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5 Common Homebuyer Turnoffs and How to Avoid Them

Buyers click with a home on an instinctive level more times than not. Even after weighing the dollars and cents, a prospective buyer may make an offer on a home that costs more than they budgeted for or walk away from a home that is priced exactly right. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a bad first impression like these:

#1: Untidiness
Your dirty litter boxes are making a mess of your kitchen floor. Prospective buyers are greeted upon entry into your home by your stained carpets and dusty light fixtures filled with dead bug carcasses. You are not seriously trying to sell your home are you? Not if it is untidy you are not.

My Advice: Hire professional cleaners to prepare your home to ensure that every nook and cranny is showroom ready.
#2: Unpleasant Odors
Have you ever heard of the phrase “nose blind”? If not, it means your house is giving off an odor that your nose has become adapted to but strangers will notice immediately. Perhaps your carpets and furniture reek of your pet’s fur but you don’t realize it, or your dank basement gives off a moldy smell in your kitchen. Even pleasant odors like incense and candles can turn off buyers if they are too strong.
My Advice: Don’t just mask odors, get to the source and clean it out. Use lightly scented fragrances like room fresheners, plug-ins, and potpourri to freshen your house.
#3: Chipped Paint
You don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on home repairs before resale but for goodness sakes do paint the walls. Nothing turns prospective buyers off quicker than chipped paint or loudly painted walls. You may think, “Oh they can just paint it themselves,” but buyers don’t want to buy a problem.
My Advice: This is an easy fix — repaint every room in a neutral color. Use furniture and accent pieces to add color and let the new paint smell dissipate before showing your house.
#4: Bad Staging
Hiring professional stagers can be expensive, but there are things you can do to show your home in the best light by remove clutter and keepsakes. The more clean and streamlined your home looks the better.
My Advice: Put large furniture pieces in storage, clean out closets and drawers, remove pictures and bathroom toiletries.
#5: Intrusiveness
Get out! Seriously, during a showing, let your agent do their job and get out of your own way. You should not be in the house whenever there is a scheduled showing. Even outside of scheduled showings, your agent may need to give an impromptu showing for a hot prospect.
My Advice: Be accommodating. Always keep your house show-ready by putting things away and have a plan to leave whenever necessary for a showing.

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I write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.

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