Its official – You are selling your home in Austin, moving away and never looking back! You are taking that new job offer, met with your SmartLiving realtor and hassling over a 5 dollar difference with moving company bids. So stick a for sale sign in the front yard and hope that potential buyers will love your home as much as you did. Right? WRONG!

Anyone who has ever sold a home knows quite well that it takes a great deal of cleaning or staging your home for the prospective buyer. Here are some unthinkable tips that some of my clients have found surprising but deal breakers to buyers:

1. Repaint and Patch Nail Holes on Your Walls

This could definitely be time consuming, but it will allow the walls in your home look fresher. Besides, no cares about where you placed that Texas Longhorns clock. Ask your local hardware store for the lightest putty; apply it by following ALL directions on the package and repaint the entire wall so the evidence of your Texas Longhorns clock is gone.

2. Have to Get Rid of Those Personalized Smells

Love your pets and homemade cooking? Well not everyone does, smells are a serious deal killer. My most recent experience with home odor deterring buyers was last week when my clients walked into a gorgeous stone-and-brick facade only to walk right back out. My client’s wife was pregnant and could not stand the smell of heavy cooking, and coming back was not even a question asked.

When people enter your home, the first thing they notice is the smell. The solution is bleach, not peach scented candles or watermelon plug- in room fragrances. These delicious smells might cause suspicion that you are hiding something. Kitchen and bathrooms need deep cleaning with bleach, then re-grout tiles that are unclean-able and re-caulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors to seal out the moisture that encourages the growth of poignant smell of mold, mildew and bacteria. My best advice: clean like you have never cleaned before using the proper cleaning guides.

3. Your Floor is Missing a Piece? Well Then Replace Damaged Vinyl Flooring

It is always a great idea to purchase additional material prior to installing your floor, but this is not always possible, so if you want your home to look presentable to buyers replace broken or damaged vinyl flooring. Replacing flooring could actually run up to $400 or more unless you decide to fix it on your own. Inspect the vinyl flooring in your bathrooms. If it has discolored spots or is loose, moisture may be damaging the floor. You’ll probably want a professional to lay the actual flooring, which could cost $400 or more. But you can save as much as half of the cost by preparing the floor yourself. While your new floor is being installed, you can take care of your baseboards by cleaning, sanding and repainting them to give that overall new look when it is finished.

4. Stop Faucet Drips

A dripping faucet does not only call attention to itself, but it also leaves residue and mold behind. Do not leave a broken faucet leaking in your home. It’s not even hard to fix.

Shut off the water supply to the faucets by turning the valves under the sink to the right. Then, test the faucet to make sure you have shut the water off completely. While you’re looking under the sink, check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Also check the supply lines leading to the dishwasher and disposal. If those areas are wet, get a plumber.

If this seems like more trouble than you are willing to tackle, call a plumber. With no complications, a plumber can install the new parts in an hour, though most will bill you for an hour and a half minimum.

5. Get Rid of Your Junk! De-Clutter!

I came across a client with an amazing talent for painting; the only problem was that his garage was a two car studio. This was definitely a hard sale when it came to asking prospective buyers to visualize their F-150 and SUV in the obscure space. Your treasures could be someone else’s dismay. Or in this case a deal breaker. Rearrange, store and organize your most cluttered room. You will be amazed on how much space you’ll have left.

The rule of thumb should be, if you do not need it, why not donate it! Keep Austin Green!