Selling a house is no walk in the park. It requires a lot of hard work, patience and research to put your property on the market. A seller must always know what homebuyers are looking for in the area because they can be extremely particular – and understandably so. Buying a house is a huge investment, which means prospective buyers will likely inspect every crevice of the house to make sure it is indeed what they were looking for. However, if you want to ensure your property sells fast and without much hassle, you need to be wary of things that can potentially scare away home buyers.
Of course, no one wants their property to become a revolving door of estate agents and buyers looking for their dream home. If you want to avoid that, here is a list of things that could turn off homebuyers or at least make them think twice about investing in the property.
List of Things That Can Scare Away Home Buyers
Whether your property is currently on the market or you’re planning to put it up for sale soon, make sure to avoid any mistakes that might unintentionally turn off potential buyers
These are some of the things that can scare off home buyers.
- Poor landscaping
- Dust and dirt everywhere
- Mould or bug infestation
- Outdated fixtures and décor
- Unpleasant and strange odours
- Lots of clutter and personal items
- An unreasonably high asking price
Let’s further discuss each of these things that scare away potential homebuyers.
If you’re wondering what home buyers look for in a house, the first answer would probably be the location. However, since you can’t really do much about it, you should at least make an effort to make the exterior of your house look elegant and inviting – after all, it’s all about first impressions, right?
While sellers often pay a lot of attention to make the interior of their property look appealing, the exterior goes mostly unnoticed. As a result, you end up with overgrown lawns and overall, a poor landscape. This can significantly bring down the value of your house while simultaneously stopping potential home buyers at the front door.
Fortunately, this home improvement project is not exactly expensive. If your property has a front lawn or a garden, simply mowing the grass and getting rid of dead plants will instantly give it a facelift. Just make sure the exterior of your house looks presentable and tidy at all times.
Landscaping is one of the most important ways to increase the value of your home as well.
Dust and dirt everywhere
Apart from ghastly landscaping, an unclean house can also potentially scare away home buyers. Of course, it’s pretty understandable if there is fine dust has settled on the floor and furniture, particularly if no one is living there at the moment. However, cobwebs hanging from the ceilings and a thick layer of dust covering every surface is just unacceptable.
Simply put, a dirty and unkempt house is one of the biggest things that can scare off home buyers. If you don’t want a potential buyer to think your place is disgusting, you should consider mopping the floors, dusting off the furniture, clearing the cobwebs and cleaning the carpets on a regular basis. Not only that, but the seller must also ensure the bathroom and its fixtures look clean and shiny. Grease stains in the kitchen and remnants of burnt food on the oven will also create a poor perception of your house and could even affect your selling price.
While showing your property to a prospective buyer, make sure it looks well-maintained instead of neglected.
Mould or Bug Infestation
Moving houses is a hassle in itself. Therefore, you can safely assume that no buyer would be interested in investing in a property that will require a lot of work before someone is able to live there. While overgrown gardens and dirty floors can still be taken care of fairly easily, getting rid of any sort of insect or mould infestation could be deal-breaker.
If the house you’re selling is infested by mice, cockroaches or any other type of animal or insects, hire a professional to get rid of the problem before inviting in any potential buyers. It’s also recommended to fumigate the place before putting it on the market as a preventive measure. Just make sure to air it out properly so that the strong smell does not scare away home buyers.
Mould infestation is also a big turn off for home buyers. Since mould grows in humid places, make sure your house doesn’t have any water damage. Keep in mind that visible water stains on your ceilings, walls and floors can alert the buyer about the possibility of mould growth, even if there is none.
Moreover, since this problem can get worse during monsoon, here are some easy tips to prevent mould from growing in your house during the rainy season.
Outdated fixtures and décor
Worn-out doorknobs, old-fashioned windows, mosaic flooring and faded countertops among other things can also scare away home buyers – and understandably so. While all buyers factor in the cost of basic home renovation and remodelling projects while buying a house, they would still want to invest in a property that doesn’t require a lot of rehabilitation.
A lot of outdated fixtures and features, including old appliances and wood panelling, can potentially send a prospective buyer out the door. Not to mention, it might also have a negative impact on the market value of your house. So, if you can’t afford to replace the old fixtures, try and get rid of them at the very least.
The same goes for outdated décor as well. Old, discoloured wallpapers and faded carpets are also not a good look for your house.
Unpleasant and strange odours
Imagine entering a house and getting hit with a pungent odour that you really can’t identify. Sounds disgusting, right?
Apart from cleaning the house before showing to a prospective buyer, make sure to air out to get rid of any lingering odours. Even if you can’t smell anything, open the windows for ventilation anyways because sometimes we get accustomed to odours without even realizing it. This tip is particularly important for households with pets. Although you may not be able to tell, your small furry friends can make your house smell a bit weird. More often than not, this is also what turns off potential home buyers. Old carpets and musty corners are also a source of bad odours in a house.
Furthermore, if you’ve recently painted the walls or fumigated the place, don’t schedule any visits until the place starts to smell normal again. If you have hired an estate agent, ask them to come in before the client to take a look at the place for a second opinion.
Also, use an air freshener to spruce up the house and make the showing more pleasant.
Lots of clutter and personal items
When potential home buyers visit a property, they usually try to determine if it’s a good fit for them by envisioning their lives there. However, they won’t be able to successfully picture themselves living in a house that’s filled with clutter and personal items. It’s really important for the seller to remove their children’s drawings and report cards on the fridge door, family portraits and other personal décor items from the sight before the buyer’s visit. It’s even more important to get rid of the clutter unless you want your place to look cramped and small.
A cluttered space can easily scare away home buyers, primarily because it might give the illusion that there isn’t enough storage space in the house. You can take a look at some tips on how to declutter your home in a weekend or less to make sure you place looks clean and tidy. Furthermore, if you think you have a tendency to hoard things, here are some simple ways to overcome hoarding and organize your living space.
An Unreasonably High Asking Price
Last but not least, don’t set an unreasonably high asking price if you don’t want to scare off potential home buyers. Before you contact a real estate agent to help you with selling your property, research the current real estate trends in your area. The best way to go about it is by browsing through online listings on websites like Zameen.com, the leading property portal in Pakistan. You also need to take into consideration the condition of your house, its location, availability of basic amenities and nearby facilities. If your house needs a lot of renovation or doesn’t have water or gas connection, it is likely to fetch a lower price than other houses in the area.
If you’re planning to sell your home, check out the list of top factors that can affect your property’s value. In case you are looking for an expert to help you out, here are a few tips on how to find the best real estate agent to sell your house.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to purchase your first home, don’t forget to take a look at our detailed guide for first-time home buyers. In addition to that, you must also know about some of the most common mistakes first-time home buyers make and learn how to steer clear of them.
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