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Surefire Ways To Turn Off Potential Home Buyers

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Are you looking to turn away home buyers from your property? Are you keen to put as many obstacles in their way as possible? Are you content to never sell your home?

We are assuming the answer to the questions posed is ‘no.’ However, if your home is up for sale, and you have been having trouble selling it, then there may be a very good reason as to why. The following are the surefire ways to turn off a potential home buyer.

Surefire Ways To Turn Off A Home Buyer

Kids toys on the living room floor, dishes in the sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered everywhere…you can have a messy home in your own time, but before the buyer knocks on your door, you really do need to have a tidy up. They don’t want to step over your stuff as they navigate the health and safety nightmare that is your house, and you don’t want the indignity of them seeing your untidiness anyway. The house needs to be spotless, with clean and tidy rooms, as the buyer won’t get an impression of what they can do with the space if they can’t actually see it!

Neglecting curb appeal

Of course, the home buyer may not actually make it into your home if the exterior is in a mess. If your garden is an overgrown tangle of grass and weeds, if the paint job on the outside walls and windows are faded and scuffed, and if your home’s clutter extends to the driveway, the home buyer will hesitate at the gate, rather than risk seeing what the inside of your house is like. You need to focus on the curb appeal, as first impressions really are everything. Get your garden into shape, powerwash the drive, and add a fresh of coat of paint to the home’s exterior. You want to dazzle the buyer on arrival, not repulse them with your lack of overall care.

Having an outdated home

Particularly when trying to appeal to the younger end of the house buying market, it is in your best interest to add some modern appeal to your home. The only time when you shouldn’t is when you are trying to sell a cottage or a property with vintage interest. You may need to undertake a few renovations, but considering these will add to your home’s value, you shouldn’t be out of pocket for long. So upgrade your windows with a trusted window installation company, install some modern appliances, and remove anything that looks as if it belongs in the 1970’s, rather than today’s modern era.

Making the wrong upgrade choices

When adding value to your home, there are some upgrades that are worth the investment, and some that aren’t. Follow the link for the must-haves, but know that personal design choices, room conversions, and outdoor extras (such as a play area), aren’t really worth your time and money. There are some things that the home buyer can do once they have moved in, and the last thing they want is for you to make internal and external renovation choices for them. They may like what you have done, but then again, they may rip up all of your hard work and start again. Assuming they buy the house in the first place, of course. Sometimes less is more, so allow the buyer the use of their imagination when viewing your property.

Your home smells

Sorry to be so rude, but it might. You might not recognize these smells yourself, so ask a friend or a neighbor to cast their nose over your property to sniff out any odors you may have become used to. If you have damp in certain rooms, if you have a smoker in the house if there are pets running around, and if you have had garlic for dinner, there will be nasty smells around your home. So our advice is this. Get on top of damp problems, put the pets outside, clean up the kitty litter, and eat something that won’t leave an odor in the house or on your breath. Spray the air fresheners around, situate flowers around your house, burn some incense, bake some biscuits for that homely smell, and let the buyer come into a home that won’t cause them to turn their noses up!

Your home is in a bad state of repair

Rotting window frames, creaking doors, squeaky floorboards, dripping taps, unpleasant drafts, unsightly stains on walls and floors…these may not be huge issues to you, but they will be to the buyer. And then there are the bigger maintenance issues, such as a leaking roof, poorly hinged doors, and plumbing issues, all of which are guaranteed to make the buyer think twice about buying your potential death trap of a house. The buyer needs confidence in what they are buying, so they are unlikely to consider anywhere that demands huge amounts of work, unless you are advertising your house as a fixer-upper. Get on top of any maintenance issues, or bring in the experts to get the job done for you.


Dare we say it, but you may be the reason why your home isn’t selling! If any of the above is true, then perhaps you are putting obstacles in the buyer’s way. It may be that you don’t want to sell your house after all, so throwing toys around the room before the buyer arrives, or eating a bucket load of garlic, may be your way to purposefully turn off the buyer. On the other hand, you may want to sell, but if you get emotional every time a buyer takes an interest, perhaps because of the many memories the property holds for you, then you are going to scare the buyer aware. So, our advice is this: let the realtor show your property instead of you, or if you really are trying to sabotage the sale, take the house off the market and stop wasting everybody’s time!

Did any of the above relate to you and your property? If so, take action now, as you may be stuck in your home for a long time to come. We wish you every success in your house move!

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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