Buyers can be picky and have extremely high expectations. We, we know this because, at one point, we were also buyers! We know what we want to see in a home and what we don't.
As a seller, it's hard not to take some of this feedback personally, however, it's important to remember that what you like and what works for your family, may not for another.
I've put together 2 part series covering the top 26 things that buyers may not like about your home. Keep in mind, this is a general list and does not apply to all buyers.
1. Clutter and dirt
This one will apply to all buyers, clutter is distracting and dirt is...dirty. Buyers want to see a home that is clean, well-kept, and shows well. Removing clutter will also give your home the appearance of more space.
2. Converted rooms
While turning your garage into a workshop or man cave or a spare bedroom into a playroom or crafting space may work for you, your buyers may simply be looking for somewhere to park their car or an extra bedroom. If you've converted any rooms in your to a specialty room, return them to their original use before putting your home on the market.
3. Personal belongings
Buyers want to envision their belongings in your home. Removing your personal belonging such as family photos, figurines, sports memorabilia, etc. from your home will help buyers imagine themselves living there.
4. Crowded countertops
Clean off your countertops. Put away the toaster, coffee maker, and anything that else that may be taking up space in your kitchen. Buyers want to see a spacious kitchen with plenty of counter space. A nice added touch is a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of flowers, this also adds a sweet aroma to the air and makes the home feel lived in and warm.
Take a few of your large houseplants out, maybe send them to a friend or neighbours while marketing your home. This will allow buyers to see how large the space is and allow them to envision their furniture in the space much easier.
6. Holiday decorations
There are a couple of reasons to avoid decorating your home for the holidays; firstly, you don't know your buyer or their religious beliefs, they may not celebrate the same holidays as you. Secondly, holiday decorations can take up a lot of space and take over the general feel of the home.
7. Custom window treatments
This is near the top of the list of things that buyers will not like about your home. Window treatments tend to limit the view and natural light, as well as collect dust. These can be quickly replaced with a simple window shade roller, an easy and affordable fix.
8. Numerous area rugs
If your home looks like a game of hopscotch with all the various rugs throughout, then you should put a few of them away. Rugs can work against you in a couple of ways, they make space appear smaller and it can seem as though you're hiding something under them. Ensure that your buyers can easily see your floors and the condition they are in.
Pets, smoking, food, and many other things cause odors in our home that we may not even be aware of. However, buyers will notice and they do not want a home with an unpleasant smell. Clean the carpets, freshen up the paint, air fresheners, and open windows can assist with removing odors.
10. Hello Darkness...is NOT your friend
Bright, neutral colors in well-lit rooms will be attractive to buyers. Dark rooms are very unwelcoming and unappealing. Turn on the lights before your prospective buyers look at the home so as they are walking through they have a welcoming feel throughout all the hallways and rooms.
Pets are a tricky one, you may feel this is their home and they shouldn't have to be removed or caged for a showing, although, be aware that a potential buyer may be frightened by certain pets or allergic to them. If you have a pet-loving buyer looking at a home, this could become a distraction for them and they may spend more time with your pet than appreciating your home. It's best to remove large animals from your home such as dogs and put your cat or other pets into a cage for the duration of the showing. Remember, it's only about 30 minutes, it won't be all day!
12. Giving your potential buyers privacy
Giving your potential buyers and their realtor privacy to discuss your home, their options, and ideas is a great way to ensure they stick around longer, talk freely about your home, and increase your chances of receiving an offer. If you happen to be home when showings are scheduled, open the door, greet your potential buyers and kindly let them know that you'll leave them to look at your home in private and will return shortly so they can ask any questions they may have.
13. Messy Neighbours
It can be extremely awkward and difficult to deal with messy neighbours, but it's a conversation that you may need to have when planning to sell your home. Buyers want their new neighbourhood to look clean, well-kept, and safe, and if your neighbours yard looks like a garbage dump, you won't be getting top dollar for your home. If your neighbours are not cooperative in this aspect, another idea is to build a fence that will block the views of their yard, it can be a bit pricy but it will ensure privacy and separation from their property.