Monday, 26 June 2017

The Five Biggest Turn-Offs For Homebuyers

Written by Posted On Sunday, 30 March 2014 20:20

A lot of sellers don't listen to their real estate agents, so we'll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can't say to you and this is it - your agent can't get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.

That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following "turn-offs," your home won't sell.

Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:

1. Overpricing for the market

2. Smells

3. Clutter

4. Deferred maintenance

5. Dark, dated décor

Overpricing your home

Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You'll be found out and escorted out.

If you ignored your agent's advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.

The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't see it because they're shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.


Smells can come from a number of sources - pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.

There's not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they'll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the "new" carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.


If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers' attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.

Too much furniture confuses the eye - it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can't see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it's your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.

Your buyers really want a home that's been well-maintained. They don't want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.

Dated décor

The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it's from a different era.

Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.

When you're behind the times, buyers don't want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.

In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. if you're guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it's an investment that others should pay you to profit, you're in for a rude awakening. You'll be stuck with an asset that isn't selling.

Also See: The Three Biggest Turn-Ons For Homebuyers

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Blanche Evans

"Blanche Evans is a true rainmaker who brings prosperity to everything she touches.” Jan Tardy, Tardy & Associates

I have extensive and award-winning experience in marketing, communications, journalism and art fields. I’m a self-starter who works well with others as well as independently, and I take great pride in my networking and teamwork skills.

Blanche founded in 2008 as a copywriting/marketing support firm using Adobe Creative Suite products. Clients include Petey Parker and Associates, Whispering Pines RV and Cabin Resort, Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS®, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Prudential California Realty, MLS Listings of Northern California, Tardy & Associates, among others. See:, and

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  • Comment Link loanemu Saturday, 30 May 2015 09:52 posted by loanemu

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  • Comment Link Marcelle Moneypenny Tuesday, 23 September 2014 04:16 posted by Marcelle Moneypenny

    I really like your writing style, excellent info, regards for putting up :D. "If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk" by Laurence J. Peter.

  • Comment Link Liliana Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:43 posted by Liliana

    Blue is dated? My God -- blue is THE color for 2014!!

    Research much?

  • Comment Link Fiona Henneuse Thursday, 24 April 2014 06:52 posted by Fiona Henneuse

    I was left incredulous when I viewed a very expensive , renovated home in Thirroul at an open doors day last year.I was visiting the area with my husband as we are emigrating this year from Scotland. There were dozens of eager people visiting the property , loving and saying over the space, the decor etc. ,some I am sure saw it as a kind of status symbole To be seen there!
    We were just curious , and interested to see what our money might buy in the future.
    Despite this I was THE ONLY potential purchaser of this million bucks home that picked up and read the survey report lying on the coffee table for all to view!
    In Scotland it is obligatory to have a report carried out when selling,and anyone who buys a house without instructing a survey is in my opinion a complete fool!

  • Comment Link Nancy Williams Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:56 posted by Nancy Williams

    #1....unattractive, unappealing entrance, front door, driveway! First impressions before you even get inside!

  • Comment Link Fran kershner Monday, 21 April 2014 17:09 posted by Fran kershner

    This may be considered as dated décor but I would add WALLPAPER to that list. Have an estate that has wallpaper on all walls, even bath, kitchen and hallway ceilings and I can not even get anyone to remove it.

  • Comment Link Anne Meczywor Monday, 21 April 2014 16:35 posted by Anne Meczywor

    While pet odors send buyers heading for the door, smoking odors stop them before they cross the threshold! I have buyers who will see right past dated decor, but can't see past their noses. Sellers have no idea how many tens of thousands of dollars smoking costs them in property value.

  • Comment Link Ron Saturday, 19 April 2014 18:59 posted by Ron

    This should be madatory reading for all sellers

  • Comment Link John Trenti Saturday, 19 April 2014 17:55 posted by John Trenti

    I would DEFINITELY include any signs of water damage/intrusion and mold/mildew in the top three!

  • Comment Link Curt Tuesday, 08 April 2014 19:39 posted by Curt

    So, if "Onyx and pewter" date the home from the aughts, then what colors are :in' now -5 years later?

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