Recently, the website published an article written by Jay MacDonald that listed the top things that turned buyers off when viewing a home for purchase.  He surveyed a group of real estate agents across the U.S., and came up with an interesting list for all sellers to consider and prepare for before putting their home on the market. I have included the highlights for your use. Most of these issues do not need to cost a great deal of money to deal with, which is good news for sellers. 

My job, as your Seller's Agent, it to make sure that your home presents the best possible first impression.  Here are some things that we, as agent and seller, will be addressing as you put your home on the market.


1. A Dirty, Grimy House--This is the #1 turnoff for buyers according to the survey.  This is also the least expensive thing to fix.  If buyers see dirt and messy rooms visible everywhere, they begin to wonder what is going on in the home in areas that they can't see!

2. Odors Throughout The House--Once again, something that costs little, to nothing, to correct.  You may be used to the odor of old socks, stacked laundry or pet smells, but you must make serious plans to correct all of these thing before you consider showing your home. 

3. Outdated Cabinet Fixtures, Kitchen Appliances, Lighting Fixtures, and Ceiling Fans--It does not cost a lot to update cabinet fixtures, and lighting fixtures and ceiling fans that are fresh, bright, and new, can change the atmosphere of any room.  Replacing kitchen appliances is something to consider strongly, since the kitchen and the bathroom are two of the most important rooms that will be considered by buyers. 

4. Wallpaper--Wallpaper can prove to be a problem.  First it is a chore to remove, and many buyers do not want to take that on.  Also, most wallpaper choices are very personal, and are often chosen for the decor of a seller's home, rather than for the buyer's future needs. 

5. Popcorn Acoustic Ceilings--The survey indicated that the presence of these ceilings not only date the house, but that they are a major turnoff to buyers.  They will need to be dealt with to move your sale forward.

6. Personal Items and Clutter--Buyers want to envision themselves in your home as the new owners. They do not want to see your life story, your pictures, trophies, collectibles, etc.. Remove as much of these as possible from your rooms before you show the home.  Additionally, buyers want to see space!  They want to be able to see each room as a blank slate, to which they will add their furniture and personal things.  Declutter closets, drawers, personal spaces.  Make each room "furniture light".  There should be an easy flow from room to room as a tour is made. 

7. Poor Curb Appeal--If the front of your home, and the side yards, are worn looking, unattended, full of dead plants, leaves and old toys, potential buyers, who usually will drive buy a home before visiting it, will just keep on driving!  Obviously, the first impression is the strongest.  Make plans to freshen up the paint on your front door, windows, steps and porches-perhaps with handsome contrasting colors, and put in new flowers and plants, and remove anything that distracts from the appeal of the home. 

As you can see, in summary, this is a very common sense, practical list of things to do.  If followed, you will attract, not drive away your buyers.

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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