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Old 02-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
pyrxtc
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What would turn you off in a house for sale ?

If you were looking to buy a house and went to check it out in person, what would turn you off.

Knowing ahead of time that it is 240 yrs old and has not been updated, everything is original as much as possible. Some chipped paint is obviously going to be there but everything works without problems and has been kept up. It even comes with a full home inspection report showing that there are no major items wrong with the house. The outside of the house has been half re-painted since it got too cold to finish last year. We will continue to paint it until it sells.

What visual things would turn you off besides the obvious like dirt and piles of junk ?

Too much furniture ? Kids toys ? packed boxes ? family pictures ?

I am trying to think of what else I need to do to show my house. They are coming to take pictures for the online listing this week and I want each room to look as perfect as it can.

OT.... it is amazing how much stuff you keep around the house and never use. I have donated so much stuff that it is unreal.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Clutter. When we sold our last house, we rented a storage unit and moved lots of extras to the storage unit until the house was sold and we moved to our larger house.

Odors. If you have any pets, you need to have someone you trust come in and tell you if they smell pet odors.

Half painted outside would also be a turnoff. I would think you can't take care of the outside, how has the inside been taken care of?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:57 AM   #3
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Clutter and the smell of pets, mainly cat pee. Cigarette smoke would be a complete deal breaker.

Last edited by scoutie; 02-21-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:58 AM   #4
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We are currently house hunting
The things that turn me off:

Hard surface floors that I cannot see due to excessive area rugs

Dog poop in the yard - yep, looked at a house the other day that had poop mines all over the yard - gross

Dirty/broken windows

Burnt out light bulbs in closets, garages etc so that we cannot see the area.

Strong "cover up" smells like a strong Scentsy wax burner etc.
or a strong smell of cleaning products like the bath was just Pine-Sol'd

Ugly driveway - lots of oil stains etc. Something about it just turns me off
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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Strong pet odors.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrxtc View Post
If you were looking to buy a house and went to check it out in person, what would turn you off.

Knowing ahead of time that it is 240 yrs old and has not been updated, everything is original as much as possible. Some chipped paint is obviously going to be there but everything works without problems and has been kept up. It even comes with a full home inspection report showing that there are no major items wrong with the house. The outside of the house has been half re-painted since it got too cold to finish last year. We will continue to paint it until it sells.

What visual things would turn you off besides the obvious like dirt and piles of junk ?

Too much furniture ? Kids toys ? packed boxes ? family pictures ?


I am trying to think of what else I need to do to show my house. They are coming to take pictures for the online listing this week and I want each room to look as perfect as it can.

OT.... it is amazing how much stuff you keep around the house and never use. I have donated so much stuff that it is unreal.
You're right that dirt and junk are biggies. To me it says the homeowner isn't clean and doesn't care about the home, meaning they may not have kept up on maintenance.

Anything that is obviously broken (broken windows, missing cabinet knobs, etc.) would have to be fixed. A LITTLE chipped paint, who cares - I'll repaint no matter what. Chipped paint everywhere goes back to the lack of upkeep and will make me wonder whether the owner has slacked off on everything.

Next for me (a big one) is odors. I don't want to smell pets, last night's fish dinner, anything. You may think the odor is temporary but we buyers visiting the house don't know that.

Messiness outside - dead bushes, landscaping that hasn't been tended to, that sort of thing -- it would go on my mental list of "one more thing I have to deal with." I don't care if there are fancy flowers planted; I just don't want to see an ugly weedy lawn and dinky shrubs.

Paint colors, family pictures, that sort of thing - don't really care. That being said, the house will look better when it is clean, uncluttered, and has minimal "stuff" in it.


Good luck with your listing.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Clutter and odors rank way up there.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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1. Animals smells/hair
2. Too much clutter
3. Fake smells (ie candles, air freshener, etc.)
4. Too much furniture
5. Really wild decor (ie paint colors/wallpaper)
6. Over stuffed closets
7. Garage/basement full of junk

We looked at lots of houses before we bought ours. Some of the standouts on the "no way" list were:

The house that looked like every room was wallpapered with Christmas foil wrap (even the kitchen). There's no way I wanted to have to take down all that wallpaper! The same was true for the house with all the bright paint (lime green, smurf blue, bright orange).

