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The Ten Things I Hate About You: Buyer Turn-offs Edition

Thinking of listing your home? Buyers crave a move-in ready home and there are a few things Buyers really hate, hence “The 10 Things I Hate About You: Buyer-Turn off Edition!”

You’ve all heard that it’s a Seller’s Market and although that’s true, to get top dollar for a home Sellers need to consider the condition of their property and make some adjustments or repairs before hitting the market.

1. Clutter and Dirt

It’s time to sort through your stuff. It’s great that you were the Little League Champ in 1985, but clutter sends a vibe to future homebuyers about the condition and maintenance of your home. Donate, sell, recycle or trash whatever you don't want or need in your next home. Tidy and organize drawers, cabinets or closets that buyers will be sure to check out. And of course, thoroughly clean your house and be vigilant in your attempts to keep it that way until you move out.

2. Converted Spaces

You may love your “garage turned man cave” or using the formal dining room as a distance learning station for the kids but it’s important to return the space to its original condition.

3. Stash Personal Interests

It’s time to pack up your collection of garden gnomes, civil war weapons and sporting memorabilia. Limit family photos and stash controversial art pieces in storage. Let potential buyers see the home as THEIR space, not yours.

4. Crowded Countertops

Remove everything from those areas before listing photographs are taken and keep it that way! In the kitchen, put back only the things you regularly use or store the other items out of sight. In the bathroom, put your products in a basket or carrier that you can hide in a cabinet or closet when you're not using them. Instant zen!

5. Custom Window Treatments/Boxes

The truth is that it doesn't matter how much you spent on your custom drapes, sheers and valances. Simply stated, Buyers hate them. Window treatments obscure the windows, limit the view and natural light, and collect dust. Replace them with simple roller shades and allow windows to do their job—flood the room with light! And while you are at it, clean those windows inside and out.

6. Unpleasant Odors

True story: I had some clients who absolutely loved a home but refused to put in an offer because of the smell. And they weren’t alone—the house sat on the market for months! Because we become nose-blind to our own surroundings, bring in a “trusted nose” to check out the scent of your home. Clean litterboxes, disinfect garbage cans and clean, clean, clean

7. Too Much Carpet

Buyers these days expect hard-surface floors such as hardwood, laminate or LVP in the main living areas of a home. But new flooring is expensive, so what’s the best move? If carpet hides your home's original hardwood floors, remove it, even if the wood isn't in the best condition. Make sure that existing carpet looks and smells its best by having it professionally cleaned and stretched, especially in high-traffic areas or if you have pets.

8. Carpet in Bathrooms

Just say no.

While some home buyers may appreciate having carpet underfoot in the bedrooms, it's a total turn-off in the bathroom, where it will absorb moisture and more. Yuck. Replace it.

9. Your Personal Paint Palette and Wacky Paint Effects

Sure, you may love your red accent wall or the rainbow in your daughter’s room. But it is important to paint over colors that reflect your taste but may put off potential buyers. Fun colors are for living, but neutral colors are for selling. Rag-rolling, sponging and murals? Bye-bye.

10. Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn is for movie theaters, not for ceilings. If it’s possible, get rid of it before you sell it. Not only does it instantly modernize your home, it brightens the entire space!


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