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  • The Gill Group

6 Immediate Turn-offs to Home Buyers

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

It’s easy to guess what buyers will love when they go house-hunting, but did you know there are instant turn offs that will ultimately impact the offer they’ll make on the house? Here are the 6 immediate turn-offs to home buyers.

Strong Smells

Smoke, pet odors, yesterday’s dinner, strong fragrances – if walking into your house feels like an assault to the nose, buyers will surely notice. They’ll wonder how long it will take to deodorize the space, and whether the odors will ever be fully gone. As a seller, stop smoking indoors, give all soft materials, like carpets and sofas, a good clean (professionally, if needed) and air out your space.


Walking into a home stuffed with stuff is a huge turn off. Not only is it not aesthetically pleasing, but it gives a signal to the buyers that the home lacks storage space. Sellers should clear out the clutter, and, in fact, leave the closets 25% bare to give the appearance of extra space. Remove personal items too, buyers should envision themselves living there, not you.

Bright Colors

Note to sellers: Most buyers are not going to be charmed by whimsical bright colored rooms – or whimsy in general. Mostly bold color statements are just a distraction from other features of the home that may be big selling points. For instance, who’s going to notice the beautiful wood details on a fireplace if it’s surrounded by bright lime-green walls? If you’re a seller who loves strong color choices, that’s great, but it’s all got to be toned down before your house goes to market.

Dirty Walls, Floors and Windows

“Gross” is not the first thought you want going through a potential buyer’s mind when in your home. They should picturing themselves in the space and that’s hard to do if they feel it’s not clean. Sellers: wash the windows to let in all the light, wipe down the walls and baseboards, and give the floors a good clean so buyers can see your home in its best form. We highly recommend to have your home professionally cleaned before showings begin.

Poor Curb Appeal

Buyers most definitely judge a house from the curb, so overgrown shrubbery, unkept lawns, broken railings, etc. don’t make the best first impression. As they walk up to the front door, the thoughts in their heads should be “wow!”, not “ugh, hopefully it’s better on the inside”. This will color how they see the rest of the home. So owners - maintain the exterior of your homes, and go ahead and add some nice colorful flowers outside for showing day. Also, it seems like a little thing, but a freshly painted front door goes a long way for an updated feeling.

Signs of Water Damage

Nothing gets buyers running for the hills like evidence of water damage. It’s a huge red flag as they don’t know the extent of the issue and how involved remediation may be. As a seller, it’s in your best interest to remedy the cause of the issue and restore damaged areas.

If you’re ready to list your home and feel like you may be guilty of one of the above, it’s time to get to work. Give The Gill Group a call at 201-888-2900 and we’ll guide you through all the preparations you need to have your house market ready!


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