For Sellers
Amy Paul Realtor Gahanna Ohio

Top Things that Turn Off Homebuyers

10 turnoffs that sellers should avoid…

1.  Dirt, grime and filth

Want to turn off a homebuyer? Nothing will do the job faster than showing a house with filthy floors and kitchen counters, hair in the bathroom, stained carpeting, etc.

Sellers should make an extra effort, from steam-cleaning tile and grout to replacing carpets.  Homes should be neat and clean and free of all debris and bad smells.

2. Odors from food, pets and smoking

Stinky does NOT sell. Buyers don’t want to detect by smell what your favorite foods are and what kinds of pets you have.

A lot of times, sellers will leave pet items out – dog dishes, cat litter boxes, etc.  That immediately turns off a buyer, and  some people really don’t like dogs, or worse have allergies.

The same rules hold true for smokers; remove all ashtrays, clean all curtains and upholstery, and consider smoking outdoors while your home is on the market.

3. Outdated fixtures and appliances

Buyers are not impressed by tarnished doorknobs, disco-era light fixtures and ancient ceiling fans.

The same holds true for dated light fixtures and kitchen appliances.  By updating these items for a few hundred dollars makes a big difference and you will recoup that money spent by selling for higher dollar or less time spent on the market.

4. Wallpaper

Today’s buyer doesn’t want wallpaper, no matter how much your grandma liked it. Wallpaper is a pain to remove and simply adds another chore to a buyer’s to-do list. Wallpaper is just too personalized.

5. Popcorn acoustic ceilings

The shag carpet from the ‘60s or ‘70s was replaced long ago. But acoustic popcorn ceilings, another artifact of that era (and of the ‘80s, too) might remain. They badly date your space.

If you can’t stomach the cost or the mess to remove the overhead popcorn, be prepared to credit a buyer in certain markets in order to close a sale.

6. Lots of personal items

Buyers are trying to picture themselves in your home.  But if all they see are personal items and clutter, it’s unlikely the buyer can see themselves living there.  Sellers should try to eliminate personal items, including family photos, personal effects and even unique colors.

7. Sellers who hang around the house

In general, buyers don’t like it when sellers greet them at the door, follow them around and eavesdrop and make unsolicited comments.

Sellers want to feel comfortable to browse the home and speak freely.

8. Misrepresenting a home

Sellers use photos and words to make their homes enticing on the multiple listing service (MLS). But sometimes the words and pictures paint a false portrait. Buyers don’t like that.

9. Poor curb appeal

Seeing a house for the first time is like meeting a person for the first time: Appearance counts. The first impression of a house is called curb appeal.

Trim hedges, edge beds, put down fresh mulch. Every little detail counts.  In some cases power washing or painting the entire exterior may be necessary.

10. Clutter

A lot of us live with clutter. We get so accustomed to it that we scarcely perceive it anymore. But homebuyers notice.

Start removing clutter in closets, kitchens, and bookshelves.  The more spacious rooms look, the better.  If you get called an hour before a showing, throw anything laying around into a basket and take it in the car with you.

Tips for Sellers

First and foremost when selling real estate, you need to remove your emotions from the equation.  It needs to become a marketable commodity, property.  Your ultimate goal should be to make others see your home as THEIR potential home, not YOURS.  So de-personalize it.

1. Shape-Up Your Lawn. Be sure your lawn is trimmed and edged, flower beds cultivated and your lawn free of debris.

2. Let There Be Light. Check and double-check all bathrooms and bedrooms. Make sure they are bright and airy. Replace any missing light bulbs.  Re-paint any dark bedrooms or bathrooms.

3. Showcase Your Kitchen. Your kitchen should be gleaming and spotless. A neat and clean kitchen impresses potential buyers.  No dishes in the sink.  No clutter.  Cabinets wiped down.

4. Brighten Up. Check all walls, ceilings, and woodwork. If they’re dirty or faded, wash or repaint where needed.  It’s a small investment that can bring an easier sale.

5. Top to Bottom/De-Clutter. Get rid of unnecessary articles in your attic, basement, and garage. Arrange the remaining articles neatly to show this space to its best advantage.  An organized space looks larger.

6. Closet Space. Closets appear larger when arranged neatly. Hang clothes properly and organize shoes, purses, belts, ties, etc.

7. Nip the Drip. Fix those leaky faucets or running toilets. If you don’t, potential buyers could think you have haven’t taken care of the property.

8. It’s the Little Things. Take care of those sticky drawers, loose doorknobs or electrical faceplates and warped cabinet doors.  Buyers notice the smallest things.

9. Clean! Clean! Clean! Bright windows and spotless rooms help sell your house. Keep rooms furnished to allow the buyer to visualize the potential of the space.

10. Night Lights. When showing after dark, turn on all lights throughout the house. A well lit house gives the feeling of friendliness and warmth.  If your home will be vacant during the listing period, check light bulbs periodically, and leave lamps in rooms without over-head lighting.