a deposit.

The buyer, not the seller, pays for the inspections—which makes sense, because that way the inspector is not working for the seller.

On houses that aren’t selling as is, buyers may use problems found during the inspection to demand that repairs be made (or that credits be given so they can make those repairs themselves).

While as-is home sellers have already made it clear they won’t lift a finger on that front, an inspection still serves an important purpose for buyers before the sale.

Provided the buyers place an inspection contingency in the contract, this means that if the inspector unearths problems, the buyers don’t want to address, they can walk away from the deal with deposit in hand.

“You should always elect to do a home inspection, especially on a bank-owned property where no one knew how the home was cared for and no one knows what happened right before the past owners left the property,” says Winston Westbrook, a broker and owner of Westbrook National Real Estate Co. specializing in short sales and distressed real estate.

“Yes, you lose out on the cost of the home inspection, but the cost of the home inspection is well worth it, considering the headache you would have had in the future trying to make the house livable.”

On the other hand, if the inspection reveals additional problems, you might consider offering a lower price based on estimated costs of home improvement.

Remember that, despite what the seller says in the real estate listing, a real estate deal is still open to negotiation. If the sellers have a property on the market and it doesn’t sell, they may be open to selling at a lower price.

The sellers may even make certain fixes requested by home buyers, if that’s the only way they can sell the house.

Unless it’s a hot real estate selling market and other potential buyers are competing with you, the listing agent knows that the property won’t sell until you get a deal that works for you.

Source: realtor.com

Flipping a House? How to Flip a House the Right Way

Wondering how to flip a house? In real estate, flipping houses has become all the more popular thanks to TV shows such as HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” and “Masters of Flip.” The goal is to buy a run-down home, put money into renovations, list it on the real estate market—and profit, big-time! For real estate investors, flipping houses may have hit its peak in the bubble years leading up to the 2007 housing market crash, but this is one dream that definitely hasn’t died. Many investors are still making money. However, just because you’ve watched a lot of HGTV shows doesn’t mean that you know how to flip a house for a profit.

Earlier this year, RealtyTrac reported that investors who had flipped a property in the first quarter of 2016 had yielded the highest average gross flipping profit—the difference between the property purchase price and the flip price, not counting the cost of renovations—in 10 years. The magic number: $58,250.

But just how much money you make will hinge on taking the right approach—so be sure to check out these pointers on flipping houses. For real.

How to flip a house in real estate to make money

“Stick with the age-old adage of buying the cheapest property in the nicest neighborhood,” says Eric Workman, senior vice president of marketing at Chicago-based Renovo Financial, a private lender specializing in the real estate house-flipping space. But don’t pick just any old shack—look for a home with  “good bones,” Workman says.

Translation: Look for a property that’s structurally sound and has a decent roof, newer windows, and an HVAC system that’s less than 10 years old, as well as modern electrical and plumbing.


Watch: 3 Signs of a Fantastic Flip


Next, an ideal flip should need only cosmetic changes such as new cabinets, countertops, flooring, and paint. Any other renovations will be more costly and cut into your profit on the property.

“These renovations can usually be done without the delays of permits, plus the upgrade costs will be relatively fixed, helping to eliminate unforeseen expenses,” says Workman.

And always look for a house in a neighborhood close to public transportation or in a good school district as these properties tend to sell quickly.

How much should you pay for a house you’ll flip?

Investors should set a goal of making a 10% to 20% return on their investment. So how do you crunch the numbers? For starters, find out what your fixer-upper will sell for once you’re done with it by looking at the sales price for similarly sized real estate in the same neighborhood that are move-in ready, says broker Bobby Curtis at Living Room Realty in Portland, OR.

Let’s say, for instance, that homes in tiptop shape in the area sell for $300,000. To get a ballpark figure for a run-down property, cut that price by three-quarters (75% of $300,000 = $225,000). Then subtract the cost of repairs (if repairs cost $30,000, that would be $225,000 – $30,000 = $195,000). That’s about the most you should pay for your flip without cutting too much into the money you’ll walk away with.

As for financing a flip, it isn’t that different from buying a regular home. You’ll either pay cash or take out a mortgage—just consider going for a 10- or 15-year mortgage, which will offer a lower rate. If you’re right on the money, odds are you won’t own this house for long anyway.

Hard money loan

You can also acquire a hard money loan, which is simply a short-term loan secured by real estate.

“It’s synonymous with a private investor,” says Don Hensel, president of North Coast Financial, which specializes in hard money loans. “A lender could be an individual, a group of investors, or a licensed mortgage broker who uses his own funds. This differs from a bank that uses money from its depositors.”

