Everybody always waxes poetic about how they just knew when they found their dream home. But home buyers also know—in that same instantaneous, visceral way—what they abhor. Sometimes, these deal breakers are just personal, but more often than not, swaths of home buyers feel the same way. What’s more, home sellers who’ve been in their homes for years are often blind to these turnoffs, leaving them puzzled as to why their home just won’t sell. Well, allow us to fill you in! We had home buyers reveal some of their most cringeworthy cautionary tales; think of their misfortunes as lessons that may help you know what not to do.
Pests “In one house we saw, the man showing us the house said, ‘Roaches hang around once in a while, but, hey, that’s Philly!’ Trust me, you can absolutely live roach-free in Philly.” — Allie Goldberg, Philadelphia, PA
Lesson learned: Pests are a problem. Period. One bug sighting might not break you, but if you’ve got a full-on infestation, you’ll more than likely be legally required to disclose that information to potential buyers and provide remediation, so it’s in your best interest as the seller to take care of the issue as quickly as possible.
“I loved the house, until I stepped in dog pee on the kitchen floor. To make things worse, the house smelled of cat urine, and we had two felines follow us around the entire time we were there. It was creepy and disgusting. Could I have gotten the smell to go away eventually? Probably. But the whole experience just left a bad taste in my mouth. I just wanted to get out of there.” — Josh Daniels, Baltimore, MD
Lesson learned: You may love Fido or Fluffy, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will as well. Whenever possible, take pets with you when you leave the house before the showing. But, if that won’t work, make sure that they stay in a pet crate while others are viewing your home.