What Are the Biggest Turnoffs for Home Buyers? Here’s Our Top 6

Preparing a home for sale is something of an art form. Do it right, and you’ll likely have prospective buyers vying to pay top dollar for your home. Do it wrong, and most of those buyers won’t even make it past the first few rooms.

Aside from the obvious turnoffs—unpleasant odors, dirt and grime, too much clutter, pet paraphernalia, and poor curb appeal—there are several things buyers definitely do not want to see when shopping for a new home.

Take a look at this list of top turn-offs for new home buyers. If you notice any of them in your home, it may be smart to make a few cosmetic changes before putting your home on the market.

Wall-to-wall carpeting

It’s not the 1950s anymore, so be prepared to pull up that wall-to-wall carpeting if you really want to attract modern buyers. If there is hardwood beneath, you’re in luck; hardwood floors are still a big draw. Our advice: remove the carpet and refurbish the natural hardwood beneath, or consider installing luxury vinyl tile or another type of resilient flooring.

Dimly lit rooms

Nobody wants to walk into a room and feel like they’ve walked into a dungeon. Home buyers love natural light, so be sure to open the blinds and let in as much outdoor light as possible. If a room doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, consider adding additional lighting fixtures (with halogen bulbs to mimic natural light), repainting the walls and ceiling a lighter color, or using some of these other tricks to make the room look brighter.

Popcorn ceilings

It’s not the 1970s either, so let’s lose the popcorn ceilings. Though somewhat of a hassle to remove and refinish, it will be well worth it when home buyers look up and breathe a sigh of relief. Another option to consider: covering your popcorn ceilings with ceiling panels or planks.

Outdated fixtures and appliances

Nothing makes home buyers head for the door faster than appliances and fixtures that never left the last century. Replace those tacky, high-gloss brass fixtures (from lighting to faucets) with a more modern stainless steel, brushed nickel, or matte black finish. Also swap out those faux crystal faucet handles in the bathroom.

Crazy paint colors

You may love your chartreuse bedroom or plum-colored living room, but potential home buyers likely won’t share your adoration for bold, bright hues. The same goes for wild wallpaper or decorative paint effects like stenciling and sponging. Also a turnoff? Old-timey wood paneling, like the kind your grandpa had in the den.

Cracked or damaged floors

If your hardwoods are warping or your tile is showing its age with multiple cracks and divots, you may want to consider repairing or replacing your current flooring. Home buyers want to see quality installation with no flaws or defects, especially around the door jambs and baseboards.
What else to do home buyers want to see in a potential new home?

You can find out in our blog, What Features Are Most Important to Home Buyers?

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