The Devil is in the Details

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, you have probably decided that you need to do some updates. You might be getting the indoors or outdoors painted, you might be replacing the flooring or doing a quick kitchen or bath update.
One area that homeowners overlook is taking care of the small details. After all, most sellers believe that buyers will be focused on the big stuff. While that is true, I would contend that the small details can be a big deal to a buyer.
As I walk through a house with buyers, we are looking at each home carefully. We close lookopen closets, look in cabinets and throw open shower curtains. We notice blown out light bulbs (does the fixture work?) and we notice un-weeded flower beds. Why do these things matter? If we notice that the caulk around a bathtub is covered with mold, what other small details might a homeowner have ignored?
Too often, a judgment about a property is made quickly by the buyer. An unkempt front door can give an impression of a home that is neglected by the seller.  Truth be told, the seller might be focused on big ticket items: keeping the roof in good condition, getting the HVAC serviced, replacing the windows.  Unfortunately, those items and their condition are not as obviously visible to the buyer.
When you are contemplating the listing of your home, don't overlook the little things.  While the big things indicate that the house is well maintained, the little things can undermine that impression and leave a bad feeling with the buyer.


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Comment balloon 4 commentsHolly Weatherwax • November 14 2012 06:18AM


So true!  The little things can be interpretted, correctly or incorrectly, to mean something much bigger.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach ( (757) 560-0881) about 6 years ago

I look at the small things like this, if you don't take care of the obvious, then your not taking care of the major things either. Minor details speak volumes.

Posted by Scott M. Stulich, "REALTY becomes REALITY" (Signature Realty Group, LLC.) about 6 years ago

The home should be cleaned and free of clutter and I mean cleaned like it's never been cleaned before.  Hire someone and clean it before and after they leave.  Then tomorrow, wake up and clean it again.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 6 years ago

Holly - I totally agree with you!  When I do a staging consultation at a home that is decluttered and neat as a pin, I often will start to find little details that need attention.  The home owner has obviously worked very hard to get the house to this near pristine condition, and here I am telling them there's more to do.  But I tell them that because the house IS in excellent show condition, all that's left for buyers to look at are the details.  Its actually a good problem to have, because they will have truly addressed ever possible issue a buyer can find.

Posted by Monica Murphy, ASP, IAHSP, RESA (Preferred Staging, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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