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What Home Buyers DO NOT Want

If you are selling your home, listen up! Trendy ideas that tout being just the thing to help you sell your home faster are readily available across many mediums — TV, social media, podcasts, DIY guides to name a few. But what about those things home buyers truly consider to be “deal breakers”? Are there aspects about your house that potential home buyers would shake their heads at as they walk out the door, or at the very least, would keep you from getting the price you’re hoping for?

It may be a seller’s market in the Raleigh area right now, but buyers still have certain criteria for aspects of a home that fit into the “Absolute Dissatisfaction” category and the “Maybe, but let’s keep looking” category. You don’t want your home to be passed over right out of the gate when there may be some low-cost solutions that would make your home initially more desirable.

Absolute Dissatisfaction

woman shocked at outdated featuresLet’s get these out in the open first. These are things the vast majority of home buyers will not tolerate. Take a look at these top turnoffs:

  • Rank odors (yes, pet odors and cigarette smoke are two of the worst)
  • Severe clutter
  • Filth of any kind, any where
  • Personal decorating choices that are extreme in any way (e.g., pink cat wallpaper, an “Elvis lives here” look)

Fixing these turnoffs will give the seller a direct return on their investment, because they will receive offers 3 times higher than if they did not. Seasoned Realtors will tell you that you only get one shot at a good first impression and a bad impression means no sale or a low sale.

Low-Cost Solutions to Fix the Problem

Taking care of the Absolute Dissatisfaction items in your home can quicken your time to sale and are usually cosmetic (not structural), so the cost is minimal. Some simple fixes might be:

  • A fresh coat of paint inside and/or outside will make everything look clean and less decrepit.
  • New hardware on kitchen cabinets or on doors can make the home look less dated.
  • It’s amazing how new light fixtures can make a room look brighter, more up-to-date, and bigger.
  • Uncluttered rooms look so much larger! Clean up the yard, declutter your garage, keep the grass mown, and cut back any overgrown landscaping.
  • If you have streaks on your roof shingles, have them cleaned so the roof does not look old and tired in your front photo and curb view.
  • Get a professional to do a deep clean. That will help with any unsightly odors or dirt.

Concerning Features

These are features of a home that are definitely things people dislike and it would benefit the seller if they could address these before placing the home on the market.

Popcorn ceilings really date a home and buyers don’t like them. They are costly to remove and it’s a very messy process. Replace the ceiling if you want top dollar or be prepared to offer buyers an allowance to have it done.

Wall-to-wall carpeting used to be a thing people were willing to live with, but fewer and fewer buyers want it in their homes. Everyone wants hardwoods. Sometimes you can remove the carpeting and be surprised that there are perfectly good hardwoods underneath. If that’s the case, get rid of the old carpet and have the floors refinished. Buyers will love them! At the very least, have a good professional carpet cleaning company deep clean all the carpets before putting your home on the market.

room with ugly wallpaper and tacky decorWallpaper can go both ways with buyers. If it is old and shabby looking, get rid of it and paint in neutral colors. Do not put up fresh wallpaper as a way of sprucing up the place. Your taste in wallpaper may be very different than the buyer and could diminish the chance of selling instead of making the home more desirable. Paint is easier and safer.

Vertical living (typically three stories) was very popular in the ’90s and is still common in larger cities where the footprint is more expensive and people tend to build up rather than out. It’s not so popular with Millennials and Gen Xers looking for homes today. There aren’t really any fixes for this downward trend, but it is good to understand that if you have one of these homes and are looking to sell, it could take longer and you may be looking at a lower asking price.

Chopped-up space with small rooms is a concern. There’s not much you can do if your home is split up into many small rooms. Open floor plans are most desired; however, reducing clutter and even taking unnecessary furniture out of the room will make it appear larger. If you’ve ever considered structural modifications in the past and can share information you gathered with the buyer about removing interior walls or expanding rooms, it would be useful information for a potential buyer to have.

Even in a Seller’s Market, It’s Best to Fix These Features

bucket of cleaning suppliesIn the Raleigh market, home sales are up 5.6% from last year while listings are down 7.95%. Increased sales with low inventories makes for a strong seller’s market. This could lessen the effect of those “Buyer Turnoffs.” However, remember those Absolute Dissatisfactions could keep buyers from considering your property no matter what kind of market the area is experiencing.

The smart seller will fix the absolutes before placing their home on the market. If there is time and a budget to take care of the Concerning Features, it is in your best interest as a seller to make those changes. It is quite possible that your home will sell quicker and for top dollar.

Need Home Selling Advice? Let’s Talk

Preparing your home for the market can be stressful if you do not have the right resources and professionals on your side. At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we have over 30 years of experience helping homeowners sell their homes for top dollar in a short time, all because of our expert knowledge of the Greater Raleigh real estate market and in-depth understanding of the industry.

If you currently have features in your home that are considered deal breakers, contact us and we can provide everything you need for a smooth and hassle-free experience. We can connect you with recommended cleaners and other professionals to fix these issues, advise you on what additional factors can affect your home sale (such as Raleigh’s “mini home selling seasons”), and show you how we can make your home fly off the market.

Don’t waste time or money when selling your home. Call us at 919-235-0007.

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