What would turn you off in a house for sale ?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by pyrxtc, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. branv

    branv <font color=blue>The safety feature in my parents

    May 20, 2005
    I definitely agree about the odor issue.

    But one thing that really turns me off are bathrooms and kitchen that aren't pristine for showing. I mean, I don't even like to see towels that have clearly been used hanging on the rack, toothbrushes and hairy hairbrushes on the counter. Just gross, and inevitably you can tell that the bathroom is normally nasty because the baseboards (which everyone forgets) are covered in hair and dirt. Sinks with dirty dishes, food smeared microwaves. I have to wonder if that's what they consider "show ready", what did that house normally look like with regular use. And then that makes me think about poor maintenance and bugs.

    And if I see clean floors, but baseboards in living areas are covered in pet fur, I start thinking about fleas.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly little Miss Perfect Tidy. But I know what truly clean is, and that's what a house up for market needs to be. If that's the best someone can do, then their everyday treatment of that house could be really awful.

    One thing I've noticed with model homes -- they have curtains, but not blinds. Plus the windows are sparkling clean. And it really does make the home look bigger and brighter. If we sell this home, I'll probably remove the blinds and put them in the garage. I'll tell the realtor to let any potential buyers know that blinds are included, but have been removed "for cleaning."

    One other tip: tidy up your closets and cabinets. People will look inside to see what the storage is like, and if it's crammed full, they'll get the impression there isn't enough storage for them either. Take out and store everything you absolutely don't need for daily living,leaving enough to look lived in. Organize the kitchen cabinets to look pretty. Sometimes the little things make bigger psychological impacts than people realize.
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  3. Skip2MyLou

    Skip2MyLou Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2011
    Just had our offer accepted :thumbsup2 Going to inspection tomorrow!:cool1:

    When you do have showings, turn on all the lights & leave the house. We had one home owner follow us around the house. Very awkward.

    One of the homeowners (made it to our finalist list) baked us cookies & left a note to enjoy. The house smelled great & it was a nice gesture.

    Paint doesn't bother me, I am going to change it once I get in there anyway. If there are any carpets, give them a fresh cleaning. The house we are buying is listed with "designer colors". IMO, they are fad colors from a few years ago & I can't wait to get in & lighten things up. Living room is dark red, master is purple, bathrooms are chocolate brown :-)crazy2:), one bedroom is smurf blue & other is pale pink.

    Otherwise, I agree with others on clutter & smell. Those were my 2 big annoyances.
  4. Praying Colonel

    Praying Colonel DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2004
    Just wanted to say that if you haven't got the inspection yet, I'd save the money and put it into something else. An inspection report from the seller's inspector wouldn't carry any weight with me. I'm still hiring my own inspector and going off my person's report.
  5. clutter

    clutter <font color=FF66FF>Princess's Mom<br><font color=b

    Apr 29, 2001
    Hmmmm, I seem to be a big problem in selling homes! :rotfl2: (For what it's worth, I picked my name as I was trying to get all the baby stuff out of my house. 13 years later, and it's still an ongoing battle!)

    Besides getting rid of stuff that you don't use, you might also store a few pieces of furniture. If you look at today's styles, it is much more minimalist furniture-wise than most of us live with. So store or get rid of extra tables and chairs.

    I'm big one on smells as well. Smoke, spices, wet spots all make me worry.

    Good luck on selling your house. And finish up the outside paint!
  6. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2010
    Clutter, odors especially smoke, pets, mold, mildew, chipped tiles, mismatching fixtures in the bathroom, only one tiny bathroom, stuuf that need immediate painting, items that are atthe end of their life
  7. daannzzz

    daannzzz OMG...Theres my favorite scrambled

    Feb 14, 2001
    For me I can get past clutter bad (or just unappealing to me) decor choices. I am looking at the floor plan, window sizes and locations, traffic flow, kitchen layout (I hat the sink to be at the very end of the counter with no counter space on one side) and such. I can remove all the color and clutter in my mind and see if it will work for me or if there are minor changes that can be made.
    What urns me off are bad smells that could portend mold or rot or anything that looks unsafe or could be a potential large problem.
    It sounds like the house was well kept and through and inspection could be verified.
  8. tOSU

    tOSU Mouseketeer

    Jun 28, 2011
    Being 240 years old & never updated would raise some concern with me right away. I would be very cautious of asbestos and lead paint. Then wonder about insulation, windows, wiring, plumbing and structural issues. The 1/2 painted would be a negative as well, you mentioned finishing it but whoever buys it may not like the color & want it entirely repainted anyway.

