Boo! Is your Portland home a haunted house?

portland haunted house

Halloween’s almost here, but Portland home buyers aren’t looking for a house that’s haunted. Too often, homes listed for sale are overlooked because of relatively minor issues, issues that the seller can easily fixed before the buyer’s agent comes knocking. So save the scares for the professionals, and read on to de-spookify your home and get it sold before next Halloween!

Outside areas
Haunted house: Gnarled trees, bats, spiders in every window
Your house: Clean and maintained.
Like it or not, buyers are swayed by first impressions. Here in Portland, the temperate, rainy climate can lead to an overabundance of vegetation, but that’s not a bad thing as long as you keep it maintained. As a general rule, plants and trees should not obscure front windows or hang over the house, driveway, paths, porch, etc. Keep the lawn mowed and remove dirt and cobwebs from the siding or windows. Disorganized toys and tools in the front yard can be distracting as well as a safety hazard (to buyers and trick-or-treaters!) so get them cleaned up.

Remodeling projects
Haunted house: Boarded-up windows, splattered walls and trap doors
Your house: Safe and ready to move in
Portland is notorious for its do-it-yourself culture. Your home-improvement projects might add value to your home, but only when they’re complete. Most buyers don’t want to take up where you might have left off, and an unfinished deck or loose floorboards could be a hazard when the home is being shown. If you’re still in the finishing-up process when home buyers come around, be ready with a timeline for the project’s completion.

Haunted house: Dark, spooky
Your house: Light, pleasant
When showing your home, open up as many window shades as possible and illuminate dark corners with lamps. With good lighting that directs buyers to your home’s best assets, your home is much more likely to be remembered. Besides, everyone feels more comfortable in a well lit space, especially if you have an abundance of natural lighting. Just make sure you sweep out the corners before you turn on all the lamps!

Haunted house: Blood, ghostly wails
Your house: Quiet, scent-free but homey
Buyers literally will make a quick escape from your home if it’s an affront to the senses. Potpourri, scented candles, and room sprays can cause worse than wrinkled noses if someone has an allergy. Also, someone may wonder what odors you’re trying to mask – mold, pet urine, smoke? All are red flags for most home buyers. Turn off the television, radio, and other distractions before your home is shown. On the other hand, don’t clear your shelves of books and family photos. Keeping the place looking lived-in makes it easier for buyers to imagine living there themselves. Check out our article on how home staging sells homes!

Haunted house: Edge of the graveyard
Your house: In a great neighborhood
People moving to an urban area like Portland want accessibility, but they also want to live somewhere quiet and friendly. Most buyers won’t know your neighborhood, so be prepared to offer some information. Work with your real estate agent to identify nearby bus lines, bike paths, parks and shopping centers. Use our interactive Portland neighborhoods map to find neighborhood demographics and lifestyle amenities.

Don’t be scared! As long as your home isn’t totally haunted, you can get it sold with the help of your Portland real estate agent. A little advance preparation and maybe a friendly carved pumpkin or two will go a long way!

October 30, 2012

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.