The tango of the home tour can be a sensitive dance. Some home buyers get easily hung up on minor issues, such as cosmetics and other small flaws, so much so that the potential sale falls through. There are, however, major issues that will send most homebuyers quickly out the door. Keep reading to find out some red flags that homebuyers just can’t look past.
What's That Smell
The way a home smells – both inside and out – sets the tone before the tour really even begins. When it comes to eliminating strong smells and odors, simply turning on a fan and opening the windows isn’t going to cut it. You should take the time to find the source of the smell(s) and remove it – make sure there isn’t an animal carcass in the chimney or moldy plumbing beneath the floors. For hard-to-get-out odors, such as cigarette smoke, you may need to wash, stain, and re-paint walls, as well as clean out the home’s duct system. You can check out these tips here for more ways to eliminate odor.
A dirty or stained carpet can tarnish the home’s image, regardless if everything else is immaculate. Don’t let pet stains or spilled coffee be the reason your house sits on the market. A new professional-grade carpet cleaner cost an average of $400 or can you can rent one from your local home goods store for $30 to $40 a day. If the carpets are damaged or beyond cleaning, you may want to budget for new carpet installation.
Tacky Paint Colors
It’s true, the buyer can always go back and change the paint color if they want. But home tours are all about first impressions, and an over-the-top paint color can be the tipping point towards a no sale. Stay away from bubble gum pinks and bright yellows, and veer to more neutral colors like light browns and blues.
When homebuyers walk into the kitchen, the first thing their eyes meet are the cabinets. Old cabinets can be a potential deal-breaker, but you don’t have to spend a fortune having new ones installed. You can accomplish the look of updated cabinets (for a fraction of the cost of installing new ones) by refinishing them yourself. For the rest of the kitchen, focus on simple aesthetics like lighting and paint color. These can be inexpensive changes that greatly enhance your kitchen space.
You should also consult your REALTOR® to get an opinion on any other items in the home that might be seen as red flags. You might have a large-sized home or live in a great location, but it’s the intimate details that determine whether or not it sells.