Three Things That Turn Off A Home Buyer As Soon As They Come In The Door

When you're trying to sell your home, first impressions are vital. Unfortunately, there are some things that can turn off a potential buyer as soon as they walk in the door -- no matter how nice your home may be beyond that point! If you want to make a quick sale and earn your asking price, make sure your home does not display any of these deal-breakers.

Old, Worn Carpeting

If one of the first things potential buyers see is carpeting that looks aged, worn, or stained, they'll start seeing dollar signs and remodeling bills. Even if the carpet is the only thing that needs updating, when someone sees old carpeting, they tend to assume the whole home needs work. If at all possible, consider replacing the carpet -- at least in rooms that buyers see first. If replacing the carpet is not an option, at least have it professionally cleaned, do your best to remove stains, and tactfully place furniture and area rugs to hide the worst spots.

Pet Odors

If you have pets, your home almost certainly has a pet odor -- you probably just don't smell it because you're used to it. Even a subtle pet owner can turn off a home buyer at the door. A few weeks before you're ready to list the home, take measures to get rid of any odors.

  • Have the carpet cleaned by a service that uses special cleaners to neutralize odors

  • Place an odor-neutralizing air filter in your HVAC system

  • Relocate your pets to a friend's house or boarder

  • Get rid of any pet beds, food bowls, and litter boxes that may emit odors

Cracked Walls

Cracks in older plaster walls or even drywall walls are not hard to fix, and they're not usually a sign of anything serious other than age. However, they can cause a buyer to assume, once again, that the home needs work. If there are cracks in any of the walls in the first few rooms a potential buyer will see, take the time to patch these cracks with joint tape and joint compound. Then, give the room a fresh paint job -- in a neutral color like gray or tan so you don't offend any potential buyers.

If you're not sure your home is making the right first impression, consider having a friend or two over to visit. Ask what they would think, upon walking in the door, if they were shopping for a home. Then, make changes based on their recommendations. A real estate agent can also be a valuable resource.