12 mistakes to avoid when selling your Birmingham home. Before and after PHOTOS

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Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

It’s a great time to sell a home in Birmingham. But to get the most bang for your buck, there are some faux pas to avoid. We spoke with RealtySouth about mistakes homeowners should steer clear of when listing.

1) Ignoring the landscape.

Before: bushes overgrown, old pine straw, dull lighting. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

You want to make the best first impression when someone walks up to your home. Even though it’s hot out there right now, be sure to mow the lawn before you list. Fresh flowers can also make a big impact. Pro tip: pine straw is a great option to improve your landscape, and it’s cheaper than mulch!

After: trimmed bushes, dead debris removed, fresh pine straw, bright photo. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

2) Failing to deep clean.

If your home is dirty, a buyer will notice. Before you sell, it’s time to do a deep clean, from ceiling to baseboards. A dirty house makes a buyer wonder what else a seller is doing to let the property go.

3) Thinking you don’t need home staging.

Home staging can make a big difference when you prepare to sell. You want the buyer to imagine themselves in your home–it may help to enhance a space with some new (staged) furniture.

4) Keeping the clutter.

Before: cluttered, poor flow, natural light is blocked. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

You may love your antique doll collection, but a prospective buyer may not. If there’s any clutter in your house, store it. According to RealtySouth, staging items in threes is helpful. For example, if you’re decorating a mantle, use three items (two books and a candle).

After: removed large sofa, moved ottoman away from fireplace, decluttered. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

5) Removing all family photos.

People want to feel homey in a home! If you strip your house of every family photo, it will feel sterile.

6) Positioning furniture in a way that suits your family instead of a room.

Before: burned out light bulbs, too much furniture for room size. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

Think about what works best for a space, not for your family. The crowded dining room above may have been great for the sellers, but it looks cluttered to a buyer. You want to show your home in its best possible shape.

After: new light bulbs, removed cabinet and four chairs and cleared table. Photo courtesy of RealtySouth

7) Letting the kids’ toys take over.

Before: reality with a nine-month old

Any parent knows that toys can accumulate throughout your house in what seems like a matter of minutes. For home showings, keep toys confined to your child’s room.

After: that certainly looks better!

8) Not checking your HVAC.

Get your HVAC inspected and serviced before you list. You don’t want someone to tour your house in the Birmingham summer heat without a working air conditioner. The HVAC is guaranteed to come up during a home inspection.

9) Failing to organize closets and the garage.

Make sure your closets and garage are very well organized. If you have a smaller closet, organizing it will make it look bigger and better. Go ahead and remove out-of-season clothes to free up space.

10) Adding artificial plants.

Apparently artificial plants can be good and bad. It all depends on quantity and cleanliness. A couple are fine, but they get dusty fast. It’s best to limit fresh plants inside as well (again, you don’t want anything to look cluttered!).

11) Going with bold paint colors.

Think soft neutrals when it comes to paint colors. It may seem like a pain to paint the house you’re about to move out of, but it creates a blank slate for the new owners.

12) Keeping Fido in the house for showings.

My dog, Lola. She’ll go vacation at her aunt’s house when we sell!

We all love our dogs. We’ve also all walked into a house that doesn’t smell great, and probably haven’t forgotten it. Consider letting your pup stay with a family member or friend while you’re showing your home. Light some candles, and if your home has a strong pet or smoke odor, consider an ozone machine or duct cleaning.

If you’re thinking about selling your home soon, be sure to keep these mistakes in mind. Your real estate agent can help you along the way, too!

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Taylor Babington
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