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7 Things About Your House That Could Turn Buyers Off Immediately

When selling a home, you want to present it at its best. That first open house can be a lot like a first date. You want the love at first sight scenario, not the instant turn off.

Here are the top seven ick factors that may turn off a potential homebuyer that you should eliminate now.

1. Anything old and outdated

There’s retro cool, and then there’s retro ewww. Be sure you know what’s vintage or just plain ancient in your home.

2. Quirky tastes

While outlandishly designed houses can sometimes rocket to the top of the most popular homes lists, they can be tough to sell. Real estate professionals describe these homes as having a “particular taste” that won’t appeal to everyone. Go for bland if you can.

3. Cigarette stench

The stench of stale tobacco smoke is almost universally disdained—and it tops nearly everyone’s list of homebuyer icks. The odor can linger in furniture, drapes and carpets. Have these professionally cleaned, open windows and use odor reducing home air purifiers.

4. Carpeting in the bathroom

Many of today’s homebuyers are looking for wood or similar floors. Wall to wall carpet, especially if it is dated or dirty can be a real turn off. And buyers definitely don’t want to see carpet in the bathroom. Ewww.

5. Pets and pet odors

While we all love our pets, it doesn’t mean prospective buyers want to see signs (or smell odors) of yours. Remove yours during showings. Don’t think you can cover up pet smells with air fresheners because that can be another pet peeve. Again, invest in air purifiers.

6. Bugs and vermin

The last thing anyone wants to see when they’re touring your home is signs of bugs or mice. So if this is a problem in a home you’re hoping to sell, have it thoroughly exterminated well in advance of showing it. It seems obvious, but get rid of dead bugs and spider webs.

7. Dolls, clowns, and religious icons

Just don’t. Put away all of your weird collections. Too many religious icons can also be overwhelming. You don’t want a potential buyer to feel like they’re intruding into someone else’s sacred space

The Takeaway: Stop thinking of the house as “yours”. You want potential buyers to see it as “theirs”. Declutter and depersonalize your space as much as possible. You can start packing now since you will have to do it eventually.


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