Are you a Home Seller? Mind these Seven Big Turn-offs for Potential Buyers

May 22, 2014  |  Real Estate
Are you a Home Seller? Mind these Seven Big Turn-offs for Potential Buyers

Real estate markets have been remarkably recovering across the country and homebuyers are out in full force.

“First impressions last” does ring a bell for many buyers in making judgments about homes within seconds of seeing a house for sale. With today’s technology and the mainstream online marketing of the real estate industry, checking out and “feeling” a home can now easily be done online – a judgment call even before buyers decide to exert that extra effort to make that commute and see the home in question. Due to the housing crisis the country has experienced, homebuyers now are more cautious, meticulous, and critical even, all for their credit’s sake. They want to ensure that they are putting their money only in the best house possible and for the best value.

For home sellers, it’s about giving buyers what they are looking for to also get the best offer possible. If you are planning on putting your house on the market, be wary of these seven things that could turn away potential buyers.


1.       A garage no more

garage turned gym

If you’ve turned your garage for something that is not functional as a garage, the trade-off might actually be a liability for you, particularly for people where parking is a major house criterion. Many people looking for a home want a secure place to park their cars. In addition, a garage serves a dual function of also being a storage location, so for buyers who have a lot of stuff or like to keep their things neat and safe, a garage is a very good option to have in a home. If you turn your garage into something other than what it normally does, you might be missing some brownie points on a good number of potential buyers.


2. A bedroom turned into a different room

bedroom turned into a closet


The number of bedrooms is one the primary search criteria for a majority of home buyers. If you must convert a bedroom into a room other than made for sleep and rest say, a wine cellar,  library, walk-in closet, entertainment room, or a home office, just make sure that you do away with built-in desks or bookcases (or whatever built-in home accents there are!) so you can just as easily return it to being a normal, comfy bedroom when it’s time to sell.


3. Carpet on hardwood floor

Carpet on hardwood


Hardwood floor is an easy choice because of its aesthetic qualities (clean-looking, design-savvy, classic vibe) and its fuss-free maintenance. Throw in the fact that hardwood floors are the best disguise for dirt! With this, hardwood flooring is preferred mostly over carpeted floors, especially for people with allergies. If your house has nice hardwood floors, think of it as a plus. Show them off and not hide them under carpets. Let the buyer decide what to do with the flooring once they move in. If you are after floor accents or want to try them at least, but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a carpet (or removing them and cleaning up after), why not consider area rugs? They are great alternatives and come in many different styles, colors, materials, and designs.


4. Over the top lighting accents

antique chandelier


Are you one of those people who enjoy going grand with their chandeliers? Good for your home then to be an expression of your artistic self. But when it comes time to list your home, it’s a good move to replace your lighting fixtures with something simpler and more neutral. Home decorating is a relative experience. What might be interesting and stylish for you might not be the same for your interested buyer. To keep the interest on the line, make sure fixtures, decors, and other accents are on neutral ground. Leave room for the next homeowners to express themselves in their new home.


5. Dated (and rusty) kitchen fixtures

dated/old kitchen


Do not forget the importance of a nice kitchen to show (or to show off) to your potential buyers. If your kitchen looks like it just came straight off a 80s movie, consider investing in a make-over. Modern kitchen trends are plenty, so you have a lot of choices on how to improve or beautify your cooking space. Some examples are stainless steel appliances and granite countertops that can be installed in no time with costs that are not as bad as you might think. Showing home buyers that you have done work for home improvement that cuts half their work when they move in increases your odds of getting that home sold…fast!


6. Traces of your beloved pet/s


Pets at home



Yes, you love your pets dearly and pets do bring a lot of joy to a home. But, reality speaks that not all people are like you – a pet lover. Therefore, pets don’t always bring the same giddiness and nurturing instincts to a prospective buyer. What may appear as harmless and cute to you that bring happy images of your beloved pet like dog toys, feeding/water bowls, leashes, etc. may actually be a real eye sore for a buyer. Not to mention pet saliva, dirt, dust, and fur. So if you have a pet, place its things to a space at home that does not hinder a prospective buyer from enjoying at looking (or smelling) at your home. Again, be on neutral ground.

*Photo from


7. A very imaginative and overly creative kid’s room

Girl's bedroom


Kids have the best imagination ever! And it’s uber cute to see their creativity materialize. Keep in mind though, that although transforming children’s bedrooms into their own fantasy world is very encouraging of their uniqueness, the outcome of the rooms might not sit too well with some home buyer. For one, your prospective buyers could be parents to a teenager. Or maybe a young couple who’s just about to start a family (we don’t want to pressure them!). Or it could be that over the top designs are just too much for them. Before selling, turn your kid’s bedroom into something neutral that can be considered a flexible living space that is possible to be converted into something else by the next owner.


If you want to sell easily and for great value (aim to get your asking price!), make your home marketable by turning it into a home that is pleasant, inviting and open enough for the potential buyers to feel that it can be their home too. That would be hard to do with unicorn-filled wallpapers, vintage chandeliers, or a garage that has been made into a home gym. Try to picture how others, particularly possible buyers might react to your upgrades or changes. The key here is neutrality. Think of colors that can still be improved or changed; fixtures that can easily be replaced; and designs that are not exaggerated. In home selling, capitalize on practicality and less on drama. You might just find your buyers real fast.








About the author

The Blake Team is a full-service Real Estate team based in Aurora, Colorado specializing in working with Buyers & Sellers, foreclosures/HUD, short sales, and luxury properties. A team with years of experience and an impressive success rate that made it the No.18 real estate brokerage in the nation, as well as the No.1 Keller Williams agent in Colorado led by CEO & Founder Lisa Blake. The Blake Team is your No. 1 choice for getting your dream home!