Getting a hard money loan is generally less of a hassle than a standard mortgage, and they’re especially popular with people flipping houses who prefer not to go through the hassle of taking out a 15- or 30-year mortgage on the property.

How fast should you flip a house?

Don’t kill yourself (or more accurately, flip yourself into an early grave) to rush your real estate flip. But also note, you don’t want this house sitting around for long.

Curtis recommends looking for a property that will take four to six weeks to renovate. A short deadline ensures you’ll buy and sell the house in that same housing market. Plus, owning a house for less than two months keeps costs like interest and taxes at a minimum.

This means that finding contractors who do quality work quickly is key to your success. For that reason, it’s crucial that you do your due diligence before you hire one: Make sure to meet with at least a few contractors, and get their license number, references, and real estimates of what they think renovations on the property will cost.

Keep an eye out for red flags—e.g., contractors who ask for money upfront or in cash aren’t playing by the usual rules, and might be trying to take your money and run.

That said, you should accept the fact that the cost of repairs will almost always run over. As such, “you absolutely, positively must overbudget” so you have a financial cushion for those inevitable overruns, says Joseph Chiera of The Realty Cousins of Poughkeepsie, NY. Design backups will also help you solve your money problems.

“If you’re planning to use high-end hardwood flooring priced at $5 per square foot, have a nice backup at $2 per square foot,” he adds.

Here’s a list of renovations and how much they pay off at resale.

Source: realtor.com

4 Ways to Keep New Construction From Going Wrong

When Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell was building her home, she lived 300 miles away from the construction site deep in the Ozark Mountain woods. Unable to make the long drive on a frequent basis, she relied on her contractor and project manager—a family member—to build her dream cabin, a 480-square-foot lakeside abode.

“Imagine our excitement to drive up to our little lake home … and find out it was facing the wrong direction,” she says. “There was a massive communications breakdown.”

Instead of the front of the home facing the driveway, it looked into the woods. And the back deck—once intended to overlook the lake—now was situated on the side of the property.

“The contractor didn’t think his directions were correct, but he was in the woods, miles from a phone with no cell service at the time,” says Fivecoat-Campbell, the author of “Living Large in Our Little House.”

With an estimated cost of $6,000 to fix everything but no desire to cause a family rift, Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband decided to leave things be.

“All worked out in the end,” she says. “We can easily see guests driving into the drive from the ‘back’ deck.”

The potential problems with new construction are terrifying—like your home literally built backward, mold, or poor foundation—but there are ways to prevent the panic in the first place. Here’s what builders recommend.

1. Stalk the construction site

When it comes to new construction, perhaps the most frightening part is all the unknowns. Maybe a rainy summer and poor site management left your lumber with the beginnings of wood rot, or subcontractors failed to nail down the subfloors properly. Or perhaps the whole darned house is backward.

That’s why you need to try to stop by the site frequently. We mean, like, a lot. The final walk-through should never be the first time you see the space, says Howie Berman, COO of The Ruby Group, a development and construction management company in Goshen, NY.

Berman’s company recommends three sets of walk-throughs:

  • After the home has been surveyed and staked (an ideal time to make sure it’s situated properly)
  • After framing is completed and mechanical installation is underway (this is the best time to address any problems within the walls, like electrical wiring or ventilation)
  • The final walk-through, where you and the builder will review the punch list (more on that later)

But feel free to come by more often—up to every day. The earlier you can bring up potential issues, the better your chances of a quick and simple resolution.

“Mistakes are certainly made, and there is nothing wrong with bringing them up,” Berman says. “Most problems can be handled fairly easily through communication. The biggest thing is in how you approach the conversation. No one wants to hear it start with, ‘My brother-in-law is in construction, and he said…’”

Keep in mind that something might look like a problem, but is really just incomplete construction.

“It’s not always discernible to the untrained eye,” Berman says. Bring up problems with your builder, but understand that he may have a plan in place to fix—or finish—the apparent issue.

2. Pay attention to your punch list

Before closing, developers or builders will walk you through your newly built home and let you point out any defects or imperfections that need to be fixed before moving day. If there’s anything wrong—from disconnected light switches to broken cabinetry to scratches on the wall—now is your opportunity to bring it up.

Bring a pre-made checklist, and don’t feel bad about being thorough. (Some construction teams may even have specialized software to help you create this list, commonly called a punch list in the construction world.)

Bottom line: If you see something, say something—builders can’t correct problems they don’t know about.

Once all of the items on your punch list have been resolved, you can feel comfortable closing on the house—which should ideally happen after builders fix the problems.

