Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make: The 5 Biggest Turn-Offs to Homebuyers

The 5 Biggest Turn-Offs for Homebuyers

A recent article from Realty Times, outlined the top 5 biggest turn-offs for homebuyers.

  • The 5 Biggest Turn-Offs for HomebuyersOverpricing for the market
  • Smells
  • Clutter
  • Deferred Maintenance
  • Dark, dated decor

So what can you do to avoid these pitfalls? Here’s some tips and resources to get you started.

Overpricing for the market

Your real estate agent can help you set the right price for your home by conducting a competitive market analysis (CMA) assessing similar homes in your market area.  They will also be able to analyze the current state of the market and guide you through the general market conditions in your area to help you find the right price to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

Want to know more?  The RE/MAX blog has fantastic resources for home sellers, including home pricing strategies and buyer psychology. Realtor.com has additional insights on selling a home, including the 7-step Guide and tips for setting the list price.


Air quality, odor, pets and holiday festivities can have a huge impact on a homebuyer’s perception of your home.  RE/MAX “Fit to Sell” series has an excellent introduction to the impact of Air Quality issues on a home’s market desirability.  There are a number of smells that can be problematic for homebuyers, so make sure you have eliminated all of these smells from your home.  Be sure to check out Realtor.com’s quick tips for passing the smell test.  If you’re struggling with a persistent odor, your real estate agent can recommend professional services in your area to help get your home to maximum sale potential.


Buyers want to envision themselves in your home, but it’s difficult to do when there’s clutter in the way.  Pre-pack items that are not used regularly and depersonalize your home to allow buyers to see themselves living there.  Decluttering can be a time intensive project, but it’s well worth the effort.  Here’s a simple 2-3 weekend plan to get your home ready for it’s first Open House.  Need some guidelines for what stays and what goes?  Check out these tips here.  As you near the finish line of your home preparation, make sure you pay attention to these items to maximize your home’s impact on potential buyers.

Deferred Maintenance

Make sure that your home is up-to-date, clean and ready to sell.  Depending on your home’s age and condition, you might want to consider having your home inspected before you put your house on the market and here’s why.  Getting your home ready for inspection is an important step in turning your family home into a model home.

Dark, dated decor

Look at your home through buyer’s eyes.  Does it feel dark? Outdated? It’s important to prepare your home for today’s buyers and understand what different buyer categories look for in a home. Your realtor can help you focus on who your target buyer is and help you prepare your home to attract this market.   Focus on your home’s main selling rooms and how they can be updated and arranged to attract today’s buyers. Furniture placement and lighting can have a huge effect on how large and attractive a room looks, so make sure you’re maximizing your potential.  Highlight features of your home that attract buyers and make sure your flooring looks move-in ready.



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