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7 Major Turn-Offs for Home Buyers

We’ve discussed some of the tactics of staging that are free or cheap fixes. Now it’s time to move on to some of the things that buyers don’t want. Fixing or replacing these items will cost you more money up front but will make your home sell faster and get you better offers. Buyers will make a list of the negative features and start discounting their offer for every item they have to fix. If a buyer encounters more than one of these issues, they might just walk away without even considering an offer due to the amount of work, time, and/or cost required to repair them. Here are some of those problems and ways to avoid getting low ball offers.

  • Curb Appeal – Improving your home’s landscaping, replacing or painting your front entrance door, repairing or replacing decks and walkways, replacing windows, and replacing siding and/or painting the exterior of your home all rank high among the home renovation projects with the highest return on investment (ROI). After all, this is the first impression that buyers will have of your home, so wouldn’t it make sense to make it most appealing and increase the perceived value.

Front of House Before

Front of House Before

New landscaping, walkway, and paint

New landscaping, walkway, and paint

  • Flooring – This is another major area that always increases the value of a home. Flooring is one of the first things buyers see when they walk in. It will ALWAYS cost you less to replace worn carpets or add new flooring then to leave it to the new home owners. Doing the work on your own will cost you a fraction of what the buyers would want to discount their offer. Keep in mind that most people do not want carpeting these days and with the numerous choices of flooring available, you can certainly find an option that suits the space at a reasonable cost. If you can’t remove the carpets, please at least have them all steam cleaned. If you have hardwood floors, make sure they are in excellent condition before you list.

    Carpeted Living Room

    Carpeted Living Room

    New Laminate Flooring

    New Laminate Flooring

  • Kitchen/Bathroom – If your kitchen and/or bathroom are dated, consider investing in upgrading. Do as much as you can possibly do. Even if your budget is limited, at least change out the hardware. New hardware can add instant appeal. There are great products on the market today for painting cabinetry and will improve the visual appeal immensely. Below is a sample of a client’s kitchen painted with one of those products – Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation (http://www.rustoleum.com/en/product-catalog/consumer-brands/transformations). Adding a backsplash increases interest and value as well. Ceramic tile countertops are a definite must to replace.

Kitchen Before Updating

Kitchen Before Updating

Kitchen After Updating

Painted cabinets and new backsplash

  • Appliances – Having old, dated appliances will make your kitchen (and home) appear tired and worn, turning a buyer off (even if they don’t plan on purchasing your appliances with the home).
  • Wall paper/borders – Potential buyers know what a huge pain it is to remove wallpaper or borders and therefore want no part of it. It’s imperative that you do the work before hitting the market…and remember to paint using a neutral color.

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Border removed and freshly painted

Border removed and freshly painted

  • Paneling – Wood paneling on walls was popular back in the 60s and 70s but it’s not what buyers want to see now. If you have paneled walls, it’s best to at least paint them (if you cannot remove and replace). Painting them will lighten, brighten, and make your room look more up to date (but make sure you do the proper prep work).

    Wood Paneling

    Wood Paneling

    paneling painted

    Paneling Painted

  • Cigarette Smells – For many of us, cigarette smell is a major deal breaker. If you are a smoker, the whole house will require a major cleaning, including carpets, drapes, bedding, upholstery, etc. It will also need to be completely painted.

For more information on what projects you need to do to get your home sold quickly and for the best possible price, contact me for a consultation. Booking in advance to allow yourself time to get it completed is the ideal situation, but I can help even if you have been on the market for a while and aren’t getting the desired interest.

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