20 Deal Breakers That Make Your Home Unsellable
Has your house has been sitting on the market too long? There may be a good reason why you’re not getting any offers. A recent study by GoCompare home insurance reveals these are the biggest turn-offs for home buyers.
According to a GoCompare study, a whopping 69 percent of home buyers are turned off by dampness. In fact, buyers may be asking, “What lies beneath?” when they see stains or sense dampness during a home viewing. “Buyers could think dampness is a sign of a much bigger problem, like an ongoing leak in the roof or behind the walls that could have already caused issues like mold,” says Jane McAuley, a realtor with Coldwell Banker. Try these simple changes to make your home look more expensive.
A whiff of something nasty can turn off a buyer before they see the entire house. “There are many remedies to get rid of some of the most common smells like smoke or pet urine. Buyers may wonder why the sellers didn’t try to remove these smells before putting the house on the market, or worse, think they may be permanent,” says McAuley. A stinky first impression was enough for 63 percent to be turned off.
A worn out deck and peeling paint may not seem like a big deal, but 59 percent of home buyers may wonder just how bad of shape is the house really in. “Most buyers tend to start adding up the cost of repairs in their head as they walk from room to room. And that’s not good for sellers as buyers are already discounting before they even write an offer,” says McAuley. Check out these clever home improvements under $200.
“In many areas, especially city dwellings, parking can be challenging. Many homes, even luxury ones, are sold without garages, relying on driveways or on-street parking,” says McAuley. Circling for a parking spot on a daily basis probably won’t appeal to someone who depends on their car to commute and 56 percent will keep driving. However, if the buyer is specifically looking for a location they can walk to work, shops, and restaurants, lack of parking won’t be a big deal.
Broadband black spot
Believe it or not, there are still locations where broadband isn’t available, and 53 percent of buyers don’t want to mess with a lack of connectivity. “In our instantaneous world, very few buyers are willing to look past this. They would need to look into alternative sources of connecting and most buyers will likely still be concerned about the coverage being consistent and likely move along to another home. It is a huge deal killer,” says McAuley.
Unfinished home improvements
Some DIYers are looking for fixer-uppers and may not be swayed by seeing a few unfinished projects, but for the rest of the buyers who want a move-in ready property, unfinished projects are a deal breaker. In McAuley’s experience, buyers are concerned that homeowners might have cut corners in the projects already done or they’ll have to shell out extra cash to fix the bad DIY projects. In fact, 53 percent wouldn’t nail down an offer. “A savvy buyer can get a great deal on this kind of property, but will need to be very thorough in their inspections,” says McAuley. Don’t attempt these DIY home improvements—ever.
No green space
The desire for green space is about 50/50 for buyers. In fact, 52 percent would be turned off if they couldn’t tiptoe through their own tulips. “In today’s market, having a yard for kids to play or space for a pet to roam around is a top-tier issue for homeowners. Sometimes this can be overcome with other amenities close by, like a neighborhood park,” says McAuley.
No natural gas
According to a survey conducted by NW Natural, a utility company headquartered in Portland, Oregon 90 percent of new and future home buyers surveyed in NW Natural territory prefer natural gas. Other utility companies report similar findings and GoCompare reports 51 percent prefer the flame. McAuley also sees it as a big deterrent. Home buyers prefer natural gas because it is more affordable, offers more consistent heat in the winter and offers better temperature control in cooking. “Depending on the cost to get it, buyers may just look at it as too big a cost to make it worth moving forward,” says McAuley.
Neighbor’s yard is an eyesore
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The house listing shines online but buyers hopes could be instantly dashed when they see the neighbor’s yard is two weeks overdue for a cutting and trash is scattered about. While 48 percent would say “no way” to this, McAuley says if you are buying a home in a community with a homeowner’s association (HOA), a letter notifying the governing HOA could resolve this issue or you could contact the city to get it fixed up, though that may lead to strained relations with your neighbors.
We already know lingering odors is number two on the deal breaker list but 46 percent of buyers also turn their nose up at a dirty house. It’s not a simple matter of buyers seeing past toys scattered about or dusty shelves and dirty floors. If the owner didn’t get the house in squeaky clean condition for a dazzling first impression, McAuley says buyers will wonder if its an indication of deferred maintenance.