It's obvious that grime, clutter, and a lack of updating turn off all but the most intrepid sweat-equity builders among your potential home buyers.
So if your home is clean, decluttered, and boasts an updated kitchen and bathrooms but still won't sell, then it's time to look at the less obvious reasons why buyers aren't bidding.
1) No curb appeal.
via Flickr user waferboard
If you can’t even get the buyer inside the door, then it doesn’t matter how beautifully you’ve decorated or how ideal the floor plan is; they won’t make it that far.
Don’t worry if your home looks a little more like a “before” picture than you’d prefer, though. With some cleaning supplies, simple flowers, lawn care, and inexpensive outdoor decorations, you can easily highlight your home. Find some inspiration on MilitaryByOwner’s Curb Appeal Pinterest board.
2) Odors (especially pet odors).
It’s easy to discount a homebuyer’s repulsion to odors as a purely emotional reaction, but strong food or cigarette odors are hard to remove and will send many homebuyers running. Pet odors are even worse.
When shopping for our most recent home, I came across a home that had lit scented candles placed immediately inside the door. That one little detail set off warning alarms in my head.
“Cat odors,” I told my husband, as I turned and walked straight back to the car. With an infant and zero interest in a major renovation project, the combination of carpets and cat odors helped me make an easy decision.
A few minutes later, my husband and our Realtor joined me in the car. “They have cats,” they informed me, “and there seemed to be a funny smell...”
You don’t say!
Find more tips on how to prevent your home from being the smelly kid on the block in our post Top 5 Don’ts for Your Open House.
3) It's just weird.
via Flickr user Anthony Easton
Finding the washer-dryer still in the garage is an annoying feature of an older home, but it isn’t weird. Well, it isn’t weird unless it’s a brand new home, but if it's a relatively new home (say, less than 20 years), then it will cause your buyers to wonder what other antiquities may lurk behind the walls.
Aside from appearance, some “weird” things that may turn a buyer off are those that an inspector will point out, such as an electric socket in the shower or a sewage pipe that leads out onto the lawn.
Our article on Preparing Your Home to Sell to a VA Home Loan Buyer explains a little further as to why you may want to have a pre-home sale inspection conducted independently to help mitigate the weird for your potential buyer.
4) Having (or not having) a swimming pool.
Depending on where in the country you're located, either the inclusion or exclusion of a pool on your property can turn a buyer off. An easy way to know whether your pool won’t likely turn buyers off is if at least half of the homes in your neighborhood also have pools.
If your pool home is in the minority, then chances are that pools simply aren’t in high demand in your area, which makes your potential home buying market is much more limited. In first-time home buyer neighborhoods, for example, most parents with infants do not want the risk involved in having a pool. In states where a pool can only get regular use for several months of the year, the homebuyers simply don’t want the maintenance costs.