    Good luck selling your house, it can be very frustrating & cause for anxiety.
  9. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    Homeowners should be *away* completely - is awkward, if not impossible to look and speak freely with realtor when owners are present. Most realtors will not allow it anyway.

    Odors - will not even *look* farther into a house if I smell cigaret smoke or pet odors when the door is opened.

    Age of home - don't like *chopped up * rooms. Ages of appliances, wiring, plumbing. Insulation is usually a *very big* issue in older homes.

    Dampness, smell of mold in crawl space.

    I can take a little clutter if it doesn't cover areas where I cannot see. No area rugs on hardwoods (can hide burns, bad scrapes, etc.)

    I wish you all the luck, OP, but to be honest, I never look at homes older than 10 years. We've had to transfer a lot with dh's job, and have bought several homes. Carpets always have to be changed, sometimes wood floors need refinishing.

    I also second the poster that said save your money on getting your own inspection. We *never* even looked at the seller's inspection. We always chose our own independent home inspector, and also was present AT the inspection.

    Some people actually like older homes, and that's probably the market that will be looking at yours.
  10. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys Mouseketeer

    Jan 13, 2013
    If your basement seems at all damp run a dehumidifier before showings and turn it off/hide it during showings.

    Floors that creak turn me off. It isn't that expensive or difficult to fix most creaking floors, but some signal worse problems so if you can fix that I would.

    Mold or ANY signs of water damage, any type even small, anywhere.

    Landscaping that is a mess, over grown, or sparse. I think how one keeps up the outside appearance of a home reflects the overall upkeep of a home.

    Windows are a big thing I look at. They are VERY expensive to replace so if you have any really bad windows you may want to consider replacing at least those.

    The age of the furnace, water heater, etc. and what type they are.

    I would get your house painted now if you can. A fresh coat of paint on the outside will give it much more curb appeal.
  11. aristocatz

    aristocatz DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2009
    We just bought our first home last spring & were house hunting for 2 years prior-open houses & scheduled showings.

    Like others said, dirt & clutter were big turn offs to us. We felt if you could not even tidy up to show your house, what does that say about how well you cared for your house over time?

    Odors were big turn-offs and deal breakers for us. Pet odor, strong food odor, & cigarette smoke. One house we found was the house of our dreams-it had everything we wanted & was in our price range, but we just could not get past the cigarette smell in every room :crazy2: & we are a bit contradictory because we are both occasional smokers (used to be daily smokers and now we might share one 2-3x per year), but we never smoked in the house or car & cannot stand that stale smell.
  12. pyrxtc

    pyrxtc <font color=deeppink>Married 10-5-02<br><font colo

    Jan 21, 2004
    I wouldn't want to be here for showing. This is how most of the rooms look. You can see colors. There are also floor plans, I know that is one thing I would love to know about a house I am buying before even looking. Some of the new houses just flow weird.


    No smokers in the house and not allowed by visitors. Most windows have been replaced and all appliances and furnace and other stuff are less than 10 years old.
  13. DisneyCrazyMomma

    DisneyCrazyMomma DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 2010
    Odors, clutter, REALLY dirty would be a turn off for me. I know I can overlook something that looks slighty lived in, but not really dirty, or smelly. I am going to scrub everything down before I move in no matter how clean it looks to me anyway.

    To me, furniture doesn't matter as much because I'm not going to be using that furniture anyway. Things like one bathroom, or no basement, shouldn't be a concern because those items are on the listing, and if you want a house with more than one bathroom, or with a basement, then you should look at houses you know have those things.

    I would probably try my hardest to finish the paint though... I know it's off season and you're working on it but I don't know that I'd want to take that on, or know I had to wait until spring and then take it on. But you can only do what you can do. :goodvibes
  14. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    Cigarette smoke in home/car is almost impossible to remove. Some friends bought a house, had to remove all carpets, drapes, blinds, washed all washable surfaces and still the odor persisted. Used those *whole house* machines that were supposed to take odors out (nope). They ended up having to refinish the hardwoods, and completely paint all interior surfaces, including the cabinets. Finally after many $$$'s, work and time you can no longer smell any odors.

    They will *never* do that again! We tried to tell them, but *professionals* tried to tell them a different story, and they believed them. :crazy2:
  15. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Jan 4, 2001
    Here is our checklist...

