The List of Pet Peeves That Turn Homebuyers Off — And How to Avoid Them

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Even if your home is priced right and in a desirable location, you may be offending potential buyers without ever knowing it. Here is our list of pet peeves that can turn a buyer off — and how to avoid them when selling your home.

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When someone is searching for a home to buy, gut instinct and first impressions are crucial to making a positive impact. Even if your home ticks all the boxes for you, there is a chance you may be offending potential buyers without ever knowing it. Here is our list of pet peeves that turn buyers off — and how to avoid them when selling your home.

1. Masking Issues

Whether it is odors or a failed foundation, masking potential issues to gain a quick sale could be a very costly gamble. If there are serious defects that you know about, a buyer could back out of the deal at the last minute, ask you to fix the issue or worse — involve you in a legal battle long after the deal should be done. Consider hiring a qualified home inspector to conduct a pre-sale inspection. An inspection gives you the upper hand in determining how to address the issue — and get top dollar for your home. No home is perfect. Be upfront about any flaws in your home and you will light the path to a smoother sale.

2. Overpricing Your Home

Ensuring your home is appropriately priced before hitting the market is an important factor in achieving a timely sale. Working with a knowledgeable agent — and trusting their advice — is your best bet in ensuring your home sells for what it’s worth. In real estate, the price you paid for a home has no bearing or guarantee on its selling price when you go to list. The market, condition of the home, and how well recent home sales have performed all influence what your home is worth, and having your house sit on the market because it’s overpriced will deter interested buyers.

3. Not Preparing Your Home For Sale

Buyers need to picture themselves living in your home. Giving them a clean, decluttered, and neutral space is essential. An abundance of knick-knacks, or greatly loved (but really worn out) furniture can be distracting, so consider packing them up before you list. Additionally, showing your home with overly bright, dark, or otherwise overwhelming colors can be off-putting to potential buyers who only see the price tag and effort to repaint. Repainting these rooms in a neutral palette may not be your personal taste, but it will allow a blank slate for potential buyers.

4. Making Showings Difficult

While keeping your house ready for showings and open houses can be stressful, the longer your home sits on the market, the more you will have to do it. Being inflexible with requested showing times or demanding to be present during showings can actually harm the sale process rather than help it, and may top a buyers list of pet peeves. Potential buyers will be more willing to work with you on the negotiations if you have been reasonable in their showing demands, and allowing them to view your home without you present will ease any uncomfortable feelings they may have about you being present.

5. Not Considering Your Pets

While your pets have a special place in your heart — and your home — not every homebuyer will share your view. Considering how your pets will impact buyers is an important step in depersonalizing your home. When preparing for viewings be sure that your pets are appropriately contained, as not to disturb buyers who want access to all parts of your home. If possible, removing pets from the premises completely is preferred, but if you can’t do that, ample warning through your agent is a must. Repairing any stained or damaged items caused by pets before you list will also help the overall impression your home makes.

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4 Comments

  1. f.leemorey
    November 5, 2015

    Masking issues… oh boy! Even from your listing agent, the one person who is focused on selling your home for the best possible price.

    Always have the seller fill out and sign the disclosure statement. We also encourage them to get a home inspection too. But too frequently they wait till a prospective buyer pays for a HI and then runs from the sale when they find cracks in the foundation or worse.

    Do you know how quickly the word spreads? Yup

    Reply
    • Lynn Fulton
      November 9, 2015

      Agree totally… we recommend to our sellers. That way there are no surprises to them either. Here in Naples sometimes the sellers do not live in homes 24/7 and are not always aware of what might be hiding in the crawl space or a crack on the exterior. Best for everyone to know the issues and if need be adjust the price to reflect.

      Reply
  2. Allison
    November 7, 2015

    I worked with a married couple who entered into a contract to purchase a single family home with a one car garage. The husband wanted a two car garage, but wanted to appease his wife since they both like everything else about the home. The husband apparently convinced his wife that they should be both 100% into the home they wished to purchase and used the inspection report results to bail out of purchase contract; Stating the owner new about the mold issue in their home and did not disclose. Therefore, I urge sellers to get a home inspection and disclose. I have a list of home inspectors to refer.

    Reply
  3. George
    December 14, 2015

    You have just presented a good and helpful idea to homeowners and I am significantly one of them. Thanks a lot for a wonderful post.

    Reply

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