Oct 2, 2011

Top 5 Home Buyer turn-offs

Top 5 Home Buyer turn-offs

There is a growing inventory of houses on the Canadian market, and buyers are much choosier than ever before. Toronto real estate agent Matt Dawson of Chestnut Park Real Estate has seen some amazing blunders by sellers. Here's his take on some of the biggest buyer turn-offs, many of which could be avoided --  with a little care and forethought. 

1 Wacky Paint Colors
Some buyers can overlook strange decor choices and picture the house painted white or in tasteful neutrals, but many can't. Furthermore, color can have a strong effect on mood, both positively and negatively.

Don't take the chance.

2 Dirt
A house for sale should be as near to spotless as you can make it. Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, grimy grout, stained counter tops, dishes in the sink and crunchy floors are definite turn-offs.

3 Odd (or oppressive) smells
If you smoke, at least take it outside while the house is up for sale. In fact, any noticeable odors, whether pets, lingering cooking smells or even heavy perfume, can turn away a potential buyer.

4 Unkempt exterior

Curb appeal makes a very strong impression on a potential buyer, and so does lack of it. Make sure the landscaping is trimmed and the lawn mowed; plant a few annuals or cover your flowerbeds with a neat layer of mulch, staying away from the bright red color and opting for the natural colored mulch. If the front porch needs painting, paint it. Also, keep the outside of your home as tidy as the interior: remove kids' toys from the backyard, and keep the porch steps swept.

5 Too many pets
It's hard to believe that not everybody loves Fluffy, Fifi, and Rover as much as you do, but they don't. A dog that comes barking fiercely to the door as soon as you ring the bell, or worse, a whole pack of them, is unnerving. One cat sleeping quietly in a chair might be fine; a noisy (and possibly smelly) menagerie isn't. Try to find temporary homes for your friends, at least while the house is being shown.