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10 Things That Turn Off Home Buyers

Open house sign

Looking to sell your home? Make sure you get top dollar for it by avoiding these 10 common mistakes which can make a huge impact on how potential buyers view your home.

  1. Dirt – The number one way to turn potential buyers off your house is dirt. Especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. Your house needs to be cleaner than it has ever been before! This can often be easily accomplished with 1 professional cleaning and then maintenance by the home owner. However, depending on the age and wear in your home, your house may require professional carpet cleaning and grout cleaning to remove the dirt.
  2. cat and puppySmells – Potential buyers don’t want to know what you had for dinner! Pet smells, smoke smells and food smells give potential buyers too much information about your life. If you have lingering smells, have your home professionally deodorized. Remember – you may not notice those lingering smells anymore, so be sure to ask a third party to help you determine if you house has an odor. And avoid cooking fish or anything very spicy while your house is on the market!
  3. Pets – While you may be an animal lover, it isn’t guaranteed that all potential buyers are as well. All pets should be removed from the home during a showing. We know this can be difficult, but having a dog barking from a crate or a closet that a potential buyer can’t open can be a big red flag for potential buyers. Remember to stash away litter boxes, leashes and pet dishes as well!
  4. Old Hardware – Outdated hardware, like door knobs, cabinet pulls, thermostats and light switches can be indicators of just how old your house is. Plus, they give the potential buyers too many “needs to be updated” items on their list for making your house their home. These are typically inexpensive, easy fixes, so make sure you update that hardware before putting the house on the market.
  5. Wall Paper – Wall paper is a new home owner’s worst nightmare. Removing wallpaper is a time- consuming task and one that most new home owners will not tackle. If you have wallpaper, especially if it is very outdated and bold, have it removed professionally and the walls repainted a neutral color. Instant update and cleanliness!
  6. Popcorn Ceilings – If home owners hate wall paper, they loath popcorn ceilings. Popcorn ceilings are a feature of home from the 60’s and 70’s, so it will always give an “old house” impression. If you can’t handle the project or the cost to remove the popcorn ceiling, be ready to give a credit to your buyers so they can have it removed.
  7. Personal Items – Family pictures and all personal items like toothbrushes and beauty products should be stowed away while your house is being shown. You don’t want potential buyers to be curious about you and your family, just curious about the house. Personal items distract people from noticing the home, so remove all of these before you put the house on the market.
  8. Seller hanging around – This is a big No-No. No matter what, when your house is being shown, you must leave the house. Even if you just take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood, be sure you are not present. Do your best to leave before the potential buyers arrive. And take the pets with you too!
  9. Bad Curb appeal – The saying “first impressions are everything” rings true for people and homes. If your house is lacking curb appeal, try some new landscaping, a fresh coat of paint on the front door and a new wreath. Small projects can make a big impact for a great first impression.
  10. Clutter – The last thing you want people to feel is that your home is too small for their stuff. To accomplish an open, large feel, remove all the clutter. Focus especially on closets, storage areas and shelves. Organize closets so they have empty space, highlighting that there is plenty of room for their belongings. One big issue can be toys! If you have a constant mess of toys, have an empty laundry basket ready – then right before a showing, go through the house picking up all the loose toys and other items, throw them in the laundry basket and stick it in the back of the car when you leave for a showing. Clutter removed!

Selling a home can be stressful, but if you avoid these mistakes, you are sure to get top dollar for your home and sell quickly. When you are ready to get your house on the market, feel free to give us a call at Cornerstone Capital and we will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding the financing on your current home and for your next one!