11 Things That May Scare Off Buyers

As you prepare to sell your home, it’s important to realize that it is not only where you reside but an item for sale hoping to attract a buyer. There are some things you that are perfectly acceptable when living in a house that could be undesirable to buyers. Here are a few that may scare potential buyers off.

1.) Curb Appeal
A well-manicured lawn can go a long when in making a buyer feel at home. The exterior of the house sets the tone for the tour. Make sure the grass is cut, exterior pressure washed, and gutters are clean. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression.

2.) Untidy and Clutter
It’s simple, a clean and tidy house will be far more attractive to buyers than one that isn’t. Cobwebs and dust can be an oversight, but that’s not how buyers will see it. Kitchen counters should be clear. Fingerprints on stainless steel appliances, food caked on the bottom of the oven, Dishwasher. Bathroom counters full of personal care products should be cleared. Toilet bowls, bathtubs, and showers should be as clean as the day you moved in. Water stains and mildew are not what buyers are looking for when they’re searching for a new home. Your home should be clean and tidy when it comes on the market and should stay that way until your home is sold. Put away anything you can do without for 2-3 months. If there are items, you use only occasionally put those in an easy to reach place that keeps them out of sight but within reach.
3.) Too Many Personal Items
Go State! Your love for the local football and baseball teams may not transfer to potential buyers. In such a transient area there’s bound to fans of every team far and wide. Personal photos are a beautiful personal touch when decorating your home, and they won’t necessarily win you any points with buyers. Remember buyers want to envision themselves and their family making memories in your home. Don’t let personal items like sports memorabilia or family photos deter buyers.

4.) Sellers Present During Showings
Hanging around during showings is not a good idea. Buyers would like the opportunity to view the house and express their opinions freely, and they can’t do that with the sellers within earshot. While you may feel it’s helpful to be there to answer any of the buyer’s questions, there’s a greater chance of you running them off by lurking nearby or making them feel rushed. 

5.) Strong Odors
Whether it’s pets, cigarettes, or the stench of spices or fried food. No one wants to be greeted by a strong scent when they enter your home. Some foods leave a smell that can linger for hours if not days. Be mindful of this way preparing meals while your home is on the market. If there’s a smoker in your home, you’ll want to consider painting and perhaps odor abatement before listing. You may not be able to smell the smoke, but in a buyer’s mind the dollars they’ll have to spend to remediate the problem are adding up in their heads. Pets no matter how big or small are bound to turn off some buyers. The smell of dogs, cats, or even your pet guinea pig could present a problem for you with potential buyers. Many homeowners are blind to scent left by their furry family members, but buyers aren’t. Have your carpets cleaned before listing to reduce pet odors and stains. Moreover, you may want to put pet bowls and other evidence of their presence away for showings.

6.) Visible Flaws and Unfinished Repairs
What appears to be a minor cosmetic issue to you may be viewed as a major problem for buyers. Plan and fill any holes are visible dents. You may have had a roof leak repaired in the past but never painted over the stain on the ceiling. Now’s the time to address these items before putting your house on the market. The less work, a buyer, will have to do after settlement the more valuable your house will be to them.

7.) Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a very personal choice and not everyone is a fan. Wallpaper can be a pain to remove, but it’s essential for your home to appeal to the vast number of buyers. Removing wallpaper and painting the home a neutral color will significantly improve the chances of selling your house.

8.) Dark and Unusual Paint
Paint like wallpaper is a personal choice, and while you may favor bold and bright colors, it’s worth repeating that our goal is to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Concerning painting in harshly colored walls with sometimes more neutral and inviting. Many buyers will choose to paint before moving in, but you don’t want to make them feel like they’ll have to.

9.) Dated Fixtures and Finishes
Brass and out of date finishes can turn buyers off. Consider replacing yellow brass fixtures with chrome or nickel. New cabinet knobs and pulls can go a long in freshening up a space.

10.) Running Hot or Freezing Cold
It’s important that your house feels welcoming from the moment buyers walk in. That means making sure the temperature is comfortable whether your house is occupied or vacant. If the house is too hot or cold, it may lead the buyer to believe that there are issues with the heating and cooling systems. Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature relative to the season and weather conditions.

11.) Lighting
Many homes in Northern Virginia don’t have lighting in every room. A dimly lit room isn’t as inviting and can make it difficult to see it’s real potential. Make sure each room is well lit, even if that means placing additional lamps or installing more light fixtures. Replace light bulbs with high wattage white light throughout the house. Turn on all lights and open blinds before each showing.

Give Abraham a call at 703-539-2053 or email [email protected] for more helpful tips on getting your home sold.


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