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Here's Why Buyers May Be Turned Off By Your Home

By Lori Weaver | February 14, 2020

Why is your home growing stale on the market while others in your subdivision are receiving multiple offers? Here are a few of the most common reasons potential buyers aren't writing offers:

Pet presence. Keeping your pooch crated or the litter box clean may seem like you've prepared your home for buyers. But in reality, it's best if you can remove your pets entirely when you have a showing or open house scheduled.

If that's simply not possible, be sure your dog is washed, as well as its bedding. You may not notice doggy or litter box odor, but buyers will. Ask a trusted friend to give your home an honest sniff test and address any issues identified. Avoid covering up odors with heavy sprays. Buyers will only wonder what you are trying to hide. Be sure there is no trace of pet hair on furniture or carpet.

Keep your yard clean of dog waste as well and fill in any holes your pet has dug. Nothing puts a negative impression in a buyer's mind like stepping into a stinky mess or twisting an ankle while doing a simple property walk.

Bold carpet.  Decades past gave us an array of bold colors, from hunter green to vibrant red. Unfortunately, many of these hues are still alive and well, living in today's listings.

If only one room is affected, it is tempting to believe a buyer will think changing one room of carpet isn't a big deal. But that's not how prospective buyers are likely to think. Instead, in their mind, your home is simply, "the one with the ugly carpet." All other things equal, they are going to choose the home without the 90s carpet. Updating the room with fresh, neutral carpet or flooring is a smart investment.

Clutter and cleanliness. Surprising as it may seem, it could be that your standards of cleanliness are not as high as buyers viewing your home. Take out the guesswork and hire a professional to give your home a deep clean from top to bottom.

The same goes for clutter. What you may see as decor or a delightful collection can be seen by prospective buyers as nothing but clutter. If you have too much clutter in your home or garage, buyers will begin to wonder how much work they will need to put into cleaning your home before they move in. Second, too much clutter around your house will have buyers concerned you won't take it all with you when you move and they will be left to deal with a mess.

Offensive neighbors. While difficult to fix, problems associated with your neighbors could be scaring buyers away. A dog barking constantly or overgrown yard, may have buyers scratching your home from their list. If you are on good terms with your neighbors, ask for their help. If they are having trouble keeping up their yard, offer to cut the grass. If the problem is severe enough, you may need to get the HOA or city government involved. You may want to consider installing a tall fence or other barrier between the properties.

Lori Weaver is a writer and licensed real estate agent in Lexington, Ky. With over 25 years’ experience in communications and marketing across a number of business sectors, she provides content marketing, writing and social media services to a variety of B2B and B2C clients, with a focus on real estate., real estate investments and new construction. In her spare time, Lori enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
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