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Top Ten Homebuyer Turnoffs

Once you decide to sell your home, you want to give it a good lookover to make sure it's as presentable as it can be. If you want to get top dollar for your home, you need to be aware of the common mistakes that will turn off prospective homebuyers  and send them running for the door. Here are a few common turnoffs you'll want to avoid.


Top Ten Homebuyer Turn Offs

Amit Bhuta

I use non-traditional marketing to inspire the most motivated buyers to pay the max for Miami luxury homes...

I use non-traditional marketing to inspire the most motivated buyers to pay the max for Miami luxury homes...

Oct 28 7 minutes read

1. Badly Maintained Exteriors

Curb appeal, or how attractive your property looks like when viewed from the street, will play a big role in attracting potential buyers, so a house that has a hideous one will surely work to make your prospective buyers turn tail then and there. The outside of your home will dictate people's first impressions on your place, so cracks on the driveway, peeling paint, damaged roof and gutters, or a rundown yard or garden will make the buyer think that you keep a shoddy home as well. Prior to selling, make sure you take care of your yard and outdoors as well, even if you need to invest in professional services to make sure you have yourself covered.

2. Swimming Pool

It may come as a surprise but swimming pools are a top turn-off for a lot of homebuyers. While some people do find it an attraction, most buyers will consider them a major eyesore, especially above-ground pools, which tend to leave dead spots in the grass, and even an in-ground pool is a huge turn-off due to the high maintenance required to care for a pool. There is also some liability involved with owning a pool: having one can even increase the homeowner’s insurance premiums that the next homeowner will have to pay. Financially, pools rarely make back the money spent on them and can sometimes even lower your home's value

3. Dark Interiors

Light and warmth are two of the most important factors in attracting a potential buyer, especially during the colder months of the year. A cold or poorly lit home can be an instant turn-off since it makes the property appear dingy and dark in places, giving an impression that the house is unloved and uncared for. A dark house may also seem unwelcoming to visitors, and therefore undesirable to have.

4. Clutter and Personal Items

No one wants into a house that looks lived in. It may seem contrary to sense,  but buyers prefer to see presentable homes even if there's still someone living in the house. Messy bathrooms, crowded kitchen counters. family pictures on walls or personalized knickknacks are sure to mess all work to turn off any buyer. Sure, you still live in your house, and these may be the effects of daily life, but you need to consider that buyers want to visualize themselves living in your home. Keeping things clean and essentially “blank” will help them to better see their furniture and personal belongings in the house, which could help your chances to sell. Plus of course, who wants to walk into a room and see dirty underwear on the floor. Yikes!

5. Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were once so popular, especially in the 70's, because of their acoustic properties and ability to hide imperfections. Nowadays, however, they are more of an eyesore and most likely a major turnoff for buyers. They a major hassle to repair, accumulate dirt, defy cleaning and are highly difficult to paint. Plus if your home was built prior to the mid-1980s, it may also contain asbestos, which poses a major health risk. Removal is expected to be a messy and laborious process, with or without asbestos. The material must be wetted down and scraped and the underlying wallboard wiped clean. Take the time to address this eyesore before it becomes a problem and barrier to selling your home.

Popcorn ceiling - Wikimedia Commons

6. Wacky or Outrageous Paint

We understand if your home has paint or wallpaper sporting unconventional shades or designs, if that's how you express your uniqueness. But colors can have a strong effect on mood, and tones that are unpleasant to the eye can easily distract a potential buyer from the other positive aspects of your home. Garish shades or whimsical designs do not belong in homes for selling. Paint over these colors and choose warm neutral tones like beige or cream, that can make your rooms look inviting, larger and brighter.

7. Unpleasant Odors

Walking into a house, any noticeable, heavy odors such as lingering cooking smells, cigarette smoke, or even the smell of perfume, can make a bad impression on any home buyer. Our sense of smell tends to impact memories and emotions, so distinctively unpleasant scents could impact how they would perceive and recall the viewing experience in your home. Prior to any showing, open up the windows to get some air-flow. You can also use fabric refresher on upholstery, and run air fresheners or aromatic diffusers in your rooms.

8. Damage and Defects

As the homeowner, you've probably lived with household flaws and mechanical nuisances so long that its no longer noticeable unless you're actively looking at them. But prospective buyers will sure to see them, and these could negatively impact your home's value. Consult your realtor so that they could get an inspector to check for potential issues you might need to address.

9. Misrepresentation

There is such a thing as having a home that is too picture perfect. Sure your house might look wonderful in property sites, and there's nothing wrong with making it presentable. But nothing can turn a buyer off faster than having high expectations of a property then turning up and discovering unexpected problems. Be careful with how you present your home online and be sure to disclose flaws as honestly and accurately as you can.

10. Hovering Seller

There's nothing wrong with wanting any potential buyer to love your home as much as you do, but sellers who lurk during viewing can become uncomfortable for them. Many sellers who follow buyers around will usually discuss their thoughts and feelings about the house. Like it or not, most buyers would prefer to privately tour your home without the added pressure. Even with the best intentions, it’s always best to leave your buyers alone with their thoughts.

“Our home, priced at $1,225,000 was on the market for ONE YEAR with a local realtor without any offers...... Amit sold it in 34 days at a price we were very happy with.” 

- Alicia Sandoval

“His high-end, digital marketing for sellers is truly cutting-edge and worlds ahead of the competition. Amit also offers hands-on buyer services that are the best you will find in the Coral Gables area. Hire him for all your real estate needs!”

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