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10 Homebuyer Turn Offs

10 Homebuyer Turn Offs – Tips for Sellers On the Market


1. Clutter: You have to pack it anyway, pack it now and make more money!

More space can signal more room to grow.  For cleaning up clutter, follow the Rule of 3 to help with spaciousness. In the kitchen, there should be 3 or less appliances. For your bookshelves, divide it into 3 equal sections: books, vases and decor, and empty space. 

When it comes to your office and other spaces, having a generic setup is the best option. And for parents: pack away all extra toys and keep a laundry basket on hand to toss in any last minute items before the showing.


2. Poor curb appeal: The curb is the home’s handshake, it can be the buyer’s critical first impression.

Give your home’s exterior a clean feel. Trim and edge your yard, mulch and trim the trees, clean the wasp and bird nests in your eaves and over your doors, power wash if you need to. Every detail counts!


3. Misrepresenting your home in the online listing service: An instant upset.

Naturally, sellers will try to paint their homes in the best light possible but it’s also important to stay upfront about it so buyers have a realistic expectation when they see the house in person.


4. Snoopy Sellers: A general annoyance to both buyers and realtors.

As the homeowner, you’re probably an expert on the house. However, it can be more meddlesome than helpful to have the seller follow around potential buyers during the showing.

Trust your realtor to present its best qualities. As a professional, your realtor knows the ins and outs of selling a home, and has a system that gets people the maximum price for its value.


5. Too many personal items: When you try on a pair of pants, you don’t want to think about who has worn it before you.

Potential buyers look at homes and try to imagine themselves in it— having too many personal items can prevent that. Remember that decorating to live and decorating to sell are two different things. Anything that screams “you” is not something that will resonate with everyone else.


6. Popcorn acoustic ceilings: Times change and so do home style trends.

The once must-have popcorn ceilings can now date your space and turn potential buyers away. Think about getting them removed. However, if you can’t stomach the cost or mess, be prepared to credit the buyer in certain markets to close the sale.


7. Wallpaper: A lovely room accent for you can be just another chore to the buyer.

Wallpaper is generally a no-no for today’s buyer. It’s probably extremely personalized- you probably spent hours choosing the right one, but buyers may not like it the way you do. Plus, it’s a pain to remove and one more thing to add to the list of worries for the buyer. 


8. Old fixtures: Out with the old and in with the new.

While it might be costly to switch in new cabinet hardware and doorknobs, it can make all the difference. Old fixtures can turn off buyers and limit you from getting the highest price point possible for your home. Same goes for dated ceiling fans, light fixtures, and kitchen appliances.


9. Odors: Buyers buy with their noses, so keep your home smelling fresh and inviting.

Think twice before cooking fried foods, fish, or any other foods with odors that will likely linger while the house is on the market. Also note that next to the kitchen, the living room is the next smelliest room in the house because all the fabrics on the couches and upholstery tend to absorb the odors floating around.

Pet owners, think about the “homey” smell of your little friends that you’ve grown accustomed to. Half the population may love pets while the other half might just hate them, making doggy dishes and beds an immediate turn off when entering the home. Make sure to eliminate all traces of pets— not just odors, but litter boxes, cages, etc. and make a pet plan to have them out of the house during the showings.

The same rule applies to smokers: remove all ashtrays and clean out curtains and upholstery. Also consider smoking outdoors while on the market.


10. Dirt: An obvious, but key turn off.

Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a dirty house, and not getting it into the best shape it can be would be the seller’s No. 1 Mistake. Your home should be neat, clean, and free of all debris. Grime, pet dander, and dirty sinks will derail any showing so don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. Replace your old carpets, shampoo recently purchased ones, steam clean your tiles and grout. Again, every detail counts!

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