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10 Ways to Scare Away Potential Home Buyers

10 Ways to Scare Away Potential Home Buyers

Since this is typically one of the most active seasons in the real estate industry, it is time for sellers who are eager to move their homes to start seriously thinking about attracting the right buyer.

With the signs of spring about to blossom, every home for sale should appear more attractive, right? While that may sound good in theory, spring’s brightness actually could make the selling forecast for some homes a little bleak. In fact, there are even a few sure-fire ways that sellers can scare away even the most interested of home buyers in spring.

Here are 10 things that may have buyers hopping along to the next available home on their house-hunting list this spring:

Price: A seller’s home may have every feature that a buyer is looking for, right down to their favorite wall colors; but, if the home is overpriced, that right buyer may never come along. Sellers who price their homes out of a buyer’s budget could be scaring away a serious buyer without even knowing it. This is why setting the right price from the get-go is so important. It is also why it is always a good idea to work with an experienced real estate agent who can provide a list of comparable area homes to make sure a seller’s price is reasonable.


Photos: What do potential buyers look for after finding available homes for sale in their price range? Photos. And, of course, the accompanying descriptions that go alongside those photos. Another way to make sure that potential buyers never make it to see your home is by including poorly-lit listing photos or by not accurately describing your home’s features. Give buyers a reason to want to see your home by including well-lit, clean photos and crisp, accurate descriptions of your home.


Curb Appeal: And, by that, we mean a total disregard for curb appeal. If the outside of a home is not properly maintained, why should a buyer think the inside would be any different? No matter what time of year you list your home, your lawn, sidewalks and driveway should be properly trimmed, swept and cleared. A fresh welcome mat and seasonal wreath are also a nice touch for making prospective buyers feel at home.


Clutter: Beginning with a home’s curb appeal, remember that less can be more. If a home is cluttered and even if stylish home décor is cluttered, a buyer can quickly be turned away. Not only does clutter make a home look unkempt, but it also may make a home appear smaller than it is. So, it could be hard for a prospective buyer to imagine their own personal items fitting into a cluttered home.


Loud colors: Remember that accent wall in your family room that you decided to paint oceanic blue to remind you of sunnier days during the last snow storm? You may want to tone it down before you plan to usher prospective buyers through your home. Although repainting may seem like a simple enough task, many buyers want a home that they can immediately move into without having to make any adjustments… painting included.


Personalization: This could be a bone of contention for some sellers; but, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: many buyers simply do not want to see your personal items or family photos plastered all over your home. Remember, they are trying to envision themselves living there; don’t let them think that they’re kicking you and your family out of your happy home.


Dirt: When you’re stowing away some of your personal items, be sure to clean the space around where they used to be. Although prospective buyers may not want to see your photos or other knick-knacks, they absolutely do not want to see dirt in a home they’re trying to envision as their own! If a seller is not willing to clean the spaces that a buyer can easily see, what else could they be hiding?!


Odors: Would you believe that you actually have to be cognizant of what you cook when your home is on the market? If you know that you have a showing, you may want to avoid having fish for dinner or cooking with strong spices. And, it should go without saying that pet odor is a major no-no as well. Even a buyer who is a pet lover probably will not want to smell your pets in their possible new home.


Pet Hair: It is only common sense that if a prospective buyer could be scared away by the odor of a pet, any visible signs that a pet is in the house could also push them away. Vacuum all pet hair before your home is shown and even consider stashing food and water dishes away, too. If you’re not sure what to do with Fido or Fluffy while your home is on the market, we’ve got some ideas for that, too.


SELLERS: There is one final thing that can be a bit scary for prospective buyers… unfortunately, it’s you, sellers! Although you may feel that you know your home the best and you would be a great asset to selling your home during a showing, having the seller present during a showing can scare away buyers. Buyers may be afraid to ask questions or they may simply want to browse through a home without feeling like they are being followed. For this reason alone, working with a trusted real estate agent is a great first step toward selling a home this spring.