Dodge these 8 biggest home-buyer turnoffs

Home buyers nowadays are a lot more discerning than before the housing crisis and they make decisions quickly. Buying the best house for the best money is utmost in a serious buyers’ mind. As a seller, you’ll want to get inside a buyer’s head and give them what they’re looking for. Selling a dream used to be part of the package. Today, the buyer is aware that first and foremost, a home is an investment.

When your house goes on the market, you’ll want to avoid sending potential buyers heading for the hills. Here are seven of the biggest buyer turnoffs.

  1. Extravagant, Ornamental Lighting:

You may have a “thing” for elaborate chandeliers and they can be wonderful in a dining room. But that smaller version over the kitchen sink? Well, your friends all loved it! But you may not know that extravagant fixtures like these can also turn off buyers, who prefer humbler, less lavish lighting and fixtures. Switch out your treasures for a more impersonal look.

  1. A Not-a-Bedroom:

This is a really big requirement – buyers usually have the number of bedrooms in mind when they’re looking for a new home, and for good reasons. That home gym, built with mirrored walls, may be your essential but chances are your buyer will see things differently. Convert it back to a bedroom before the house goes on the market.

  1. Gloomy Outdated Bathrooms:

A real turnoff most buyers can’t get past and will just move on to the next property on their list. If all you can swing is a fresh lick of paint, new fittings and replacing anything broken, then do it before the property gets listed.

  1. A Freestanding Swimming Pool:

Are scorching hot summers a fact of life where you live? And was installing a ‘real’ pool out of your reach? If you gave into temptation and installed a freestanding/above-ground pool, know that for most potential buyers, these pools are a blot on the landscape. Disassemble it before going on the market and remove any evidence it existed – that big dead spot of grass where it stood, for example.

  1. Old fitted Carpeting Covering Wood Floors:

It’s a fact. Buyers prefer hardwood floors. Buyers prefer them for many reasons, Hardwood floors are trendy, cleaner, less allergenic, don’t show dirt. Old carpeting, even clean older carpeting is a big buyer turnoff.

  1. Cigarette Smells Everywhere:

Smoke, especially cigarette smoke, penetrates everywhere in a home – carpeting, wood paneling, soft furnishings, everywhere. For most buyers today, smoke smells are a giant turnoff. If you want a shot at a successful sale, you’re in for a lot of deep cleaning and new paint.

  1. A Not-a-Garage:

Have you given up your garage for something else? A garage features quite prominently on most buyers’ lists. Parking is often at a premium, even in the suburbs and most people want covering from the weather and a secure place to put their second biggest asset (after their homes). Then there’s the storage ability – many of us just need a spot to hang the hammer and where are the lawnmower and ladder going to go?

  1. An Outdated Kitchen: Remember that old adage, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Well, the opposite is also true. An outdated or shabby kitchen will chase potential buyers away. If at all possible, do a very basic upgrade, some new appliances and countertops will attract buyers, not drive them away.

Your home represents your biggest investment but is also your haven and happy place. Whenever you’re planning additions or renovations, try to see the bigger picture and consider the project from the point of view of resale.

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