The house that reeked of animal urine and the yard was covered with dog feces. Same with the house that had competing air fresheners in each room.

The houses that had so much stuff packed into the basements and garages that we really couldn't see them.

Some of the homes that had a lot of furniture/clutter in them were hard to see because there was just too much stuff in there. I had a hard time imagining my stuff in the house.

When my parents sold their home they moved out over half the furniture and decor and completely decluttered. They emptied the basement and garage (other than the washer/dryer and a few tools). They repainted all the walls a neutral color. When they were done they took another quarter of the furniture out. House sold in less than a week for top dollar.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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I think one of the issues with old homes is that the rooms were generally much smaller than current floor plans. I think you're going to want to do whatever you can to make your rooms/closets look as roomy as possible (removing extra furniture, clutter, or things that do not have to be there).

I know a lot of real estate agents suggest removing personal items like toys and family pictures so that the buyer can picture themselves in the home better, but those things didn't bother me.

Pet odors... and that "musty" smell that many old houses get might be a turn-off to me. I'm not sure what you can do about the musty smell though.

The fact that the house is half-painted would be weird for me too. If it needed to be painted, I would add that to the "fixer upper" list (budget accordingly), and if it was completely painted, that would be great. But the fact that the job was half done would be an issue for me. I'd either want it finished before closing, or I'd want enough money off the price that I could pay to have someone repaint the whole thing.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb & Bill View Post
Clutter. When we sold our last house, we rented a storage unit and moved lots of extras to the storage unit until the house was sold and we moved to our larger house.

Odors. If you have any pets, you need to have someone you trust come in and tell you if they smell pet odors.

Half painted outside would also be a turnoff. I would think you can't take care of the outside, how has the inside been taken care of?
I agree.

I'd get rid of any boxes and repaint at least one room on each floor. New paint smell is better than typical household "odor."

I think when most people purchase a home they want to feel like they are "moving up". And they want to feel like the previous owners are the type of people they are or they want to be. So, any sentimental "tacky" stuff or dated things should go.

This is all my opinion, of course - it may be totally off.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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Odors are a biggie with me. I can overlook a little clutter. I think it depends on what you are looking to put into the house. I am not against a little post-purchase reno, so I can overlook paint, wallpaper, carpet, etc. unless it's just really weird and hideous.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Odors would be a huge turn-off for me (smell of cigarettes, pet odors). Clutter, wallpaper, paint colors, too much furniture don't bother me. The owners will be taking their stuff with them, and I can paint and strip wallpaper with the best of them. The "bones" of the house are more important - does it have a good roof, good furnace, is the structure sound - that kind of thing ranks highest for me.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #13
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I agree with others about odors. I can overlook clutter and lots of furniture (though you do need to be careful as it can make the room look smaller) but smells are a big turnoff and you don't know if it will leave with the current owners.

I also really didn't like it when the house looked dark. I would suggest opening the curtains and blinds as I really like the natural light.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #14
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Strong smells, whether they are from pets, smoke or something else. Smelling strong air fresheners would worry me; I would wonder what they were covering up.

So much furniture, wall hangings or area rugs that it's hard to see the walls and floor, especially if anything seems like it is in an odd place. Again, I would wonder what those were covering.

Anything that doesn't look cared for - including the unfinished paint on the outside. Like a previous poster, I would wonder what else had been neglected or left unfinished. Dirty or damaged things - like the chipped paint - might not be a big deal on their own but would probably leave me with a less favorable opinion of that house than of one which appears to be clean and well cared for.

For the most part I wouldn't worry about paint colors or wallpaper, but I'd be turned off by anything that seemed like it would be a lot of trouble to change. So a two story entryway in a color I hate would be more of an issue than a normal room would be. So would extremely dark colors which are more difficult to paint over, textured walls, or excessive wallpaper.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah View Post
I agree with others about odors. I can overlook clutter and lots of furniture (though you do need to be careful as it can make the room look smaller) but smells are a big turnoff and you don't know if it will leave with the current owners.

I also really didn't like it when the house looked dark. I would suggest opening the curtains and blinds as I really like the natural light.

And if you have pets, I'd leave the windows open (if weather/temp permits) a couple hours a day.
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