    1) How old is the roof, heating/air conditioning?

    2) Flooring? Is it is good shape? I am going to assume you have hardwood. If you do not have hardwood in a 240yo house then that would be a turn off. Also I need to SEE the floor. Pick up toys and large area rugs.

    3) Smells. I better be able to smell the "house" and not pets, mold, funky baking cookies, candles, air freshners, etc.... If I smell mold, that is a deal breaker.

    4) House should be reasonable with regards to cleaning. The cleaner the better.

    5) Rent a storage shed and get rid of clutter if you are "stuffed" to the gills.
  16. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    We love older houses and we skipped on one because the owners painted just before selling and painted the windows SHUT! We couldn't figure out if the windows were functional or broken.
  17. Soldier's*Sweeties

    Soldier's*Sweeties DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2009
    This is how all of our windows were when we bought this house. So annoying!
  18. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    It shows a real laziness to do things right. It made us wonder what else in the house that was "repaired" in a slip shod way.
  19. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

    Nov 5, 2000
    Odors are #1. The house should be clean and smell clean. And I don't mean it should smell like you sprayed pine sol around 5 minutes before I got there.

    I'd like to be able to see the flooring if possible.
    I'd be looking at the electrical system, the heating system.
    If the rooms are kind of neutral that would make it seem easier to move in, but that's not a deal breaker.

    Is that house really 240 years old or 24 years old? I was thinking the 240 is a typo.

    As far as your pictures...the pics of the inside...nothing seems to be a huge turnoff.

    The outside needs work. I know you are working on it and I know now is not the time of year that is conducive to working outside in NH, but it's in rough shape and for some folks, that would be a turn-off.

    We bought our house built in 1940. Cape Cod style. Owned by an elderly coupl eboth of whom died. fairly clean and well-maintained but a bit dated. Good bones. The outside was in rough shape, ugly carpet with beuatiful hardwood underneath. Olive green wall to wall throughout the main level. Tan sculptured carpet on the 2nd level. panelling in the kitchen, wallpaper in the bathroom that was ugly. Needed a roof. Termite damage to he front entry & front door sill.

    The price we paid reflected the amount of time/money/effort we felt would be needed to make the house what we wanted to move in.We paid $20K less than asking and once we were done with the intial "fix up to move in" we had spent close to $20K so I believe we paid a fair price.

    We have since renovated the entire thing pretty much over the 20 years we have lived there.
  20. threeboysmom

    threeboysmom Our life is what our thoughts make it

    Feb 8, 2001
    Really???? You wouldn't buy a house because the sellers had their table against a wall??

    I LOVE this idea!!!

    My biggest dealbreaker would be odor or mold/mildew anywhere. I also look very closely at kitchen/baths. I NEED these to be clean with a capital C!!!

    Decluttering definitely helps with selling a home. Probably the biggest #1 thing you can do to improve its appeal.

    Anything else can be fixed/spruced up - paint, flooring, appliances, etc. Furniture placement, toys, or family pictures are not going to deter me from buying a home I love, lol.

    I've sold 3 homes in my life. I haven't had one listed for more than a few weeks (keeping my fingers crossed for the next one, lol).

    1) Declutter every room including cabinets and closets. And I mean some SERIOUS decluttering. Get rid of furniture if you have to! NOTHING should be on your surfaces/countertops that is not necessary to be there. Think LESS IS BEST!

    2) Lighten up the place - make sure all curtains are wide open, lights are all on for the showing, etc.

    3) Pay CLOSE attention to the cleanliness of your kitchen and bathrooms. These are KEY to potential homebuyers. Nobody wants to see someone else's hair in the shower or mildew in the grout. Ewwww.

    4) Simplify and rejuvanate your home - fluff up the pillows, arrange some fresh flowers, put on some soft music... whatever it takes to make your house shine and stand out from the rest.
  21. pyrxtc

    pyrxtc <font color=deeppink>Married 10-5-02<br><font colo

    Jan 21, 2004
    I meant 240. The house was built in the 1770's and was one of the first house's in the town, before it was a town. It was also the post office until 1967. It is a timber frame house.

    Yes, no easy or even possible to paint until the outside warms up. Wood siding is original to house. Things were updated in the 50's but only to add stuff that you would want. Plumbing and electrical are fine. We would update for looks if we were staying but not happening.

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