Putting your house on the market is one of life’s more stressful events, but when time drags on and you’re getting no bites from buyers, it can become downright frustrating. Many of these buyer turn-offs are easily fixed – the first step is simply becoming aware of them.

Hire a home-stager or home stylist in your area

Your home lacks street appeal

Potential buyers often view multiple houses over the weekend, but they’re likely to bypass yours if they drive past and fail to be impressed. Unless the front of your home looks well-maintained and inviting, fewer people are likely to bother looking inside. Spruce up the garden, paint the front fence…whatever it takes to make a great first impression.

You’ve made a renovation blunder

Houzz design professionals tell us that kitchens and bathrooms are powerful influences when potential buyers come to inspect your home and can make or break a deal. Even if you’ve renovated, blunders in practicalities (the kitchen sink is too small), colour (you like the yellow bathroom tiles but they’re not to everyone’s taste) or lighting (the kitchen feels cold and sterile because the lights are in the wrong place) can put people off. If you’re renovating to sell, it pays to seek expert advice before going ahead. If you’ve already renovated it may just take a little longer to find the right buyer – one who has the same design and colour ideas as you.

You missed a few spots cleaning

It’s hard to see the detail in your own home, but hawk-eyed buyers will be on the lookout for flaws. Cracks in the walls (easily fixed with filler and paint) are red flags for buyers and dull windows and cobwebs in the corners are instant turn-offs. Get a professional in to clean, and ask your real estate agent to point out any areas you’ve overlooked. Just don’t be offended when they’re honest with you.

Your neighbours

If the houses on either side of you are rundown and the overgrown front yard is strewn with beer cans, are buyers likely to want to move in? This is an extreme example, but if there is a tactful way to get your neighbours to tidy up, it’s worth asking. Let them know when your open-for-inspection times are, too. If buyers can hear loud music or arguments coming from next door, they’re likely to look elsewhere.

An odour issue

Pet smells and cooking odours are turn-offs to fastidious buyers. Who wants to buy a house that smells like sausages or wet dog? You may not be able to detect the smell of your own house so it pays to check with your agent. Getting the carpets cleaned and washing down the walls can fix the problem for little time and expense.

We hope these common reasons a house may not sell put you on track to great home staging and a successful sale.


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