First Impression Turn-Offs in Real Estate

There are many reasons other than your home being priced too high that can prevent a sale. Buyers have tons of options, your home is just one of the many on the market. Even after falling in love with the marketing online of your home, once they pull up in front to see it in “real life” and the curb appeal passes the test, there could be some turn-offs that are hard to get past. Here are a few:

Noise: If your home is under the flight path of an airport there isn’t too much you can do about the noise. Your beautiful online photos will get them to come to see your home, but once there, they will experience noise pollution be it the train line, a major highway, or under the flight path could prevent the home from selling. Lowering your price could be the best thing you can do.

Neighbors: Your house may be in top shape, but if your neighbors have unkempt lawns, poorly maintained exteriors, or other visual disturbances, your property value will likely take a hit, as well.  Be ready for the issue to come up and be proactive by reaching out, if possible, to the offending neighbor in hopes that you might be able to mitigate those effects and lead to the sale you want.

Layout: Additions, add-ons, or conversions may offer a challenging layout but clever built-in furnishings and a little staging can fix this. Rearrange the furniture to make the space feel more open and inviting. Even consider removing any unnecessary walls to create a more open concept. When a home’s style is outdated, the first thing a buyer thinks about is expensive, major renovations. Meet with your realtor to see what you can do to help buyers see the potential in the home and envision themselves living there.

Musty: This will happen a lot in the basement if there isn’t a lot of airflow and it’s dark, damp, and dusty. It will be a hard selling point, so investing in a dehumidifier can solve many of the problems that come with a damp basement.

Home With A Past: If your home has had a gloomy life, it can be less likely to sell. Whether it’s a haunted house, a home with a notorious past, drug-related incidences, if the house is in a high crime area, or if there has been a suicide or death, buyers may be wary of proceeding any further. Lowering the price and focusing on the positive features of the home may outweigh any negative connotations.

Smell: Even musty smells, pet odors, and cigarette smells cannot be hidden with open windows, candles, or baking cookies. If there’s an issue with mold or mildew, absolutely take care of it before even listing your home. If you have pets, try to remove all evidence of pets and their odors before showing or listing the property if possible. If there are stronger odors like cigarette smells or urine stains, you may need to bring in the professionals to come in and take care of the odor before listing.

Repairs: If you aren’t listing your home as a “fixer-upper” and it needs repairs, it could be deterring potential buyers. Before putting your home on the market, hire an inspector and make sure to fix any major issues such as leaks, cracks, or holes in the walls. If your home needs cosmetic changes like painting the walls or updating the fixtures, get it done before anyone views your home.

Shared Driveway: Many buyers have passed on buying a home that has a shared driveway. Having to negotiate over driveway access and maintenance just isn’t something worth dealing with. Selling a house with a shared driveway can present some challenges, as potential buyers may have concerns about issues such as shared maintenance responsibilities, access, and potential conflicts with neighbors. However, the impact on the sale can vary depending on the specific circumstances, local real estate market conditions, and the preferences of potential buyers. It’s important to disclose the shared driveway arrangement to potential buyers and provide as much information as possible to address any concerns they may have.

The Bottom Line: If your home is not selling due to a displeasing issue, hopefully, you have hired the most seasoned realtor in your area. A good agent should be able to tell you why your house isn’t selling, and they should be willing to give you bad news. While there are plenty of potential problems, having a realtor with top negotiation skills who you trust is so important. They should be able to walk you through the market expectations and prepare you for what will need to be negotiated.

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