8 Things That Could Scare Off A Homebuyer

The Savvy Synopsis

When you are selling your home, you want to make it as welcoming and attractive as possible to potential buyers. So, what scares them off the most? Anything you need to quickly remove, store, or wash away? 

What kinds of things typically scare off buyers? Things like smells or pets or even unsightly décor may mean a potential buyer looks elsewhere. Before you ready your home for a sale, make sure you have all of these things under control.

While some may seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people overlook things that may give a potential buyer pause according to an online article. If you are in the process of preparing your home to put it on the market, consider through their eyes what a buyer will see. What’s normal to you may cause them to reconsider.

Something like taxidermy or risqué artwork may make a buyer uncomfortable. But believe it or not, your ever-so-friendly dog or cat might make some buyers equally uncomfortable. Having someone help you stage your home may give your house the extra boost it needs to appeal to the right buyer and get you the best offer possible.

Does your home have anything in it that might scare off a buyer? Find out in today’s episode of the Savvy Realtor podcast.

Listen to the full episode or click on the timestamps below to hear more about the different things that may scare off a potential homebuyer:

1:01 - Buyers be scared: Too many locks on the door might give the wrong idea.  

1:52 - Buyers don’t stare: Uncomfortable artwork should be taken down before a showing.

3:18 - Buyers beware: Taxidermy might creep out a buyer.

4:20 - Buyers, prepare! Finish off all home improvement projects to completion.

4:41 - Buyers, not dog hair: Unfriendly pets (or maybe overly friendly) need to be away.

7:25 - Buyers, take care: Clean up all dust and dirt ahead of time.

8:11 - Buyers, what’s in the air? Mystery smells can cause buyers to question the home.

8:29 - Buyers and old chairs: Outdated décor can be a turn off or date a home.

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Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Storholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of A Cole Realty serving you throughout the triangle teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find the team online by going to eight Cole realty.com that's a C O L E realty.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top real tours in the triangle. Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast wanted to talk about the things that scare off buyers on today's show and just rattle through a couple of these real quick. This is like from an article or a list online that I saw somebody on social media put up. I can't remember where I where I saw this, but I copied the list down and I wanted to see if you agreed. Are these things indeed that scare off buyers. And if you've seen some of these things before in your experience, a first on the list was too many locks on the doors.

Speaker 2: (01:04)
Oh my gosh. Yeah. We're seeing that like one of those gums that has like eight locks. No, it's even weirder. Is that a word weeder? I'm more weird. I'm not sure if I straight, yes. Um, master bedrooms [inaudible] yeah, yeah. I've seen where a master bedroom has had like a deadbolt on it. Oh, that's a little overkill, you know, so beyond the door knob there was a deadbolt and you just start to wonder why. So that's been weird. Deadbolt on the inside of the bedroom or out on the outside of it was, well, luckily it was on the inside. It was on the outside. That would even, yeah. Be a little more awkward, um, as far as who's being locked in there. So, but yeah, that, that was just, it was interesting, you know, not when you see every day, I suppose. No, not in any event.

Speaker 2: (01:51)
That was an interesting one. Uh, uncomfortable artwork. Oh yeah, no, I've, I've seen a handful of this. Um, I've been on a, um, I've been on one in particular, I'm not going to call it out, but a listing appointment and there was a, uh, art painting above the bed of the owner of the home, um, and not wearing everything she should be wearing. And we of course explained to them that they need to take that down. And they always just seemed shocked that we would ask that of them. I know. I mean, I, it was, I don't know. Have you ever seen parks and rec? Ah, no. I don't think so.

Speaker 1: (02:31)
It's a, you know, if that's not on anymore, but there was, there's a character in that show. She's not one of the main characters, but, um, just like one of the, the, the richest lady in town, whenever they go to her home, she's always got essentially nude portraits of herself, always above her, wherever they stop in the home. And like, the people from the town are always talking to her about trying to raise money for events and these kinds of things. And they're, they're always just like, Oh, can we go somewhere else in the house? And she said, sure, come over. And then they stand in another place and there's another, you know, non-discreet painting of her in the background there. Reminds me of, of, of that.

Speaker 2: (03:07)
Yeah. I had, the last thing I care to see is myself on a wall.

Speaker 1: (03:12)
That's too funny. Uh, yeah. Interesting artwork. I'm sure there's, there's many other stories that come along with that. Taxidermy can, some people love taxidermy, but that can scare off a lot of buyers in some cases.

Speaker 2: (03:24)
Yeah. You know, I've been into some homes and I mean a whole entire room. I mean, it is the taxidermy room and it's just, it's a little much, you know, you have to remember whenever our buyers walk into your home, they need to visualize themselves there. And if they are not into hunting, they are an animal activist, you know? Or just, I mean, have an animal is just stare at me. Kinda creeps me out too. You might want to take those down.

Speaker 1: (03:46)
And remember, we're commenting here, not so much on, you know, Oh your personal tastes here are strains. It's just how this would appeal to a buyer or whatever.

