What Buyers Don’t Want: 4 Homebuyer Turn-offs to Avoid

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It may be an inventory-strapped market, but that doesn’t mean people are willing to buy anything.

Today’s homebuyers still want a great home, in a great location, at a great price – and sellers need to do their best to position their properties as such.

Staging, adding some curb appeal and sprucing up the kitchen or bathroom are certainly ways to do that, but just as important? That’s ridding your house of common homebuyer turn-offs.

Want to make sure your home doesn’t send buyers running for the hills? Here are just a few items today’s buyers are looking to avoid at all costs:

  1. Lots of fixes and repairs.

Today’s buyers are pretty DIY-savvy. They like taking on home improvement projects, and they actually have fun doing it. But take that with a grain of salt. A buyer doesn’t want to invest an extra $10K in materials right after purchasing a property, nor do they want to deal with major repairs on roofs, plumbing, electrical systems or the foundation. Get a pre-sale inspection, and makes sure to handle these big-picture fixes before putting your home on the market.

  1. A difficult to maintain yard.

No one wants to spend all their weekends mowing, weeding and edging their yard. In fact, most younger buyers don’t want to do yard work at all. Consider adding some landscaping to your yard that can cut down on the amount of care and maintenance your lawn requires. You can even add a patio or porch to offer more entertainment space in the back.

  1. Old, dirty carpets.

Carpets, for the most part, are out. Most buyers want sleek and easy-to-care-for hardwood floors and tiling. And carpets? Particularly old, dirty, used-for-decades ones? Those can be an instant turn off for many people. If you’ve got old carpets in your home, consider ripping them out and refinishing the wood floors beneath them. If that’s out of your budget or timeline, hire a professional carpet cleaning service instead, and at least give your existing floors a facelift.

  1. Outdated appliances.

Buyers today are trending toward smart homes – properties with Wi-Fi and mobile-enabled devices that can control the temperature, security systems, lighting and more. And old, 1970s-style appliances? Those are anything but. Before putting your home on the market, consider upgrading any really out-of-date items – especially those in the kitchen.

Always talk with a local realtor before listing your home. They can give you ideas on how to stage your home, as well as what you should upgrade or repair before putting it on the market.



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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.