Five of the Biggest Turnoffs for Home Buyers

Posted by Steph Kaye on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 9:27am.

Listen to Your Real Estate Agent

Selling a home in today’s market can be a bit frustrating. There is a lot of home staging and property preparation advice out there, and some of it seems daunting or impossible to follow unless you already live in a luxury home or have a lot of money set aside to get your home ready to sell.  If not you still do  have more control than you may realize over how desirable your home looks to potential buyers. In order to know what turns a buyer on you need to know what turns a buyer off.

A lot of sellers don't listen to their real estate agents and your agent can't get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition. 
That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen - No broken, paint chipped fences - etc.   If you have even one of following "turn-offs," your home won't sell.

Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs:

1. Overpricing for the market

2. Smells

3. Clutter

4. Deferred maintenance

5. Dark, dated décor

Overpricing your home

If you ignored your agent's advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers. The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't see it because they're shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer 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 your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done. First impressions count and if there is an offensive odor a prospective buyer gauranteed theirs won’t be good.  Stale cigarette smoke, litter boxes, dogs and strong cooking can all cause buyers to be turned off from wanting to purchase your home, or even want to see the rest of it. Because you may not even be aware of how your home smells, you may want to ask a neighbor or friend for their HONEST opinion.  Don't try to mask odors with air fresheners either.  It doesn’t work!  Instead, try getting the carpets cleaned and washing odor trapping fabrics, like bedding, upholstery and drapes.  Smoke outside your home, arrange for pets to be elsewhere while you are trying to sell, clean out the litter box every day, and refrain from cooking strong smelling dishes.  If you really want to go the extra mile, fill your home with smells that are sure to delight by baking cookies or a fresh loaf of bread.There's not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. 


Having too much stuff and too many personal items, like family pictures and intensely personal decorative or collectable items, will make a home look smaller and is hard for buyers to imagine themselves and their possessions in the space. De-cluttering will improve the showing of your home and help in your eventual move, by getting rid of or packing up those items.Too much furniture confuses the eye - it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can't see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. If you haven’t changed burnt out light bulbs or fixed that leaky tap, buyers may begin to think that you may have neglected the larger things as well. Before you list your home, make sure you tackle all these little jobs.  Often they can all be taken care of in less than a day. 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.

 Also, dirty, scuffed walls and old chipped paint looks very tacky.  Painting your home in neutral colours is one of the least expensive ways to freshen things up.  Don’t forget baseboards and doors. Most often, painting your home will result in your home selling more quickly and for more money.In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror.

If you don't put money into your home because you believe it's an investment that others should pay you to profit, you'll be stuck with an asset that isn't selling.

If you are in the market for a new house and would like information on homes for sale, or are first time home buyer not working with a Realtor and would like to schedule a consultation with a qualified Oakland County and Macomb County Realtor, please complete the Lang Premier Properties contact form to have a real estate agent contact you. 

Lang Premier Properties are Birmingham Realtors specializing in Oakland County Real Estate. Stephanie is an agent with Max Broock in Birmingham, Michigan. See what past clients have to say about Stephanie Lang.  Lang Premier Properties looks out for your best interests when you purchase a new custom luxury home. We always recommend working with an experienced luxury real estate agent when buying a new luxury estate.


4 Responses to "Five of the Biggest Turnoffs for Home Buyers"

Clean Light Bulbs Save Money- Spring Cleaning wrote: [...] Home Automation - Making Lives Easier
Five of the Biggest Turn Offs for Home Buyers

Blog Tags


Posted on Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 3:32pm.

Saving Money for a Downpayment wrote: [...] How to Find the Best Mortgage Rates
Five of the Biggest Turn Offs for Home Buyers

Blog Tags


Posted on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 6:47pm.

Tips for a Successful Open House wrote: [...] Sell Your House this Spring
Five of the Biggest Turnoffs for Home Buyers
Buy Now!


Posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 12:38pm.

Properly Preparing Your House to Put on Market wrote: [...] Tips for a Successful Open House
Five of the Biggest Turnoffs for Home Buyers

Blog Tags


Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:31am.

Leave a Comment