How to scare potential home buyers away in SECONDS!

Wednesday Dec 19th, 2018


I've taken hundreds of people into hundreds of homes over the years.  I hear what people say when they haven't even entered the house yet.  This is not what's referred to as "curb appeal," but it's when the buyers come closer.  Keep reading for what buyers think and what turns them off before they even walk into your living space!  First impressions count in a very noticeable way and small details must not be ignored when you are listing your house for sale. 

Here is a list of the kind of things that are disasterious when listing your house:

  • The interlock pathway is cracked or not level, weeds growing between the stones  
  • The garden seems hard to manage, overrun with weeds and untrimmed bushes.  May come across as high maintenance
  • It may be hard to believe, but sellers forget to turn the exterior light on so we can open the lock box without finding a flashlight
  • Often we stand at the front door for a minute or two before entering.   We notice the paint around the door and it's frame is flaking 
  • The screen door is creaky or the screen is torn, spring broken
  • Wrestling with a key in in the lock is very frustrating before we've even entered!   My record is 20 minutes.  I'm surprised my buyers had the patience.
  • Splash-and-dash painting around the front door doesn't fool buyers.  Painting is good, but painting over the doorbell... not so good
  • Old newspaper and garbage collected on the front veranda.   A pot of flowers would go a far way!


Here is the worst case scenario as they stand in the entrance foyer:

  • The space is cluttered with shoes and backpacks that make movement difficult, especially when buyers have wet shoes and boots
  • The lights are off~!   This always amazes me.  First impression:  darkness   
  • The heat is off ~!   A cold house is...  cold and unwelcoming.  There is no desire to hang around very long
  • The house smells like pets, mildew, cigarette smoke, or plain uncleanliness.   Not hard to imagine that this is an instant turn-off
  • A ferocious dog barking inside the door is usually an indicator that we aren't going in at all   

These are all examples of things that happen so quickly.  The buyers are totally disinterested at this stage to continue viewing the house.  I often have buyers just carry on "because we're here", but the impressions they have made are nearly impossible to shake.   A strong feeling that lack of maintenance is assumed to carry on throughout the house and is especially concerning with regards to "unseen" things that may be covered up or simply ignored .   This is how buyers think.  Take my word for it.  These details may sound small, but buyers come to much greater conclusions that may or may not be legitamite.

Experts say it's the first 30 seconds that count.  Make them count!   I always provide a complimentary home staging consultation with EVERY listing.   Don't settle for less.  No home is too big or two small to maximumize your return.



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