7 things in your home that can give buyers ‘sickness’
When selling a home, you want to present it in its best condition. This first open house can be a lot like a first date. And the comparison to the hope of a love match does not stop there.
Many relationship analogies idealize the home buying and selling experience, from finding the right person to “marrying the house, but setting the price.” Or take, for example, “disgust” – that feeling of disgust when you first notice a major aversion.
In the dating world, you might get nauseous if your dates are chewed with your mouth open or you’re rude to a server. But it can be a deal breaker in the real estate world, preventing a potential buyer from falling in love with your home.
Here are the top seven things that give home shoppers an instant feeling of nausea. Make sure none of these crops appear in your open house.
1. Anything old and outdated
There’s cool retro, and then there’s retro ewwww. Make sure you know what is vintage or just plain old in your home.
Ryan Fitzgeralda real estate professional with Up Homes, made money from a time capsule home.
“It was like a trip back to the 1970s,” he says. Houses dating back to the Age of Aquarius are usually an unholy mix of popcorn ceilings and avocado everything.
While time capsule homes can be fun to look at and get a lot of attention on social media, only a few people would be willing to move into one.
“The facilities were glaringly outdated, making it difficult to envision them without an overhaul,” Fitzgerald adds.
2. Tastes are twisted
While oddly designed homes can sometimes reach the top of the most popular home listings, they can be difficult to sell.
Real estate professionals describe these homes as having a “special flair” that could impress some buyers.
“I once toured a house that was incredibly colorful on the inside. All the walls and ceilings were painted in different colors and patterns, and even the cabinets and interior doors were painted in bright colors,” he says. Nathan Russo, Director of Operations at Destin Vacation Rentals. “I don’t mind a little color, but I couldn’t get over how loud it was — and how much work it would take to repaint almost everything.”
3. The unpleasant smell of cigarettes
The smell of stale tobacco smoke is almost universally disdained — and it’s almost at the top of homebuyers’ lists.
“After living in a rented apartment for a year with a heavy smell of smoke no matter how much cleaning we did, I was over it,” he says. Andy CalmonCEO of Penny.
The last time he went house hunting, it was one of the things he should avoid.
“There was a constant smell and I wasn’t confident I would be able to get out of the carpet,” Calmon adds.
4. Carpet in the bathroom
Many home buyers today say that wall-to-wall carpeting gives them comfort.
“I recently bought a house to flip and it had shag carpeting everywhere: on the floors, the walls, the bed base, and even the slanted ceiling of the master bedroom,” he says. Martin Goldsmith, CEO of Rent To Own Labs. “He was even in the bathroom suite!”
Carpets in the bathroom seem to be a universal turnoff and a turn-off.
5. Pets and pet odors
Although we all love our pets, that doesn’t mean potential buyers want to see signs (or smell scents) of yours at an open house.
“My wife and I had just moved for work and were looking for historic homes in Naperville, Illinois,” he says. Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Supplement Warehouse. “We found it a real turn-off to have pets roaming freely in the middle of a show.”
Oh, and don’t think you can mask pet odors with air fresheners because that could be another pet nuisance.
“We were turned off if there were too many candles and diffusers burning,” Moriarty adds. “What we’re really concerned about is the smell of the house.”
6. Bugs and insects
The last thing anyone wants to see when touring an open house is signs of insects or mice. So, if this is a problem with the home you’re hoping to sell, eliminate it completely long before showing it.
Even dead spiders or just spider webs can be annoying. It was for the Moriarty family.
“If we see cobwebs or spiders in the corners of rooms, that tells us the house is not being taken care of,” Moriarty says.
7. Dolls, clowns and religious icons
Prospective buyers report that the doll and clown collections pique their interest. For others, having too many religious symbols can be overwhelming.
The last time I went house hunting, I toured a house with crosses in every room. The living room had a gallery wall full of them. Were vampires in the neighborhood a problem?
“While faith is important, it is key to remember that not every buyer shares your convictions,” he says. Eric Bramlett, a real estate professional with Bramlett Residential. “You want potential buyers to see themselves in your home, and not feel like they’re intruding into someone else’s sacred space. Make it neutral; make the space a blank slate where others can chart their future.”