Frankly Speaking Blog

5 Major Turn-Offs for Homebuyers

April 3rd, 2014 12:49 PM by Frank Ferrell

When selling your home, you won't get 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 . . . well, you get the idea. 

If you have any of following "turn-offs," your home likely won't sell:

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 listed at a higher price than recommended by your real estate agent, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback you can ever receive is silence, meaning no home showings and no offers.

The main problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't ever see it because they're shopping in a lower price range, and those qualified buyers who do see it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range offering them 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 buyers definitely will.

Most buyers wouldn't buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. Even so, if they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the "new" carpet, they will either severely discount their offer or cancel altogether.


If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers' attention is going to more focused on avoiding the clutter than in considering your home for purchase.

Too much clutter and even too much furniture will confuse the eye, making it very difficult for buyers to see the true proportions of your rooms. First impressions are important. If they can't immediately see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite way of saying you're 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 in good repair.

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.

If you're torn between which improvements will help you sell and which ones won't, check out Improvements that Pay.

The bottom line is, 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.

From RealtyTimes Article dated 3/30/14

Posted in:General
Posted by Frank Ferrell on April 3rd, 2014 12:49 PM


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