Speaker 2: (03:54)
Yeah, yeah. Correct. It can be an active and on the market, you know, there's certain ways you, it makes you feel like you don't live in your home whenever you market it for sale. Right. Because it needs to be show ready and it needs to be appealing to all, all eyes are about to come through. Yeah. So piece around on decorations, but you know, when it's time to market your home, we might need to change up some things a little bit.

Speaker 1: (04:18)
That's, that's the context here. Yes. Repairs not taken to completion will scare off many buyers as well.

Speaker 2: (04:25)
I think we've got some shoddy work on the wall, so they patched over the hole, but they didn't paint. So it's just a patch on the wall. Little things that I think we've all seen some of those, unfortunately. Some do it yourselfers which you know, should have left it to the, to the professionals.

Speaker 1: (04:41)
I know you've run across this one a couple of times. Unfriendly pets.

Speaker 2: (04:44)
Yeah. You know, that's one thing. Just first of all, I this one thing I cannot stand that it makes like my skin crawl is when I go on an appointment and the animal most time is probably dog, which I love dogs. Okay. We have a dog but it is sitting there at my leg and just looking Mike leg the whole entire time I guess my lotion or something, but the seller doesn't stop it. You know, if if my dog for one second was all over a, you know, a guest in our house, I would, you know, get my dog right up. But um, yeah, just licking my leg, you know, and you have to be like, Oh that's real nice. That's okay. Um, so, but yeah, once again, when it comes to selling your home, if you know, definitely you need to remove your pets from the hen. You know, kitty cats can stay of course, but definitely hide, you know, the the kitty box. And we always have to make people aware cause some people are highly allergic and they will not be happy with us if we do not make them aware that there is a kitty cat in the home.

Speaker 1: (05:40)
Yeah. I know. Uh, my wife is very allergic to cats and so, uh, it would be, I think if it would almost be a rule out immediately if there was any inclination in that sense, even though you're like, okay, well the cat's not going to be there when you leave. It's just hard to get. I know for her it's hard to get that smell or that sense

Speaker 2: (05:58)
out of your nose and you start to associate that space with some people have really strong, you know, yeah. Allergies. Where, I mean I've had the agents to reach out to me even before scheduling an appointment to make sure there has never been a pet in the, you know, in the ham. Yeah. Just because they will, you know, have trouble breathing and you know, it can be dangerous. Yeah, absolutely. And a very good point there, Angie, as well. And we're talking about these things that scare off buyers. Unfriendly pets can certainly do that. I think you had a story to once of a barking dog or like a really, it wasn't their dog, but it was a naked aggressive dog. I remember the exact home. Yeah. They, um, they had two very, very large German shepherds that, you know, were next door to their home and people would go to view the home and there was not an actual fence. It was an underground fence. Right. So you think that these dogs are charging at you as you go to ground fences? Oh, I know. [inaudible]

Speaker 2: (06:53)
dog comes charging down the street. It's gonna eat you. Yeah. So we had a, you know, analysts, um, remarks after remarks that either these dogs were just, you know, their heads are sticking out the window of the neighboring home, you know, Groundling at them and barking. And then other times where people were like, we were scared to even get out of the car because of these two huge dogs that looked like they wanted to eat us. And I know they could have been, you know, friendly as can be, but you know, you have to always be cautious. So yeah, it is sad when, uh, the neighbors, you know, hurt your, your position in selling something else that scares off buyers dust and dirt. That's kind of an obvious one. We want to clean up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I, you know, we, that's something that we, we definitely make sure that we give the feedback and the advice.

Speaker 2: (07:37)
If we go through our home, you know, Hey, let's get a professional cleaner in here. You know, we, we need to make it look pristine also. Um, I, I hate it whenever I go into a home and it's just, you know, spotless, but then you look into the HVAC return, you know, and it is just full of dirt, like the filter, like they've never cleaned it. So make sure to make sure you clean, you know, replace your filters, vacuum out the vent, the intake vent, because that can really be a turn off and scare people as far as you know, you know, what type of condition is the, you know, HVAC system and yeah, details, details, uh, mystery smells is also on the list of, you throw that in kind of with what you're talking about with the pets. Yeah. Yeah. We've, we've, unfortunately we've run into some, especially, you know, when kitty cats, you know, sprinkle on areas they shouldn't be. I mean, that's a tough smell to get out. So yeah, definitely his last one on least outdated decor, something that scares off of buyers. That was understandable. Um, you know, everyone loves newness and you know, depending on the decorations in the decor, it can really data home. So you could have a brand new home, but if it has outdated, you know, furniture and curtains and you know, it can definitely, definitely, I don't know, it can just throw you off said. Yeah, there's the stages of those. They can renovate, the

Speaker 1: (08:56)
buyers can renovate, you know, you may not need to upgrade. Right, right, exactly. But that's why we have our professional stager who comes through and gives you that feedback to help you to, you know, make your home most appealing for prospective buyers. You got it. You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holtz alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole realty.com and you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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