Quickest ways to turn away a potential buyer

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your home for the market:

1. DIRT…

Nothing turns off buyers quicker than a dirty house. It is absolutely imperative that the seller get the house in the best condition it’s ever been in to sell it quickly.

This means steam cleaning the tile, replacing old, smelly carpets (or at least shampooing them), and ensuring the kitchen is free of any food crumbs or odors.


It is said that buyers buy with their noses—and there is certainly truth to that statement. Make sure the home you’re selling smells fresh and inviting.

This is true of the kitchen, especially. Avoid cooking fried or greasy food or fish while the house is on the market since those odors can linger for a day or more. And pet odors? Just because you may be a dog person doesn’t mean your potential buyer is. Remove all pet care items, even the feeding dishes and litter box, before buyers show up to view the house. Potential buyers may see the big ol’ water bowl and wonder, “hmm, what ELSE has that big dog been doing in the house?” It’s an immediate turnoff.

The same is true for smokers—remove all ashtrays, clean up the upholstery and curtains, and consider smoking only outside while the house is on the market.


The quickest way to age your home is to leave on the original hardware. Unless you have a home with that historic charm, splurge on 400-500 dollars worth of new cabinet hardware, door knobs, etc. and really give your home that updated look.

Call on Shannon for more information!4. WALLPAPER…

Wallpaper is extremely personalized, and extremely difficult to remove. If it took hours for you to choose the perfect wallpaper for your space, what do you think the odds are that someone else will like that exact pattern? SLIM. Very very slim.

Wallpaper is definitely a no-no. All it does is add another “to-do” to the buyers list. Removing it before showing the home will definitely make the home easier to sell.



Popcorn is delicious as a snack, but atrocious on the ceiling. Just like the old fixtures, the popcorn ceiling puts a timestamp on your house that may keep you from getting top dollar.

If you can’t handle the cost or mess of removing the popcorn, be prepared to provide some sort of credit to the buyer in order to close the deal. Yes, buyers hate it THAT MUCH.


When a buyer is looking at a home, it is the same as trying on a new pair of pants. But with too many personal items left in the home, it can be like trying on a pair of pants with the seller still in them. They’re probably not going to fit.

Decorating a home to sell is very different than decorating a home to live in. Try to eliminate all personal items, family photos, even unique color choices.

7. SNOOPY SELLERS…Call on Shannon for more information!

Some sellers will want to greet the agent and the potential buyer at the door, but this is not a good idea. The seller tends to follow the agent and buyer around and give their two cents’ worth about the home. It gets incredibly annoying—the selling agent has a method, a system, and knows how to sell homes for top dollar. You hired them, let them do their job and get you top price for your home.


Most buyers start their search online, so sellers obviously want to put the best photos possible in the multiple listing service. But when a potential buyer shows up and sees that the home is nothing like what was pictured, both the buyer and selling agent can feel disappointed and mislead.


How your home appears from the street, driveway, and sidewalk is the very first impression a potential buyer will get from the home. Neglecting basic yard care is a huge mistake—make sure you edge and trim the yard, add fresh mulch to the flower beds, and power wash any cobwebs or old bird nests from the exterior.


Finally, remove all of the clutter from your home. Ensure closets are only half-full—remember most buyers are looking to buy a new home because they’ve outgrown their old one. Clean closets and storage spaces that exhibit room to grow will be a major plus in the buyers’ mind.

Kitchens and bookshelves should follow the rule of three. In the kitchen, no more than three countertop appliances. On the book shelves, have only one-third books, one-third vases and decor, one-third EMPTY.

Also make sure that the office is generic, otherwise buyers will be more concerned with your profession rather than how they can use that space themselves. And if you have toddlers running around, get rid of as much of the extra “kiddie littler” as possible and keep an extra laundry basket around. When you receive the phone call for a showing, pack up the extra toys and books and toss it in the car along with the kids (and pets) on your way out.

Contact me today and let me show you the difference.