Are you trying to sell your home and wanting to know what deters home buyers most? This is a common question among sellers because many are unsure why prospective buyers don’t show interest in their property. Because every buyer looks for different attributes in a home, you can’t cater to everyone’s unique desires. However, there are certain qualities that consistently turn off home buyers. So what traits really are the biggest deterrents?
Home Buyer Turn-Offs
- Personal Items Left Around the House. It can be difficult to keep your house perfectly clean when you are both living in the property and showing it to buyers, but you MUST try to clean up personal items. Used bathroom towels and underwear are not going to help you with your home sale.
- Dirt, Grease, and Grime. People may be interested in a property initially, but upon seeing that a home is unkempt, they quickly become deterred. Although this may seem like a trivial cause for buyer disinterest, it is significant AND easy to fix. Many buyers worry that an unclean home is a sign that necessary repairs or other issues (e.g. mold) have been neglected. Make sure to keep your space CLEAN. Even if you don’t mop your home before each showing, we recommend at least cleaning your bathroom and kitchen because they typically collect the most grime.
- Chipped Paint, Leaks, and Visible Stains. Needless to say, none of these are a great way to show off your home’s potential. Small repairs and updates to your home are a great investment to catch a buyer’s eye and increase the home’s value.
- Poorly-Maintained Yard. Curb appeal is key because it is a buyer’s first impression of your home and its perceived value. If grass is overgrown or you have trash bins in the front yard, it significantly cheapens the home’s curb appeal and may even make an interested party choose not to bother looking at the rest of the property.
- Bad Smell. You have probably, at some point, watched a movie or heard a joke about realtors spraying a “cookie scent” or even baking cookies in a house. This is a comical anecdote when thinking about the measures agents take to make a home seem more desirable. This anecdote, however, is rooted in truth because agents know how much smell matters to buyers. If a home has a bad smell, no one is going to want to spend much time looking around. Instead, they will likely be right out the door. This is very important for pet owners! Clean the litter boxes and invest in deodorizer.
- Outdated and Cluttered Kitchen. A kitchen can often make or break a home for a buyer. Although you may not be able to do a full renovation on your kitchen, it is imperative that you remove all the clutter. If you are trying to choose the best room for renovation and your kitchen is a weak feature of your home, we recommend investing in updated appliances, fresh paint colors, and refurbished cabinets.
- Closed Floor Plan. Most of us have watched HGTV and are familiar with the current obsession over open floor plans. People do not like to feel claustrophobic in their home. Now, this can be difficult to fix without a complete renovation. HOWEVER, paint color and flooring can make a big difference. For example, hardwood/laminate flooring and lighter walls makes a space feel bigger, as opposed to carpet and dark paint colors.
- Excessive Repairs: Repairs may seem like a large initial investment for a property you aren’t keeping, but they have a high return. Cracks in a home’s foundation or excessive repairs are many buyers’ biggest concerns in their house hunt. If you invest in these repairs, you will likely have more interested buyers AND higher offers.
- Busy or Run-Down Neighborhood. There is not much you can do to change your neighbors’ choice of decor or decrease traffic, but most buyers highly value a neighborhood’s safety and appearance. The best way to keep a buyer interested is to make sure you make YOUR home as desirable as you can. Clean up the yard, update your appliances, and do everything you can to make your home desirable so that it stands out.
- Outdated Decor. Staging may not seem important to you. And no, it is not always necessary. However, whether you decide to stage or not, having old furniture and outdated decor is not a great way to entice prospective home buyers. Buyers like to envision a home’s potential, and outdated decor inhibits their imagination.