3. Get familiar with your warranty—and don’t be afraid to use it

Most states mandate construction warranties for new homes, often backed by the builders and usually spanning one or more years. Making a claim on your policy is the best way to fix latent problems caused by errors, poor craftsmanship, or dumb luck—like mold, an increasingly common problem in new homes.

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Another frequently found defect, especially in the Northeast, is poorly installed windows. If the silicone sealant isn’t applied properly, “there could be a small, slow leak that could go undetected for a long time, leading to significant damage to the framing,” Berman says.

Some problems may take time to appear—cracks might appear in the walls, or crown molding might separate as the home settles—so consider hiring an inspector for an “11th month warranty inspection.” Consider it a final final walk-through: They’ll find any new or emerging problems before your one-year warranty expires.

Asking your builders about their warranty is an excellent way to vet the company.

“Be on the lookout to see if the builder has a process for making a warranty claim,” Berman says. “This will show you whether or not the builder is prepared to lead the process, which he should be.”

4. Stay flexible with your timeline

You might be eager to move in, but construction works on its own schedule—which might not even line up with your contractor’s estimated time frame.

“Homebuilding is a complex process that’s subject to all sorts of things like changing weather conditions,” Berman says. “The time estimate is likely to change over the course of a project.”

Very few builders will agree to any contract that assigns penalties for delays. There are too many things that can go wrong, from a freak snowstorm to unexpected foundation problems. Instead, discuss milestones (think: completed framing or roofing), and time frames expected for each.

If you’re on a tight deadline and would like your builder to commit to a timeline, Berman says you should “be prepared to give something up.”

You might pay a higher price for the rushed work, but at least you’ll have the security of a contract. But if your time frame is flexible, allowing the builders an adaptable timeline might mean fewer long-term errors—and a happier you in your brand-new home.

Source: realtor.com

Why You May Have to Take Your Shoes Off at an Open House

It’s been a long week, and now you’re spending your weekend house hunting, running from one open house to another. You’re tired but still hopeful as you step into yet another home, only to be greeted with a command: Take off your shoes. What gives?

It might sound like a ridiculous request, but it’s not. Sellers have good reasons to make their open houses shoeless, but they should also take care not to offend buyers in the process.

What’s the big deal about shoes?

Sellers go through the trouble of making their homes sparkling clean before an open house, paying for that shine from their wallets or with their own sweat. Open houses can attract hundreds of people—and twice that number of feet—so some sellers want to reduce the chance of floor damage, like from the following:

Scuffs: With tons of people coming and going, it’s possible one or more might ding up a hardwood floor with heavy boots or high heels.

Salt damage: When it snows, there’s salt. The same substance that provides traction on slick surfaces can act like sandpaper on hardwood or laminate flooring.

Wet spots: Since there’s not necessarily anyone to clean up after guests, tracked-in water can create a falling hazard. It also dirties up carpets.

Dirt, mud … and worse: How often do you check the bottom of your shoe? Chances are, there’s something gross under there.

Reduce the risk of offense

If you’re a seller, asking buyers to make an effort that’s out of the ordinary carries a risk. Some buyers feel uncomfortable taking off their shoes to show dirty or torn-up socks. Others might simply feel offended by the idea of their shoes being too dirty for admittance. Plus, the inconvenience of having to bend down and untie one’s shoes can diminish the “wow” factor of the front room, slightly sour a first impression, or simply make buyers feel awkward.

So, make the no-shoe rule as convenient as possible:

Put a sign outside: By informing buyers upfront, you’ll save them an awkward confrontation with your listing agent inside. Make the sign apologetic or add a touch of humor to put buyers at ease.

Create a shoe-shedding space: You don’t want buyers forming a line or bumping into one another to get their shoes on or off. If you have a tiny mudroom, consider setting up some chairs in a larger area in the adjacent room.

Keep it organized: Keep those shoes easy to find and out of the way with a shoe rack positioned against the wall.

Provide slippers: Consider buying inexpensive, nonslip slippers or socks for your guests.

Turn on the heat: A cold floor can make potential buyers rush through your house. Keep the heat on a little warmer than usual.

Provide hand sanitizer and towels: Your buyers might end up with mud or dirt on their hands, so have some hand sanitizer and paper towels ready, plus a trash can for the refuse.

Be flexible: You might need to make exceptions. If some buyers have orthopedic needs, it’s best not to press them to take off their shoes or they probably won’t bother coming in. Talk with your agent about how much you’re willing to budge. A large welcome mat can be handy in these situations.

Source: realtor.com