Trying to understand what home buyers will accept can be a challenge. Basically, if the market is a super-hot seller’s market then home buyers may accept a “negative” that would be a deal breaker in a buyer’s market. And local MRIS stats show that market types can change from zip code to zip code.
Real estate markets can change rapidly and if you are planning to sell your home then you need to prepare for the worst. Relocating buyers can give me some realistic (and sobering) insight into what is “hot” at any given moment. And, for example, buyers relocating from San Diego will tell me a lot as we are house hunting because it is often easier for them to articulate what they dislike rather than what they like when they tour a house.
What are common home buyer turn-offs?
I felt it would be helpful to put together a list of some common turn-offs. And, if you think I missed any obvious ones then leave a comment below for all to read!
10 Home Buyer Turn-offs:
- A Dirty Home The sad truth is that the buyers may be total slobs at home, but when they see your house it needs to feel like the maid-brigade has just left the driveway.
- Boxes of Stuff When home buyers see boxes of stuff they immediately think that your home is too small.
- Smells When clients walk into a home and an unpleasant smell hits them… they are thinking, “NEXT!”
- Wall Paper There hasn’t been one client in 22 years that didn’t comment, “that will have to be changed”.
- Seeing YOU If you are there then the buyers will be looking at you, not your house.
- Your pet When a seller’s ferret ran from one room to another, I could hear my client thinking, “NEXT!” Even a friendly dog is a big distraction.
- Kitchen Appliances A greasy Wolf range isn’t acceptable, and a Sub Zero fridge with last night’s Chinese food cartons is gross. Basically, it doesn’t matter if the appliances are high-end, gourmet, or from the 1970’s because if they are not “show-ready” then most buyers are turned off.
- Chain link fences Okay, maybe my clients are snooty but chain-link fences just lack any character. Rusty ones are considered 10x.
- Dirty Bathrooms Again with the dirt, but take your stuff off the counters, clean the toilet and shower, and put some clean fluffy white towels out.
- Gold tone or builder grade light fixtures or brass bathroom fixtures The only exception is if they are real antiques… but most look like they are from the bargain bin, and home buyers immediately give me the look.
Yes, I could have rambled on but things like old carpet or cigarette smoke but they were just too obvious. Many of my clients are relocating from far off lands like Texas, California, Connecticut, Ohio or North Carolina and are uprooting their kids and spouses. This is big time stuff here, and folks who have lived in a house for the last twenty five years and are now downsizing need to see the big picture when preparing to sell their home.
Anyone looking for a good checklist might want to read How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell in 30 Days because understanding the big picture is the best strategy.