Quickest Ways to Make a Home Buyer Run From Your House

Quickest Ways to Make a Home Buyer Run From Your House

So you want to sell your home. It’s in pretty good shape. It’s clean. Or, at least YOU think so. The house isn’t too out of date. It should be an easy sell, right???

Well, here’s a few things you need to know BEFORE you put your house up for sale. Here are some sure-fire ways to make a potential buyer RUN from your home:

Heavy smells or odors

You home needs to smell clean, fresh, homey. Think inviting scents. Vanilla, baking smells like apple/cinnamon. Try not to cook any fried foods, or oily fish while your home is on the market. Those smells can hang in the house for DAYS. Do you have pets? Pet owners (and yes, I DO have pets) may not smell any pet odors because they’ve grown accustomed to “that smell.” To a non-pet owner, they may walk into your home and smell dog, or worse, a cat’s litterbox. If you have pets, you need to pay close attention to litter boxes, carpet odors, etc..


Most people are turned off by a dirty home. If your home looks like the cobwebs have been there for 5 years, the first thought in a home buyer’s mind will be, “What ELSE have they not maintained in the house???” Not to mention the fear of what else they mSight find in a closet or basement. Clean EVERYTHING. Steam clean carpets, vaccuum cobwebs, clean your stovetop, pay EXTRA attention to bathtubs. Dirty bathrooms are a HUGE turnoff.clutter


Nothing makes a house look smaller than lots of clutter. Kid’s toys, clothes, extra furniture, STUFF. People need to be able to envision THEIR belongings in YOUR home. That’s very hard for them to do if they’re tripping on toys, or piles of papers. You need to get rid of every possible bit of debris that you can. Keep everything off of the floors. Box what you can. Clean out your closets, let people see how much room they have for THEIR belongings.


A fresh coat of paint makes EVERYTHING look newer. Cleaner. Brighter. The cheapest, yet best investment for the sale of your home. Pick a nice, soft, neutral color, pleasing to the eye.

Wallpaper? Ugh… You may like it, or love it. But nothing screams work like wallpaper. It’s a pain in the butt to remove. And THEY know that at some point, it will discolor or peel, and it WILL have to be removed. You NEED to take it down.

Pictures, Knick knacks, Personal Items

When people walk into your home, they need to picture themselves living in it with their belongings. Your personal items may make it hard for them to do that. I have walked into homes that had no space on the wall where there WASN’T a picture of some kind. The piano was COVERED with frames. Every shelf, even the fireplace. You need to try to de-personalize your home as best you can.

Old Light Fixtures

These can make a home look REALLY out of date. Good news is, it won’t break the wallet. You can go to Lowes or Home Depot and get really nice fixtures that are inexpensive, and if they’re on clearance, bonus!

No Curb Appeal

The first time ANYone sees the exterior of your home is on the drive by or on the listing photo. First impressions are EVERYTHING. Pay attention to the yard. The fixes don’t have to break your budget. Mulch is inexpensive, but freshens up the appearance of ANY home. Trim hedges and stray branches on trees. Keep the lawn mowed. Clean your windows. Maybe a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Power wash the exterior.

Being IN the Home For a Showing

Please. PLEASE… Do whatever you can NOT to be in the home when it’s being shown. People feel pressured to leave, as if they’re spending too long in the house. They also can’t speak freely on their feelings on the home, as they may be afraid of offending the owner. It’s fine to wait outside in case they have any questions that you might be able to answer, but you need to let them walk through the home freely, for as long as they need.

By paying attention to these home buyer turn offs, you’ll be that many steps closer to the easiest possible sale of your home.

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”


Leave a Reply