6 Major Turnoffs for Home Buyers

As a Realtor in Los Angeles, I’ve seen it all. The best of the best (a $250m home fully decked out in Fendi and Hermes with a heli-pad and said helicopter) to the $500k dated condo. You would naturally think that price equals amazing interior design, but au contraire! I have been in some amazingly epic architectural wonders with hideous interiors, just as I have been in little one-bedroom bungalows with more charm than you can shake a stick at. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Along the way I picked up several clues as to what are the major turnoffs for buyers, these are my top 5.

1. Bad Photography. 

For this you should blame your Realtor. Unless you chose a super cheap Realtor, in that case you should blame yourself. You get what you pay for and nowhere else is that as important as real estate, especially with these numbers. There have been countless times when I’ve been searching for properties for clients when I come across a listing that looks promising. But I can’t send it. Because there are either terrible pictures, or no pictures at all. Which means your property never gets off the ground. If I’m not sending this listing, no other Realtor is either, which is why in 99% of these cases I end up seeing these properties sit on the market and take markdown after markdown before finally selling.

Think this photo will help sell your home? I bet it will.

2. Clutter

Buyers don’t want to see your stuff. They want to enter a fantasy land where they envision a certain lifestyle. Tripping over your shoes in the doorway, spying dirty socks on the floor and your endless wall of family photos doesn’t help their fantasy. It reminds them of why they want to move in the first place, to escape the same things. When buyers see your place as a modern, fun, fresh start of a home then you are in business. 

3. Funky Smells

I don’t need to say much here. “Vintage” smells, animal smells, malodorous odors. Take out the trash, bake 500 cookies, whatever you need to do, no funky smells. 

Buyers love homes that are free of clutter and funky smells. And are spotlessly clean.

4. Dated Design

This can be a tough one to get around. Especially when your home is 15+ years old and the counters, cabinets, and flooring still look good and you don’t want to spend $100k plus plus and 6 months remodeling these things just to bring them up to date.

Can I tell you, that’s where we come in? Our whole business model is to help homes with dated design, sell for more money and fewer days on market. There are tips and tricks we have up our sleeve to help your home look more modern and less dated, for far less than you might expect. 

This sticking point does matter a great deal to buyers, many of who want properties that are move in ready, or with small cosmetic fixes. Otherwise you are appealing to developers only, and they won’t pay what an end-user would pay to purchase your home. Here the adage is true, you DO have to spend some money to make more money, which many times (not always) you can make back as least as much as your initial investment. Schedule a Discovery Call with us here for a quick chat to find out more. 

5. The Wrong Paint Colors

Zillow did a survey recently in different cities and found that the right paint colors can add or subtract thousands from the sales price of your home. Who knew? I did.

Many homes I see painted all white (definitely a good option, but you have to know which white) or all gray. In both cases there are undertones to each that need to go with your fixtures, flooring and the style of your home. If you paint a crisp, pure white in a home with travertine floors it looks off. Why? Because that white should have been an off-white, or slightly creamy white to work with the beige and yellow tones in the floors. Samesies with gray. There are lots of undertones there that are not going to work with brown and beige. And ps, gray is on it’s way out. It’s not the most up-to-the-minute color, and remember, you are creating a fantasy home experience for your buyers, which includes a modern design plan.

Again, this is where it’s important to get help! If you’re paying for paint and painters, although relatively inexpensive in the overall scheme, it’s still a pain (and more $$) to repaint if your chosen colors don’t work out. 

Paint can make or break your interior design.

6. Your Home Doesn’t Tell a Story

The very best homes, that sell for the most money regardless of price point, tell a story. From the minute you pull up to the curb, to walking through the entry, each room, including the outdoor space, tells a story about this home. Is it a sexy bachelor pad? A private, historical Spanish hideaway? A spacious family home where family and friends visit on the reg? There’s a cohesive plan to these homes that is woven throughout both the interiors and exterior as to what this home is all about and who lives here and why. 

Think of it as reading your favorite book. Say you like Stephen King. You’re reading Cujo and then all of a sudden it diverts to some forbidden romance novel. Ew. That’s just like your home. The rooms can be different, yes, but there is a common thread that runs between them. 

Interested in knowing more? Contact us here to inquire about how we can help you sell.