As a real estate broker, I list & show a lot of homes to potential buyers.
Here are 10 features that could make your home less attractive to home buyers.
Reason # 1: TURNING YOUR GARAGE INTO A FAMILY ROOM
I see this infraction happening a lot.
But most home buyers want a secure, covered place to park their cars. This is especially true in places like Georgia, where thunderstorms are the norm and in the summer, when the sun beats down on your car leather seats.
So when you turn the garage into a family room, you’re going to repel most home buyers by default.
Furthermore, what if your buyer doesn’t have a family? Or what if they would prefer to gather with their family in the home, instead of the garage?
Reason # 2: CONVERTING A BEDROOM INTO SOMETHING ELSE
There’s a reason why the first question that a home buyer asks a real estate agent is, “How many bedrooms does it have?”
This is because bedrooms are essential to the home.
Sometimes that means having a baby, getting married, caring for a family member, or planning to do any of these things in the near future. If the home can’t accommodate these needs, they are going to move on.
If you have to convert a room into an office, playroom, man cave, craft room, or game room, make sure that it can easily be converted back to a bedroom. This means refraining form built in cabinets, special flooring, and wall mounts.
Reason # 3: LAYING DOWN CARPET INSTEAD OF HARD SURFACE FLOORS
Carpet was cool in the 1950’s, but home buyers in the 21st century can’t stand it.
Most people believe it to be unsanitary, difficult to clean, and a heavy-duty magnet for allergens. Carpet is an absolute nightmare for parents with kids, owners of pets, and party-goers who love to entertain.
Reason # 4: TURNING YOUR KIDS’ ROOMS INTO A MINIATURE THEME PARK
If you turn your daughter’s room into a princess palace, you will immediately turn buyers away, because this communicates dollar signs.
This is especially true if they home buyers have no children, teenage children, or all boys.
The home buyer will have to paint the room back to neutral colors, tear down any miniature built-ins or doll houses, and remove decals, stickers, and hanging fixtures in order to bring the room back down to earth.
Reason # 5: ADDING AN ABOVE GROUND POOL OR TRAMPOLINE
I’m sure that both items are fun, but when you’re selling a house, this is a huge turn off to potential buyers.
Both are huge safety hazards for parents especially with small children.
Reason # 6: LEAVING DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK
Dirt, in general, will turn away any buyer walking through your home. But dirty dishes are one of the worst because the kitchen is usually the first place buyers look at when searching for a home.
The kitchen is the deal maker and the deal breaker.
Reason # 7: MAKING BUYERS TAKE OFF THEIR SHOES
It’s totally understandable why a seller would request shoe removal.
Buyers don’t want to be inconvenienced by taking off their shoes every time they enter a home either. Sometimes, home buyers will visit up to 5 homes in a day for weeks on end.
That’s a lot of time, energy, and effort for shoe removal.
The answer to this dilemma is simple: shoe covers.
They can easily be purchased from the medical supply store and neither party will be inconvenienced by wearing them.
Reason # 8: SMOKING CIGARETTES IN EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE
Cigarette smoke goes into every part of the home: the walls, drapes, carpets, paneling, everywhere. Cigarette smoke is often difficult to remove without hiring some serious experts to paint, wash, wipe, destroy, and rebuild.
When you smoke in every room, you are communicating to potential buyers that they will have to put more money into to get the smell out. And this could be a costly process.
If you've been smoking indoors, start preparing now.
Start smoking outside.
Start cleaning and painting rooms where you’ve smoked.
Doing these simple things will help you to get top dollar for your house.
Reason # 9: PUTTING PETS FRONT AND CENTER
This is a hard fact to swallow, but not everyone loves puppies.
Some home buyers will think that your dog’s bed is cute, and some will be visually disgusted. Some people have allergies to animals, some are neat freaks, and some just don’t like pets.
And even if your potential buyers are pet lovers, seeing your pet’s belongings with fur, saliva, dirt, or dust can be displeasing to the eyes and the nose. Make sure that all toys, beds, blankets, and litter boxes are out of sight.
Also, make sure that your dog or cat is being held in a secure location.
Reason # 10: KEEPING OLD FIXTURES
Today’s home buyers like the updated fixtures.
This can be anything from granite counter tops, to stainless steel appliances, to led lighting.
Tile counter tops were cool in the 70’s, but now people just think that they are hard to clean.
White appliances may have been hip in the 2000’s, but now buyers think they just look cheap compared to stainless steel.
And brass chandeliers were awesome in the 90’s, but now people think that they’re cheesy. To get top dollar for your home, you must let them go.
Remember: IT’S YOUR HOME… FOR NOW
Enjoy it and do whatever you want with it.
Just keep in mind that sometimes life throws you surprises and you may have to move.
So before you convert the garage into a yoga studio, please keep your home’s resale value in mind.