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 get their home in the absolute best condition that they’ve ever had it in.
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; not reek of cats or the kitchen counters so filthy that it almost looks like the food is moving.
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.
Some pet owners mistakenly believe pet smells to which they’ve become accustomed help make their abode homey. Wrong.
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 Outdated fixtures and appliances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 ceiling fans, 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.
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.
Decorating to live and decorating to sell are two different things.
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.
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. Buyers like tidy and neat.
If you get called an hour before a showing, throw anything laying around into a basket and take it in the car with you.
Note: Some content made possible by Bank.rate.com.