Seller's Guide
Lansing Area Real Estate

NO SALE - What turns off buyers

When buyers reject your home without looking it over, you need to think about what's driving them away.


Remember, a buyer is looking for the place that will be their home. They need to feel at home the moment they walk through the door. Careless attention to odors, poorly lighting, and dampness problems will send prospects quickly moving along to another seller's home. 


A Seller will argue that the a buyer didn't stay long enough to give his home a fair chance!  True, but the buyer had high hopes of making and offer on this home but was immediately disappointed because the seller made a poor presentation.





It's only a matter of stepping inside long enough to get a whiff of tobacco smoke, pet urine, cooking spices, mildew or overpowering room deodorants that can send the buyer out the door without even looking at your home's features.  Smells you're accustomed to may be repulsive to buyers who are non-smokers or have pet allergies.

Methods for controlling or eliminating offensive odors are available and should used. You're not likely to get an offer from a buyer with an allergy to cats if the most significant smell in your home is a stench from "kitty's" litter box.

Dirty bathrooms
Few places in a home are a personal as a bathroom and a grimy bathroom can instantly kill a buyer's interest in your home. S
oap residue in a shower, a moldy shower curtain, accumulated dirt in the track of a sliding shower door, and blackened or missing grout give buyers an uneasy feeling.  Even though they know it can be corrected...they don't want to deal with another persons grime.

Scrub the fixtures, buy a new shower curtain, rugs and towels--do what it takes to make the bathroom shine.

Barking dogs
Many buyers are uncomfortable around dogs and don't relate to being barked at by an animal who is trying to protect his domain. Concerned about the dogs intentions, the distracted buyer will not get a good look at your home. He'll be all to happy to move along to another house.

It's best to remove your dog during the showing.  If that's impossible, contain the dog in a crates.

Dimly lit rooms
Dark, poorly lit homes are oppressive and will turn off most buyers.  Even worse are rooms with no obvious light source or means for turning one on. This can bring the viewing to sudden halt.

Bright, sunny rooms feel "alive" and full of energy. They stimulate more interest in the home and encourage rather than discourage possible offers.  Prior to a showing, turn on all lights and open the drapes and blinds in every room. Give the buyer a relaxed, positive experience as he walks through the home, don't give him a darkened house where he has to fumble for light switches in every room.

Poor curb appeal
It happens to every Realtor. After driving forty miles to see a home, the buyer refuses to go inside because of the condition of the exterior or an unkempt yard.

Take the time to make the exterior, especially the yard and entrance, look a good as you can.
After all, this will be likely be the Buyer's First Impression of your home.

Worn out or dated carpeting
Carpeting isn't just walked on. Children play on it and family members lie on it to read, watch TV or relax. Your worn out and stained carpet falls into the same category as a grimy bathroom.

Think about it. The buyer is looking for a new place to call home. Offering him a dated, traffic worn, pet stained carpet that you've had freshly cleaned just isn't going to endear the buyer to you home.

Damp basements
It won't matter that it doesn't, dampness or damp smells in the basement throw up a red flag that the foundation leaks!

Most dampness problems are not caused by faulty foundations. They occur because rainwater is being diverted towards the foundation instead of away from it and because there is insufficient air movement to dry the moist air.

Check the grade to make sure it doesn't have low spots where pools of water can collect against the foundation.  Make sure downspouts are attached so rainwater empties into the yard instead of against the foundation. Use a fan to create air movement and a dehumidifier to help
dry the air.

Poor Decorating and awkward furniture arrangements
You may be selling a living space, but the buyer will be looking at your furnishings and decorations. There's only a slim chance that you and the buyer will have the same taste. Therefore, you must stage your home so that it will appeal to the largest audience.

Deciding that the buyer must accept your living conditions won't get it sold. Refusing to move your furniture into a more appealing arrangement will only keep your home on the market for a longer period of time.  If you're serious about selling the home, the extra work is a must.

Busy wallpaper
Wallpaper is a personal decorating choice and even people who love wallpaper rarely like what you've chosen. Busy wallpaper in every room can hurt the sell of your home.

You must appeal to the widest audience when selling a home, so take a serious look at your wallpaper and decide if it should be removed and replaced with paint. Don't paint over it, because it will be obvious that you did so and buyers will see it as a short cut to removing it.

Sellers who hang around for showings
A home owner can drive away buyers faster than a barking dog.

Buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors, making comments or lingering for a really good look at the house if the seller is home. They'll feel less welcome and will rush through your home, remembering little about it.

If it is necessary to remain at home during a showing, go for a short walk or out in the yard until the buyers have left.
Never put pressure on the showing Realtor to give you instant feedback.


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